Top 11 (non-racist) Reasons Sarah Palin Left Hawaii

The Huffington Post is reporting that Sarah Palin‘s father, Chuck Heath, told biographers that his famous daughter left college in Hawaii because Asians made her uncomfortable. They highlight a passage from the New Yorker book review of “Sarah From Alaska” to make the case that the “Going Rogue” author’s escape from the Islands was a case of white flight. Not convinced? Here are 10 other reasons it could have been.

Here’s the passage in question, first flagged by The New Republic:

According to (Heath), the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable: “They were a minority type thing and it wasn’t glamorous, so she came home.”

TNR asks why this passage hasn’t gotten more media attention. As the 3rd-most-popular post on HuffPo, I’d say that’s on its way to being a moot question. Still, I would hazard a guess that a paraphrase of a 25 year old conversation doesn’t quite meet the bar for calling someone a racist.

Palin herself says, in Going Rogue, that ” “Hawaii was a little too perfect…Perpetual sunshine isn’t necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaska girls.”

For those of you who aren’t convinced that Palin was a teenage xenophobe, but are equally disinclined to take her at her word, here are some other possibilities.

Top 11 Reasons Sarah Palin Left Hawaii for Idaho State

11. Palin was angry that that she’d spent months trying to learn to “speak Macadamian.”

10. After an entire semester, she still hadn’t managed to get lei’ed.

9. Couldn’t shake the terrifying feeling that ukulele players were actually giants holding guitars.

8. Was unable to see Russia, or any other country, from her dorm.

7. Spooked by rerun of “The Brady Bunch” Hawaii 3-parter.

6. Actually loved Hawaii, but really wanted to meet Don Ho’s mom, Ida.

5. Was ejected by US Geological Survey for trying to get volcanoes to “abstain from erupting.”

4. Thought she could do more for Hawaii by going to Idaho.

3. Disappointed that locally purchased Hawaiian Punch didn’t taste more “authentic.”

2. Refused to stand before Hawaii Pacific University’s “F Panel.”

1. Fled police inquiries into attempted birth certificate heist.

Sarah Palin Exploits 9/11 in Response to President Obama’s Speech

I was perusing my Facebook wall today when I noticed that a private citizen had posted a response to the President’s 505px-Sarah_Palin_Kuwait_22aaddress on health care.  “Oh, it’s Sarah,” I thought. “This ought to be good.”

Sarah is one of my Facebook friends, and while she knows very little about health care, her rants on the subject are frequently entertaining.

This one was shaping up to be a disappointment, however, a lame rehash of things that Republican politicians have been saying.  Then, right towards the end, she brung it, and brung it good:

Finally, President Obama delivered an offhand applause line tonight about the cost of the War on Terror. As we approach the anniversary of the September 11th attacks and honor those who died that day and those who have died since in the War on Terror, in order to secure our freedoms, we need to remember their sacrifices and not demonize them as having had too high a price tag.

Amoosehuntersayswhat?

I’m pretty familiar with the President’s speech, and I don’t remember the “War on Terror” coming up at all.  I went back over the transcript, looking for this demonization, and this is the closest thing I could find:

Now, part of the reason I faced a trillion-dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for — from the Iraq war to tax breaks for the wealthy.  (Applause.)  I will not make that same mistake with health care.

Now, even granting that the Republican “mind” equates the Iraq War with 9/11, a talking point that the reality-based community has long since dismissed, I’m hard-pressed to see the demonizing in that statement.

The President did make mention of the war in Afghanistan later in the speech:

Now, add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years — less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration.  (Applause.)

Again, Sarah, I’m not seeing it.

What I am seeing is a pretty offensive attempt by a former politician to score political points by exploiting one of our nation’s greatest tragedies.  Of course, it makes more sense when you realize that, as David Corn reports today, Palin has joined forces with the neocons to try and mess up Afghanistan as badly as they did Iraq.

I have been the first person to defend Sarah Palin when she has been treated unfairly, despite my nearly full disagreement with her on just about everything, but this is indefensible.

The fact that no-one else seems to have noticed is a testament to her newly-found private citizen-hood.  She’s quickly proving that, as a leader, she’s a pretty good Facebook friend.

Postlet #4: Longer Lives are Less Than Worthless

0322091800

Damn, do I ever get tired of double-talk on health care.  First, Section 1233 was, if not the gateway to Death Panels, then it was a cold, worrisome treatment of mortality vs. cost.  Now, when it comes to the idea of extending life through preventive medicine, that’s a bad idea because longer lives cost money:

As it turns out, there may be very little savings at all from preventive care:

Using data from long-standing clinical trials, researchers projected the cost of caring for people with Type 2 diabetes as they progress from diagnosis to various complications and death. Enrolling federally-insured patients in a simple but aggressive program to control the disease would cost the government $1,024 per person per year — money that largely would be recovered after 25 years through lower spending on dialysis, kidney transplants, amputations and other forms of treatment, the study found.

However, except for the youngest diabetics, the additional services

This is all pushback against a study that says CBO isn’t factoring in savings from preventive care.  But even if you accept the idea that longer lives mean more health care, does that mean that those longer lives will necessarily be unproductive?  And even if you accept that, isn’t rejecting preventive care something akin to a Death Panel?  In other words, won’t these people just say any fucking thing at this point?  And won’t the media, except for Jake Tapper and me, just “he said/she said” the whole deal?

Americans Get President’s Message, Democrats Not So Much

briefing1At today’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs cited an NBC poll that shows that shows that only 45% of Americans currently believe in “Death Panels.” He cited this as evidence that the President has been effective in debunking myths about health care reform.

I would argue that 45% is an awfully large number to believe in a health care Sasquatch, but even granting that, the President’s effectiveness at combating myths is cold comfort if the Democrats in congress don’t get the message.  I asked Gibbs what happens to the next health care provision to become the subject of an urban legend:

TC:  On health care, you were talking about Chuck’s poll earlier, that — I mean, the good news that most Americans no longer believe in death panels. But the fact remains that Section 1233 was taken out of the House bill. So what can you do to reassure voters that the same fate won’t befall other provisions of the bill if some rumor like the death panels gets started about the public option?

MR. GIBBS: I don’t — I’m not following the thesis of your — the section that’s been pulled out.

TC:Section 1233 about the end-of-life care.

MR. GIBBS: It’s been?

TC: There was a report earlier this week that it’s been dropped.

MR. GIBBS: Well —

TC: Is that not true?

MR. GIBBS: This is in a Senate Finance Committee bill that nobody has seen? Look, what I’m saying is, I think the President is going out there and explaining what those provisions are and what they’re not — regardless of whether they’re in what section of what bill at what time, I think it’s something that the President has been focused on doing and correcting the record. I think it has more to do with a sustained dialogue in dealing with the misrepresentations as it has whether or not a provision may or may not have been dropped.

While I’m happy to credit the President with quelling some of the “death panel” nonsense, I would be more comforted if he could lend some of his, shall we say, fortitude to his panicky congressional standard-bearers.