Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Separating Palin Fact from Palin Fiction

It seems like every other day there is a new rumor about Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin. Yesterday I posted an entry taking a deeper look at the truth about her tax views, but there are dozens of other non-tax related stories floating the Internet about Palin. Below are some of those rumors – either true or debunked – from a list compiled by Charlie Martin of Pajamas Media, who took the time to separate the fact from fiction in recent rumors about the Governor.

  • No, Willow and Piper are not named for witches on TV. Among other things, Willow was born before Buffy came on TV, and Piper was born before Charmed.
  • Yes, it appears that she has a Big Dipper tattooed on her ankle. She lost a bet.
  • No she was not a member of the (wild-eyed libertarian) Alaska Independence Party, although her husband once was.
  • No, she was never a Pat Buchanan supporter – even when Buchanan claims she was, she was on the board of Steve Forbes’ campaign in Alaska.
  • No, Buchanan does not support her now – in fact, he is supporting Obama. Buchanan did think her speech was amazing, but then so do 80 percent of the people who saw it.
  • Yes, she was apparently pregnant when she got married
  • Yes, barring Immaculate Conception virgin birth, Bristol appears to have had sex with her fiancee. No, Bristol didn’t receive only “abstinence-only” sex ed.
  • No, it wasn’t/won’t be [bad tense, has not happened yet] a shotgun wedding; Bristol and Levi been engaged for a good while according to Levi’s mother. It was either an accident or just an unconventional order.
  • Yes, she did try, clearly unsuccessfully, to get Bristol married off to her fiancĂ©e before the story came out.
  • Yes, she did fire the public safety guy — but he said in the Anchorage paper that, for the record, she never, and no one else in her administration ever, tried to make him fire her ex-brother-in-law.
  • And yes, the state trooper (her sister’s ex-husband) she was worried about did: tase her 10 year old nephew; drive his state patrol car while drinking or drunk; did threaten to “bring her down”; and did threaten to murder her father and sister if they dared to get an attorney to help with the divorce.
  • Yes, the state trooper was suspended when he was put under a court protective order.
  • No, the trooper wasn’t fired.
  • Yes, she did try to cut her own salary as mayor by $4000 a year; yes, she had voted against the $4,000 a year raise while on the city council.
  • No, she didn’t cut funding for unwed mothers; yes, she did increase it by “only” 354 percent instead of 454 percent, as part of a multi-year capital expenditures program. No, the Washington Post doesn’t appear to have corrected their story. Even after this was pointed out in the comments on the story.
  • No, she didn’t cut special needs student funding; yes, she did raise it by “only” 175 percent.
  • Yes, she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive; no, they couldn’t; yes, it was “rhetorical, at least as was reported contemporaneously in 1996
  • No, the list of books she wanted to ban that’s being passed around is not real; among other things, it includes a number of books published after her time in office there.
  • Yes, she apparently believes in some variant of intelligent design.
  • No, she didn’t try to force the schools to teach it; she said if someone brought it up, it was an appropriate subject for debate.
  • No, she doesn’t believe in “abstinence only” education. Yes, she thinks abstinence is an effective way of preventing pregnancy. Duh. Yes, she believes kids should learn about condom use in schools.
  • Yes, she did smoke marijuana, when it was legal in Alaska. Yes, she apparently did inhale.
  • Yes, she kills animals and eats them, and wears their skins.
  • Yes, she was a beauty contest contestant.
  • Yes, she was once a sportscaster.
  • Yes, she has a college degree in journalism, but I won’t hold that against her, as she seems to have found honest work as well.
  • Yes, she was vetted extensively, not just in three days — I’ve got links to press reports about people coming to Wasilla on May 29, and we had her on our Veepstakes at PJM from the first day we ran it.
  • Yes, Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech was written by a speechwriter. Duh. No, none of Obama’s, McCain’s, nor Biden’s speeches were impromptu off the cuff things either.
  • Yes, she did put the governor’s plane on eBay. No, that’s not how it was finally sold. Yes, McCain did say it wrong. Bad McCain.

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