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September 10, 2008

Comments

Most awesome election evah!

oh Sarah. you are such a loathsome little turd.

also, i condemn the inherit sexism - which i did not see, but i am sure it will be pointed-out - in that ABC piece.

It's also worth noting that in its misleading data dump of documents regarding Palin's time as Mayor, the City of Wasilla tried to change the subject by issuing a memo showing that no books had actually been banned.

In addition to everything else, it's worth noting that we are in the midst of an attempted cover-up of all the various Palin scandals. And this is worth noting because, as experience has shown, it's often the cover up that actual gets political miscreants in trouble.

On AC360 last night, they had a report supposedly debunking Palin's attempt to ban books from her town's library. Wonder if CNN will amend its story?

I need to keep reminding myself that, just because I might find it interesting to watch the train wreck that would be an administration of John McCain and Sarah Palin, I will be part of the train wreck.

What did she say about the issue while on the city council or in the PTA?

Also, did she try to get science teachers to do bat crazy shit while on the PTA?

blueheron,

CNN just ran a story, debunking palin myths, and included the book banning "myth" as well as others.

The librarian was not fired.

The librarian was not fired, the books are still on the shelf so......no harm, no foul?

The National Review version of the story is that she was asked for her resignation, as were all of the prior administrations appointee supporters. So: unconnected, purportedly.

I don't know what to make of that, other than there is some question as to whether the banning request and the resignation request are in fact connected.

Talk about lowering the bar for office. "I'm qualified for office because I only half-heartedly tried to ban books from the library!"

Since when were librarians political appointments? I may be American, but it's still another country for me sometimes.

CNN just ran a story, debunking palin myths, and included the book banning "myth" as well as others.

The McCain campaign extends its thanks to all the people forwarding around the bogus list of banned books. Your help has made it possible to dismiss this entire issue as a false Internet rumor.

For all the cloud of mess around most of these instances, ie its hard to know if she fired the librarian out of general political revenge verses specific refusal to ban books, sudden reversal of the 2 now 3 star NG guy, etc, I really don't see what the positives of Palin are supposed to be. She fits the hard right orthodoxy on ideology, but that's about it. No evidence of extraordinary ability in terms of accomplishments, understanding, knowledge, connections or anything else. I'm just not seeing the affirmative case to vote for her being offered, just counters to the negative case.

I'm just not seeing the affirmative case to vote for her being offered,

She drives liberals crazy.

Reason enough.

Even if it was merely an innocent question (and of course it wasn't) do we really want a VP who makes such shockingly inappropriate inquiries?

Palin: "So, how would you guys feel if we *nuked* you?"

Head of State: "!"

Palin: "Oh, no no! I'm just *asking!*"

Since when were librarians political appointments?

This strikes me as a bit strange. In my city, the Head Librarian is hired by a quasi-independent Library Board. Perhaps Wasilla isn't big enough for such an arrangement. The website says it's a department of the City of Wasilla - but it also says it's part of the "Matanuska-Susitna Library Network". Who knows how it's supposed to work.

"Check out the whole report."

Once again: millions of people only have dial-up. Mostly you only have dial-up if you are poor. Giving the impression you only want to talk to well-off, middle-class, people, and are oblivious to the fact that millions of Americans aren't, by not providing some kind of summary to those for whom video takes 20 minutes or more to load, may not be the best outreach, I suggest.

FWIW, Gary, there's a transcript at Pam's House Blend.

As a bonus, it actually includes a few sentences omitted from the video excerpt linked above.

Hmm, that reads more harshly than I intended it; sorry.

Anyway: Brian Ross: Palin says attempted firing of librarian and inquiry were not connected. Sarah Palin was elected with strong backing of her church, Assembly of God. Rev Howard Bess: It wasn't simply a matter of her using the religious right to get elected; she was one of them. Reporter: Palin subsequently changed churches, but ministers of Assembly of God are well-known in Wasilla for taking strong positions on moral issues including (anti-gay sermon excerpt about homosexuals wanting laws because they have guilty consciences follows). Around this time conservative Christians began to focus on books in local bookstores and libraries, including "Go Ask Alice," and "Pastor, Am I Gay." Not long after, Palin raised issue at City Council meeting of how books could be banned, according to Democratic council member. Mayor Palin asked librarian what response would be to request to remove books. Librarian took deep breath and said books were purchased according to national professional standards, and I would not allow removal. Former town official and Palin ally says query was rhetorical. A few weeks after meeting, librarian was fired, but reinstated a few weeks later after "community uproar." Shots of local paper headlines. Librarian left two years later, because, according to friends, it was just too hard working for Palin.

There's a summary.

Why do it at a council meeting?? Why not ask informally?

Is there any concrete evidence that the firing was connected to book-banning?

Without it, this story is fairly ineffectual muckraking. Sure, she probably wanted to ban certain books, and her attempt to fire the librarian was probably related to this. But why make arguments based on the merely probable? Whom, exactly, are they going to convince? We've already got Palin scandals where the evidence is plentiful, direct, and damning.

Whom, exactly, are they going to convince?

people who weren't sure, and will be surprised to know, just how deeply her conservative fundamentalist Christianism affects her thinking.

I think the inappropriateness is shown to be more than just random inappropriateness even if we assume Palin's explanation to be true. Her explanation has been that it was a getting-to-know-you conversation and that the question was intended to assess loyalty, department heads following administration agendas.

Why that question? If I take Palin's explanation to be 100% truthful and accurate - why that question for that purpose?

To be sure it makes sense - sort of. Let me try a parallel example. Suppose I were your new boss, we're talking things over, and I ask you if you would be okay with putting cyanide in one of the coffeemakers in the building should I ever ask you to. ... This is indeed a loyalty-type question. Yes. But if I ask that question and I am actually serious about it as a question I'm using to assess loyalty by the answer I get, that says something very disturbing about what I think of the other aspects of the question. Otherwise I wouldn't ask that question; I'd ask something else. Because if I really do mean that question to assess loyalty, and I ask that question, I could only do so if I think this suggestion and a "yes" to this suggestion are part of a reasonable universe, and that a "no" would indicate disloyalty. Wouldn't I?

I could have taken a joke explanation - the hockey mom jacking with the librarian. That at least could be true. But Palin's explanation is an actual confirmation of the worst interpretation; I can't think of any other way to build it.

Ari: But why make arguments based on the merely probable? Whom, exactly, are they going to convince?

Well, certainly not people determined to think well of Palin who also don't really care much about the principle that politicians shouldn't be able to ban books from public libraries. Which is probably quite a large proportion of her natural base.

But Republicans who do care about the principle that a mayor shouldn't want to know if they can ban books from a public library, who think that a librarian who gives a sharp answer to that question ought to be honored, not fired, and who wonder why this librarian was fired - and if any books were quietly removed by a more compliant librarian, later - well, let's say: it raises questions about how Palin will govern if she ever becomes President.

Alex is right. Using that question to "assess loyalty" is pretty bad. It's just asking whether you put loyalty to the mayor above your ethical responsibilities.

What do the books in the library have to do with the "administration agenda?" Would she ask an accountant working for the town if she would be willing to falsify financial records if asked?

"Is there any concrete evidence that the firing was connected to book-banning?

Without it, this story is fairly ineffectual muckraking. Sure, she probably wanted to ban certain books, and her attempt to fire the librarian was probably related to this." - Ari Nieh

This misses it. It is possible that the firing was completely unrelated to the incident; we can detach the two. Lots of incoming elected people fire the people who were already in place, for political reasons of various sorts or of no spelled-out kind. The firing is not the issue. It is not always illegal and not even always accepted to be improper. Yes, it could have been unrelated to the question.

The big issue in this case is whether a Vice Presidential candidate believes in censorship, in banning disapproved-of books from the public library. It isn't whether a Vice Presidential candiate fired someone who she didn't see eye to eye with. That's tiny and trivial in comparison. And focusing on a censorship matter in itself - and a case where the matter was brought to work in public office - is not muckraking.

Whom, exactly, are they going to convince?

The librarians of America!!!

We're back to The Music Man, only the con man who comes to River City with big promises hasn't picked Marion the Librarian, but one of the small town busybodies who disapprove of Balzac.

I found this argument in favor of Palin convincing.

Can there ignite in my heart a tiny ember of hope that the media will start report the election as "A happened today" and "B claims x happened, which is patently untrue" rather than "B says this, but C says the opposite"? Over and over this year reporters seem cowed in interviews--they know they're being fed bs, but when a tepid follow-up invokes bluster they back down.

Can there ignite in my heart a tiny ember of hope that the media will start report the election as "A happened today" and "B claims x happened, which is patently untrue" rather than "B says this, but C says the opposite"?

No

I'm a retired librarian and spent the last 5 years supervising the children's department. I can tell you from first hand experience that the people who challenged books at my library were just like Sarah Palin. They were the far right fundamentalists who believe they should control not only what their children read, but what all children (and some adults) read.

And they are passionate and confrontational about. They wasted so much of my time screaming and threatening me, but I stood my ground and defended books like Harry Potter, and Roald Dahl's, James and the Giant Peach, to name just two.

And let me tell you it is much, much easier to cave in and just let them have their way.

Kudos to the Wasilla librarian for holding her ground. I also noticed she found herself another job when she discovered Palin was running for reelection.

Why do it at a council meeting?? Why not ask informally?

Because she wanted it to be public. The reports are that her church- and political base- was interested in having some books banned. Asking in public was a way of showing those people that she cared about their issues and was trying to follow through for them. It might anger liberals who don't like the idea of banning books, but she obviously wasn't trying to please them.

Ugh, that link was so full of hilarity that I could barely read it. Thanks.

Go librarians!

Remember way back in the Reagan administration when the F.B.I. ran...

the "Library Awareness Program" under which, it was discovered in 1988, agents searching for Soviet spies had asked librarians to report on "the reading habits of people with foreign accents or funny-sounding names." The author adds that the F.B.I. has been trying to turn librarians into informants for a quarter-century.

Books of The Times; Investigating the Chief Investigator [book review] By HERBERT MITGANG Published: October 16, 1991

I remember seeing a librarian hand the F.B.I. representative his head on MacNeil/Lehrer. Good times.

Why do it at a council meeting?? Why not ask informally?

According to the librarian, Palin did ask informally, getting the same answer. Then she asked the same question again at the council meeting, publically. Later she asked it a third time, I'm not sure where. Perhaps Palin has a memory problem to go with her ethics problems.

Roger Moore: Ha, good point. She may be telling the truth if she says she didn't want to ban any books, because she just said it to deceive her base!

OT - heckuva job Bushie:

The price of credit default swaps on five-year US government debt hit a record 18 basis points in early trading, according to CMA Datavision. This means that it costs $18,000 a year to buy insurance on $10m of US government debt.

Tim Backshall, chief strategist at Credit Derivatives Research, said the price implied that the US was more likely to default on its obligations than Japan, Germany, France, Quebec, the Netherlands and several Scandinavian countries.

U.S. Treasury Bonds: Less secure than Norway's.

one of the small town busybodies who disapprove of Balzac.

Ur Doin It Rong: "Proust. Rabelais. Baaaaaaaaallllzac!" (I love that musical!)

===========

Can there ignite in my heart a tiny ember of hope that the media will start report the election as "A happened today" and "B claims x happened, which is patently untrue" rather than "B says this, but C says the opposite"?

NPR took a baby step this morning. it was a weak, passive "untrue", but that's a start.

Why are the media afraid to point out lies? Is it because they are too lazy to do a good enough job on the story itself to back up the facts they have discovered?

I'd really like to know what the McCain campaign's game is with its strategy of doubling (and tripling) down on their blatant lies, even after they've been called out (like on the Bridge to Nowhere or Earmarks or the plane on eBay). As the Anonymous Liberal said, "they (the McCain campaign) seem determined to provoke a reluctant press corps into calling McCain and his new running mate liars. They seem determined to push the bounds of decency to a point where most reporters feel the need to defend Obama from obviously scurrilous attacks and brazen lies."

Also, I saw this on the blog of Craig’s List founder, Craig Newmark, yesterday and thought it was a cool idea and worth passing along:

"Hey, this is a good example of genuine grassroots democracy:

ObamaTravel.org is a platform that connects volunteers who want to travel to a swing state with financial sponsors and swing state host families. It’s sort of a political hybrid of craigslist and Team-in-Training - volunteers post profiles and solicit sponsorship from their family and friends. Sponsors can see their donations in action by following the activities of their volunteers.

... and let's remember that "community organizing" is pure grassroots democracy."

Slarti,
The librarian was not fired....
The National Review version of the story is that she was asked for her resignation, as were all of the prior administrations appointee supporters. So: unconnected, purportedly.

Of course, it's possible for her both to have requested resignations from all staff & to have fired the librarian later. All of the stories Ive seen have the librarian 'being reinstated after public outcry'- that makes me think that this is not just a case of jumping from 'asked for resignation' to 'fired'. Unless non-fringe people (eg ABC) are embellishing stories or passing along embellished stories. Should be easy to fact-check one way or another.

Embellishment happens, but I wouldn't be so quick to take the National Review's angle as gospel here, particularly when they're choosing to rely on a questionable inference rather than a fact.

I'd really like to know what the McCain campaign's game is with its strategy of doubling (and tripling) down on their blatant lies, even after they've been called out

some combination of...

a) energize the base.
b) provoke Obama into retaliating in a way that destroys his aura of respectability.
c) get away with it long enough to make a solid first impression on as many low-info voters as possible.
d) anger liberals (why else cheer "drill! drill! drill!" except to piss off those who say we can't drill our way out of this: aka liberals ?)

etc.

As a friend said in another forum --

I am always amazed that anyone ever thinks it's a good idea to ask librarians to remove books. Seriously. I just want to ask people who do that if they've ever, you know, met a librarian.

Hmmmm. Book banner or infanticide supporter?

I think I'll go with the former.

I'd really like to know what the McCain campaign's game is with its strategy of doubling (and tripling) down on their blatant lies, even after they've been called out

There are times when playing poker when the only right moves are to raise or fold, when calling just cannot be the right move (eg when you don't think you can win a showdown but might get the other guy to fold).
Seems similar to me, except folding doesn't make sense either, since there is no second hand here- McCain is at the end of his career one way or the other... So McCain's only rational move (amorally, of course) is upping the ante. After all, if the media are going to point out his lying, he loses. Why not go whole hog and (as Feddie so wittily points out) make up stuff about infanticide?

The only risk he runs is, as he pumps up the volume, the stories get more and more unbelievable. Who could believe that Obama wants 7-year-olds taught explicit sex ed, or that he wants to kill infants?

Why not double down? Because there things worse than losing. If McCain can't see that, he should not be president.

MK,
Sure- I wasn't trying to offer a moral judgment, just a practical one. Morally, it's a disaster, and whatever comes of it McCain has ruined his reputation among all but the Kool-Aid drinkers.

It occurs to me that the Big Lie has another risk- once the media starts exposing lies, it will be easy & tempting (ie fit within the existing narrative) to move on to smaller stuff that never would've been scrutinized on its own. For example, McCain's campaign's insistence that the Senator is reluctant to discuss his POW experience.

It is possible that the firing was completely unrelated to the incident; we can detach the two.

Then why even bring it up? It seems to me that ABC hopes their viewers will draw the connection, even in the absence of evidence.

The big issue in this case is whether a Vice Presidential candidate believes in censorship, in banning disapproved-of books from the public library.

Fair enough. And better sources than the ABC bit have clarified that she really was hoping to ban books. Whether or not this is an effectual line of attack against Palin is less obvious to me. I suspect that the number of people who are ardently anti-censorship but were giving her the benefit of the doubt up until now is very small. She's already proved herself to be corrupt, incompetent, anti-science, and radically right-wing; how damning is it to add "pro-censorship" to that list?

And focusing on a censorship matter in itself - and a case where the matter was brought to work in public office - is not muckraking.

muck·rake (mŭk'rāk') intr.v., -raked, -rak·ing, -rakes.

To search for and expose misconduct in public life.

Seems accurate to me. I certainly didn't intend it as pejorative. If you prefer, replace it with the neutral term of your choice.

Yes, feel free to ignore the overwhelming evidence that Senator Obama lead the charge to oppose IL's Born Alive Act.

He doesn't want to kill children per se. He just wants to deny them basic medical care if they somehow survive an abortion.

But that's not infanticide, right?

You people worry about libraries banning books, and turn a blind eye to dying newborns. Is it any wonder that your party is about to lose yet another presidential election.

Enjoy another four years in the wilderness.

Whoops, I totally misread you. If the issue is censorship, and not the firing of the librarian, then you're completely correct that it's no longer a question of misconduct, making "muckraking" inaccurate. My bad.

Proust. Rabelais. Baaaaaaaaallllzac!

Nope. It's Chaucer, not "Proust."

It scans better.

And Chaucer is not nuanced like Proust (the ladies of River City would have missed most of that) but . . . what's the word? . . . Rabelaisian.

Ari - on "muckraking": I accept your definition, which in other reading moments would probably have been mine; fair enough. :o)

On ABC saying that - I was actually reacting mostly to that Frontiersman article itself; I am only now about to finally click on the ABC thing. :o) The Frontiersman story I first found pasted into a blog whose owner took it actually to be exculpatory of Palin, and who bolded several entire paragraphs that s/he thought particularly helped to clearly establish that this was a smear by the librarian! ... In his or her eyes only. The ambiguity in "censorship is a library matter" - or "in the context of professionalism regarding the library policy" - read like letters carved in reassuring granite, apparently.

In any case, proportion aside, my main idea is that it isn't possible to know for certain that this motivated the firing, but it is possible to know for certain, based on this, where Palin was in regard to book banning. I don't know who's still uncertain or why, but I'd rather see discussion centering on things that can be laid out so that it's clear that they are solid and why it's clear that they're solid.
(Although re effectuality: I would guess that the Republican uber-base is the only group of people who wouldn't frequently have strong negative views about book banning. And whoever's still in play isn't with them.)

I dunno, now I've warmed up to the word... :o) And censorship plans as "misconduct"... hmm.

You people worry about libraries banning books, and turn a blind eye to dying newborns.

blind eye? hell no, every good liberal knows that newborns make the best crepes.

Bar maid! Bring me stronger ale! And some plump, succulent babies to eat!

If you're going to bring up the Born Alive Act, Feddie, read up on the Sun Hudson case first. That was the case where an infant was taken off life support *over his mother's objections* because the hospital had concluded it was futile -- and because his mother couldn't pay the bills. It was in Texas, and the law was signed by George W. Bush.

I admit to being really curious about whether you truly, honestly think Barack Obama wants to kill babies.

I would hope that Governor Bush didn't realize that the law in question would lead to such a tragic event. But if he did know, then I condemn him for his actions.

And yes, I do believe that Obama is radically proabortion. I don't think he gives a crap about protecting the rights of innocent unborn children. His views on abortion are repugnant, and no civilized society would even think about allowing such a reprobate to hold its highest office.

I would hope that Governor Bush didn't realize that the law in question would lead to such a tragic event. But if he did know, then I condemn him for his actions.

Wow, with strength of conviction like that, I feel I am in the presence of a moral paragon. Not.

& to have fired the librarian later

Resignation asked for in 1996, best I can tell; actual resignation submitted in 1999. Could have some cause/effect relationship, but if there's that much separation, I don't see it.

Again, the real story is still unclear, so I don't know if I believe any particular version of this.

"no civilized society would even think about allowing such a reprobate to hold its highest office."

That straining sound you hear is my mind trying to wrap itself around the idea of believing that anyone who disagrees with me on an admittedly complex and difficult moral issue could not be allowed to lead by any civilized society.

Ugh--

Our credit is worse than a perennial breakaway wannabe province in Canada?

quelle riche

I finally got my viewer to work so that I can comment on this.

I have been on the receiving end of several of these tactics. Any boss that requires a loyalty test is not worth working for. Your goals transform from doing your job to either kissing up or avoiding getting fired for "cause". Even if you can salvage your position with outside intervention (from up or outside your management chain), your chances of improving your status, salary, or position in the company are gone if you don't kiss up. And if you do kiss up (with or without the lipstick), your chances of being sacrificed to improve or save your boss's position will be high. (Of course, there is some feeling of schadenfreude in that situation for those who didn't succumb.)

If the loyalty test includes breaking an ethical rule, the stakes get even higher, because the boss is one who will not hesitate to use unethical methods themselves.

And in the log vs. speck category, the pastor who claims that gays feel guilty about themselves so they want laws to protect them. Now who recently pushed for a change in laws in order to make up for their guilt (but probably not guilty feelings)....

Slartibartfast: Resignation asked for in 1996, best I can tell; actual resignation submitted in 1999. Could have some cause/effect relationship, but if there's that much separation, I don't see it.

Resignation of librarian asked for in 1996: followed by strong local campaign to support the librarian: request for resignation withdrawn: actual resignation submitted after Palin announced she would run for re-election. Looks like a fairly clear story to me. What's your problem with it?

Again, the real story is still unclear, so I don't know if I believe any particular version of this.

If you're convinced that Ann Kilkenny is lying about this, I guess the story is still unclear.

I've been trying to follow this one pretty closely (and am working on a new post on it). Let me pass along The Frontiersman article from 1996, the recent Anchorage Daily News piece, and this Unbossed post, which links the Time, Politico and NYT pieces that mention this. There's also a better quality copy of the same ABC report with the ending included about the bogus list. There are some minor discrepancies, and the timeline's been a bit muddled in some accounts.

Palin posed her hypothetical book banning questions at least twice to librarian Mary Ellen Emmons. Several accounts also report a third occasion, during a city council meeting. Emmons explained to Palin she'd fight efforts to pull books, and also explained the policy for challenging books in the Mat-Su Borough.

Apparently, Emmons was asked to resign, as were all department heads, in October 1996 when Palin took office, as a test of loyalty. Emmons was fired in January, 1997. She was immediately reinstated due to public outcry. The new information for me from ABC is that Palin's church wanted to remove books.

I'd especially recommend The Frontiersman piece. I was going to include an excerpt here, but it was getting long.

Palin continued to ask about banning books even after she had been informed of the challenging policy. She fired Emmons a couple of months later, then reinstated her due to public pressure. Palin didn't actually ban books, or if you prefer, didn't succeed in banning books. She's shown she's a liar on bridges and troopers, but she's not dumb, and I think she knew she might wind up with a lawsuit on her hands. Emmons, Kilkenny, Stein and others interviewed by ABC and in the linked pieces certainly thought Palin's intent was to ban books, or at least to float a "trial balloon" (as Emmons put it) to see if it was feasible. Palin's essentially claimed they misunderstood her intent. Personally, I don't buy her version. But she does have some deniability. I'd say it's a circumstantial case, but with some red flags, especially if you've seen these things play out (I'll disclose I have some librarians among family and friends). You'll notice that the McCain campaign pushback consists of narrow refutations - the banned book list is bogus, and Palin didn't actually get as far as banning books. I don't think they want close scrutiny on this one in the court of public opinion. Meanwhile, my favorite lines so far come from GOP op Alex Castellanos:

"A mom being concerned about what kind of books our kids read and asking rhetorical questions about what can legally be done to protect them? What's wrong with that? ... This kind of foolishness is making her a hero to more than the evangelical right. It will make her a hero to working class women."

Of course, Palin wasn't asking as a mom, she was asking in her official capacity as mayor, and had already been informed of the borough's challenge policy and that Emmons would fight any attempts at outright banning. But sure, Palin was just another concerned parent firing a librarian.

"Again, the real story is still unclear, so I don't know if I believe any particular version of this."

It's not unclear at all. It's all documented by the local papers. Palin approached Emmons three times about banning books around the time of her election. She asked Emmons and Stambaugh, the police chief, to resign TWICE. The first time both were reinstated the next day. The second time she again reinstated Emmons but fired Stambaugh for reasons she never explained.

http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/510219.html

Read this story and see if you think Palin wasn't serious about banning books:

http://tinyurl.com/6adxhj

It's as clear as day. Palin was testing the waters for the removal of books from the library. Emmons and Stambaugh supported Palin's opponent for mayor. Maybe that's fair play to replace your opponents with supporters, but a lot of Wasilla residents thought it was going too far.

I don't think he gives a crap about protecting the rights of innocent unborn children.

Well, the reprobate (your choice of word) would of course be only interested in the rights of guilty unborns. But iirc that you are a strict Roman Catholic, that would of course be everyone.

I would hope that Governor Bush didn't realize that the law in question would lead to such a tragic event. But if he did know, then I condemn him for his actions.

While the decision was being made to let Sun Hudson die, Bush and the Republican Party said nothing. The law was the law. Besides, they were very busy trying to keep Terry Shiavo alive -- that was a national crisis, IIRC. [/sarcasm]

Of course Bush knew what Texas' Futile Care Law would do. That was the *point* -- to let hospitals withdraw life support even when the family refuses -- if the family is poor. It is a law specifically targeted at poor people.

I don't think he gives a crap about protecting the rights of innocent unborn children

Why are you using the word "innocent" here -- what other kind of unborn children are there? My observation is that people who use the word "innocent" in this context are implicitly (or unconsciously) contrasting innocent babies who don't deserve to be punished with guilty women who do deserve it.

But then, my observation is that people who call themselves "pro-life" are much more motivated by the desire to punish women (for having sex, for being selfish) than they are by any desire to help actual children.

If you're convinced that Ann Kilkenny is lying about this, I guess the story is still unclear.

I don't know who Ann Kilkenny is, and I don't think you do, either. Clearly, factuality of her account to one side, her axe is very frequently sharpened.

So, no. I don't consider that her screed is the collection of objective facts that I'm looking for, given that the objectivity is clearly missing.

It's not unclear at all.

It is if we have some people claiming that Emmons was fired, and news sources saying that she resigned three years after her "firing". I'm a much more concerned about the loyalty-test business than the firings. Allegedly, Palin asked for resignations as a test of loyalty, or asked for resignations because the wanted to get rid of people who'd actively supported her opponent.

I don't know who Ann Kilkenny is, and I don't think you do, either.

She's a resident of Wasilla: so much is independently verified by multiple outside sources. She was, according to her own account, resident in Wasilla during the period Sarah Palin was Mayor, and active at town meetings. If you assume that because she has a personal dislike of Sarah Palin she must be lying, you can dismiss her entire testimony, of course.

It is if we have some people claiming that Emmons was fired, and news sources saying that she resigned three years after her "firing".

Actually, the order of events according to Ann Kilkenny and other sources is quite clear: Sarah Palin asks the town librarian if she will ban books from the library if the mayor tells her to: the librarian refuses and is invited to submit her resignation. About a hundred concerned citizens of Wasilla protest this, because the librarian is locally very popular. Sarah Palin withdraws her request for the librarian's resignation. Three years later, when it is clear Pasilla intends to run for re-election, the librarian resigns and leaves for another job.

That becomes "unclear" only if you decide - as you apparently have - that eyewitness testimony from someone who personally dislikes Sarah Palin can be completely dismissed because anyone who personally disliked Sarah Palin will lie about anything, including details that will be on municipal record...

She's a resident of Wasilla

That much is clear. You don't know, for instance, whether she's a crank, or if she's got some legitimate grievance. You also don't know to what degree her side of the story is corroborated by other people in town.

That becomes "unclear" only

Well, whoops, we've still got publius claiming in the body of this post that she'd been fired, and we've got a couple of comments claiming she was fired, and one that said she'd been rehired. So, "only" doesn't mean what you think it means.

The big issue in this case is whether a Vice Presidential candidate believes in censorship, in banning disapproved-of books from the public library

We have a winner. Thank you Alex.

This can be cleared up quite simply. Somebody needs to ask Palin, publicly and on the record, three simple questions.

1. Do you believe it is appropriate to ban books from public libraries?
2. For what reasons might a book be banned?
3. Who decides which books to ban?

I'm not holding my breath.

Arguments that "no books were banned" and "the librarian was not fired" don't hold water with me, because both of those outcomes were achieved by community resistance to Palin's efforts. In other words, they were IN SPITE OF Palin.

As an aside, we'll all be a lot happier, and get along a lot better, when religious conservatives figure out that other kinds of people live in this country. It ain't the United States of Assemblies Of God.

As another aside, IMO we need a corrolary to Godwin's Law for abortion. Something like:

"As a political blog post about any topic other than abortion grows longer, the probability that it will be threadjacked into an argument about abortion approaches 1".

Call it Feddie's Law.

Thanks -

You don't know, for instance, whether she's a crank, or if she's got some legitimate grievance.

Is either one a reason to assume she's a liar? I mean, a liar about such basic facts as: (1) When the librarian was invited to resign (2) Why the librarian's invitation to resign was withdrawn (local campaign) (3) When the librarian did, in fact, resign? You appear to have decided, in advance of any evidence, that the only proper course is to assume she is lying about such easily-checkable facts - because she personally dislikes Sarah Palin?

You also don't know to what degree her side of the story is corroborated by other people in town.

Nor do you, Slarti. Despite your presumption that because she feels personal dislike for Sarah Palin she's a chronic liar who publishes accounts counterfactual in every detail across the Internet.

But this isn't "her side of the story" - this is a series of events verifiable from the public record.

Well, whoops, we've still got publius claiming in the body of this post that she'd been fired

Ah. So by "unclear", you meant "unclear to publius". Okay. I suppose I might have expected you to be clear about that from your first comment, but...

...nah, that would be silly.

Is either one a reason to assume she's a liar?

Why on earth would you think I assume she's a liar? I assume nothing at all about the veracity of what's in her letter.

Nor do you, Slarti.

Agreed. I've already said that, though.

by "unclear", you meant "unclear to publius"

And Gary Farber, and whoever else made statements to the effect that she'd been hired. Oh, and unclear to me as well. Because aside from Anne Kilkenny's letter, there's not much available out there other than the timeline, which (by the way) doesn't seem to include a firing.

Was she invited to resign because she wouldn't take books from the shelf? If everything is connected, why were the police chief and a couple of other city officials invited to resign in the same timeframe?

Apparently the relationship between these things is clear to you, so perhaps you could take the time and explain it all to me.

s/hired/fired

Proust. Rabelais. Baaaaaaaaallllzac!

Nope. It's Chaucer, not "Proust."

Looks like Jeff got himself into trouble,
Trouble that starts with "T" and that rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Proust.

Why on earth would you think I assume she's a liar?

Ann Kilkenny wrote:

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.
You either think Kilkenny's telling the truth, and Palin did both try to censor books from the library and try to fire the librarian after the librarian refused - or you think she's lying.

It's a perfectly clear story if you assume Kilkenny is telling the truth about the basic facts: it becomes foggy only if you assume, because Kilkenny dislikes Palin, that Kikenny must be lying.

I assume nothing at all about the veracity of what's in her letter.

Oh?

You either think Kilkenny's telling the truth, and Palin did both try to censor books from the library and try to fire the librarian after the librarian refused - or you think she's lying.

I already told you I make neither assumption. Think Schrödinger's Cat, if that helps.

Slarti: I already told you I make neither assumption.

*shrug* So you say. Somehow, I've never found Schrödinger's Cat convincing except as a thought-experiment: real cats tend to be quite convincingly either alive or dead when shut in a box.

Got some reason why you think Ann Kilkenny is a Schrödinger's Cat who might be telling a complex lie which would easily be refuted by her neighbors in Wasilla, where she still lives? Or is this just you being a Republican ...still?

"And Gary Farber, and whoever else made statements to the effect that she'd been hired."

Beg pardon? How did I wind up dragged into this?

I have had no comment in the above thread whatever, save to give a quick summary of the YouTube clip.

Nope. It's Chaucer, not "Proust."

I knew I should have looked it up. Chaucer does work better than Proust, especially The Wife of Bath's Tale.

------------------

Looks like Jeff got himself into trouble

LOL. I can only hope that my Shaboopie, who is a sadder but wiser girl, will rescue me.

My error, Gary. I'd read that as a paraphrasing rather than pretty much a direct quote. Ross, in the video, does seem to be inconsistent with what happened. So: not your lack of clarity, but Ross's.

Whoops, looks like Ann Kilkenny really wasn't lying about Sarah Palin trying to censor books from Wasilla's library.

Also, it looks like she'll fit right in with the next McSame administration: she's got the Bush administration's governing policies down to a T.

In case anyone can't get the link that jes gives, here is the nut grafs

Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.

But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”

“I’m still proud of Sarah,” she added, “but she scares the bejeebers out of me.

I was also thinking of the Alaska gubernational staff's use of personal email accounts to do government business in order to avoid being subpoena'd. Very Bush administration. Palin's set to be Cheney's worthy successor.

Yeah, the whole article is full of stuff like that. It really takes Mayberry Machiavellism to a new depth.

Some more clips

she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.

and

But careers were turned upside down. The mayor quickly fired the town’s museum director, John Cooper. Later, she sent an aide to the museum to talk to the three remaining employees. “He told us they only wanted two,” recalled Esther West, one of the three, “and we had to pick who was going to be laid off.” The three quit as one.

Ms. Palin cited budget difficulties for the museum cuts. Mr. Cooper thought differently, saying the museum had become a microcosm of class and cultural conflicts in town. “It represented that the town was becoming more progressive, and they didn’t want that,” he said.

and

In 1997, Ms. Palin fired the longtime city attorney, Richard Deuser, after he issued the stop-work order on a home being built by Don Showers, another of her campaign supporters.

Your attorney, Mr. Showers told Ms. Palin, is costing me lots of money.

“She told me she’d like to see him fired,” Mr. Showers recalled. “But she couldn’t do it herself because the City Council hires the city attorney.” Ms. Palin told him to write the council members to complain.

Meanwhile, Ms. Palin pushed the issue from the inside. “She started the ball rolling,” said Ms. Patrick, who also favored the firing. Mr. Deuser was soon replaced by Ken Jacobus, then the State Republican Party’s general counsel.

“Professionals were either forced out or fired,” Mr. Deuser said.

and what Jes points to

While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. 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~!”

Mr. Bailey, a former midlevel manager at Alaska Airlines who worked on Ms. Palin’s campaign, has been placed on paid leave; he has emerged as a central figure in the trooper investigation.

Another confidante of Ms. Palin’s is Ms. Frye, 27. She worked as a receptionist for State Senator Lyda Green before she joined Ms. Palin’s campaign for governor. Now Ms. Frye earns $68,664 as a special assistant to the governor. Her frequent interactions with Ms. Palin’s children have prompted some lawmakers to refer to her as “the babysitter,” a title that Ms. Frye disavows.

Like Mr. Bailey, she is an effusive cheerleader for her boss.

“YOU ARE SO AWESOME!” Ms. Frye typed in an e-mail message to Ms. Palin in March.

Thank god the palin cheerleaders here don't use all caps.

This is a direct quote from the National review piece. It is the whole paragraph to avoid accusations of quote mining.

"What could possibly inspire such vitriol? A twelve-year-old controversy, in which Palin, the newly elected mayor of Wasilla, asked city librarian Mary Ellen Emmons at least three times how she would feel if asked to remove objectionable books from library shelves. Naturally, Emmons said she would refuse. A few months later, Palin asked for Emmons’ resignation. The new mayor said she felt Emmons, who had been appointed by Palin’s predecessor and political rival, didn’t fully support her agenda and should step aside. But Palin made no mention of book banning in her demand for the librarian’s resignation."

She wanted a librarian to resign because she "didn’t fully support her agenda ". A librarian. Not exactly a political rallying point, unless you think holding copies of "Origin of the Species" is dangerous. Given she is a creationist, possibly.

So if McCain wins, will she be expecting all those civil and public servants who voted Obama to do the same, because obviously they do not support his agenda.

Why ask a librarian about book removal? Once as a sop to her anti-science supporters, possibly, but surely she knew the answer. THREE TIMES? Eh?

From a political point of view... She's not very good really is she. To ask this question, when she must have known the answer, in such a way as to give a hostage to fortune, indicates a certain lack of nous.

Here's the local paper in realtime reporting on the issue: Palin sent Emmons a letter telling Emmons that her last day would be in 2 weeks, but then retracted this the next day.
http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/510219.html

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