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Sarah Palin

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Opinion: Perry Has Disrupted Bachmann, Romney Ties to Tea Party

Thursday, September 01, 2011

There is no one Tea Party, and they have no formal political party structure or candidates. They are a movement and as such they are fluid, unpredictable, and very subject to the whims of small factions.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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Opinion: Don't Blame Sarah Palin for Wanting, or Getting, the Spotlight

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is it unfair for her to capture and hold this type of attention despite not being a candidate? Absolutely not, and it's not her job to dissuade the press from reporting on her every move.

-Karol Markowicz, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why Ames was a Win for Ron Paul (Not Bachmann) and Where the GOP Race Goes Now

Sunday, August 14, 2011

All Bachmann did was hold on to a tenuous first place in a rapidly changing and dangerous environment. Ron Paul may have actually “won” the straw poll because it’s an expectations game.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Iowa Straw Polls of Years Past Offer Few Predictions. Here's One Anyway

Friday, August 12, 2011

The straw poll allows minor and far-fetched individuals to run in a visible contest and have a good time, but doesn't mean much. The 2007 Poll was an especially good example of this where Mitt Romney won the Poll, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee took home the caucus victory, and Sen. John McCain got the nomination.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Scoring the Iowa Debate - Bachmann Makes Good, Palin Wins in Absentia

Friday, August 12, 2011

I blogged the Ames debate live for WNYC, New York and I came away with the following observations.

First, the debate was way too long. In Operas you have an intermission and then resume the show – my dad always fell asleep in the second half. In debates ...

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It's A Free Country ®

The GOP Debate in Iowa: Where They Disagreed

Friday, August 12, 2011

While the pointed sparring between Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and former Governor Tim Pawlenty drew the most headlines after the GOP debate, there's was just one of many disagreements among the eight Republican candidates on stage in Ames, Iowa. 

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Iowa Straw Poll Preview: Who's In and Who Will Win?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Once again the process is pregnant with too many people who think they are qualified to even mention that they are running for president.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Country ®

Campaign Trailer Critic: Sarah Palin's 'The Undefeated'

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Full disclosure: The Campaign Trailer Critic has not seen the entire documentary on Sarah Palin, directed by Stephen Bannon.

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It's A Free Country ®

Melinda Henneberger Sets Washington's Week

Monday, June 06, 2011

In a way she’s doing exactly what she promised, because she promised that this trip around America would be to get us talking and remembering and being grateful for American history, and I can’t remember when Paul Revere got more ink than he has since Sarah Palin started talking about him.

Melinda Henneberger, contributing editor to Time.com, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Country ®

Operating in Palin's Shadow May Cast Romney in Better Light

Thursday, June 02, 2011

As former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney begins the official portion of his campaign for the presidency, he is sure to draw the most attention in national headlines – particularly with the establishment vs. rogue narrative being pushed along by Sarah Palin’s unorthodox summer road trip. 

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Suggested Stops for the Sarah Palin Roadtrip

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Palins are coming! The Palins are coming! The former half-term governor of Alaska is hitting the East Coast with a tour "highlighting the great things about America." While she's at it, here are a few other East Coasts she'd do well to visit to truly celebrate America.

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The Takeaway

Palin to Embark on 'One Nation' Bus Tour

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sarah Palin has announced that she'll be spending her Memorial Day weekend on a bus tour along the East Coast. The high-profile announcement comes as speculation that the former Alaska Governor will enter the field for the 2012 Republican nomination increases. Jordan Fabian, staff writer for The Hill helps us shed some light on the 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate's future intentions.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: How We Know Sarah Palin is Running for President

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nowadays the thing about running for president is that it can be a great career-booster for other stuff you are doing. Say you have a reality TV show with flagging ratings. You run for president, say a lot of provocative things like declaring a trade war with Italy by banning all pasta from American soil. Now you’ve really gotten some attention and you may end up with half a billion in free media. Then you say, 'I’m too busy spending time with my three ex-spouses so I decided I’m not running.'

-Steffen Schmidt, predicting Sarah Palin will definitely join the 2012 GOP race.

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It's A Free Country ®

Will Travel for District: History's Notable Carpetbaggers

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Word is that Dennis Kucinich is on the hunt for a new political home. The Ohio Congressman’s losing his seat to redistricting, and rather than run head-to-head with a neighboring representative, he’s considering flexing his national celebrity across the country from Cleveland in a Congressional district in Washington State.

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It's A Free Blog

The Four Types of GOP Candidate - and Why They're All a Tough Sell

Monday, May 23, 2011

Herman Cain - gotta love him, but he appears to be this year's Mike Gravel or Alan Keyes — the guy that is fun to watch in the debates, but is more of a cartoon of a particular belief system than a candidate many people will seriously consider voting for.

-Solomon Kleinsmith, on the weakness of the 2012 GOP field.

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Operavore

Two Adams Combine their Ribs for an Operatic Eve

Friday, April 01, 2011

Earlier this morning it was announced that composers John Adams and John Luther Adams will be collaborating on an opera—the former’s seventh and the latter’s first. Their proposed subject matter? An opera based on the life of Sarah Palin.

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Transportation Nation

News Analysis: As Political Climate Shifts, Obama Energy Policy Holds

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

((Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation)   At the almost-end of the 2008 presidential primary season -- May, 2008 -- gasoline prices went through the roof , up to $5 a gallon in some areas of the country.  The price hike prompted near-panic, along with car-pooling, more mass transit rides, more careful grocery lists (just one trip to the supermarket) -- and a very big policy debate.

As it happened,  Hillary Clinton, fighting the last days of the primary, got behind a gas tax cut.  Most economists dismissed the idea -- not only would the gas tax cut simply disappear in the rising price of gasoline, they argued, but it would also bankrupt the already broke highway trust fund.

Barack Obama did not get behind the gas tax cut, even though, as I trailed the two candidates through the rolling hills of Indiana, cutting the gas tax got some of the biggest whoops of any proposals during Hillary Clinton's speeches.  Obama called it a gimmick.

He still thinks so, today.

"We’ve been down this road before," he told an enthusiastic audience of Georgetown University students at a speech (video here) on energy security today. "Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 a gallon. Working folks haven’t forgotten that. It hit a lot of people pretty hard. But it was also the height of political season, so you had a lot of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians waving three-point-plans for two-dollar gas – when none of it would really do anything to solve the problem. Imagine that in Washington.

"The truth is, of course, was that all these gimmicks didn’t make a bit of difference. When gas prices finally fell, it was mostly because the global recession led to less demand for oil. Now that the economy is recovering, demand is back up. Add the turmoil in the Middle East, and it’s not surprising oil prices are higher. And every time the price of a barrel of oil on the world market rises by $10, a gallon of gas goes up by about 25 cents."

Indeed, President Barack Obama has had a remarkably consistent position on energy through his campaign and his presidency, even as the political climate has dramatically shifted.

In September of 2008, I was watching Rudy Giuliani give his address to the Republican National Convention with Congressman Peter King.  "Drill, Baby Drill," Giuliani said, as King cringed "we're not supposed to use the 'D-word,' we're supposed to say 'explore.'"  Still - the genie was out of the bottle. The crowd roared when Giuliani said that, and when Sarah Palin picked up the refrain during her acceptance of the Vice Presidential nomination later during the Minneapolis convention.

But despite the popularity of that slogan, talking about developing solutions to climate change and oil dependency was, in those days, a much more bi-partisan issue than it has since become.   Just two years later, In the elections of 2010, several Republicans won by practically spitting when mentioning Democratic support for what they called "cap and trade" legislation.

But Barack Obama?  In 2008, he supported a combination of nuclear power, alternative energy, and mass transit use.  Today?  He supports a combination of nuclear power, alternative energy, domestic oil drilling (the "Drill,Baby, Drill) part of his policy, and mass transit use.

"Seventy percent of our petroleum use goes to transportation," he said today."Seventy percent."

His speech today (full text here) made a careful argument.  We must, he posited, reduce oil consumption by a third in a decade.  To get there, he proposed, first, the US must exploit its own supplies -- "as long as it's safe and responsible."

"When it comes to drilling onshore,"  he added, in a line of argument that might surprise some of his 2008 primary voters -- "my Administration approved more than two permits last year for every new well that the industry started to drill.  So any claim that my Administration is responsible for gas prices because we’ve “shut down” oil production might make for a useful political sound bite – but it doesn’t track with reality.

And, then, in an adroit Obama-esque intellectual maneuver, he added "But let’s be honest – it’s not the long-term solution to our energy challenge.  America holds only about two percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.  And even if we drilled every drop of oil out of every one of those reserves, it still wouldn’t be enough to meet our long-term needs."

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We May Have Rudy Giuliani To Kick Around Again

Friday, March 25, 2011

Giuliani's infidelity is nothing compared to his potential GOP rivals, and his shameful betrayal of his then-wife Donna Hanover is of less importance to me than the betrayal of the city he claims to love. That's right: Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a traitor against New York City.

--Justin Krebs, on "America's Mayor" as 2012 presidential hopeful

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It's A Free Country ®

Sarah Palin Fuels 2012 Talk at Long Island Luncheon

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin did nothing to tamp down speculation about her 2012 plans during a speech in Long Island on Thursday.

When asked who would make the ideal Republican challenger, she said she couldn't offer any names, before adding, “What I would look for is a mom, somebody who's administered locally, state, interstate with energy issues, so maybe a mayor, a governor, an oil commissioner, maybe somebody who's already run for something, vice president. I don't know!”

“It's going to be a blast to see who does offer themselves up,” Palin said.

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The Empire

Controlling the Sarah Palin Brand

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An attorney for photographer Jeff Schultz said this portrait of Sarah Palin is copyright protected. A NYC restaurant owner who used the image in \'08 was asked to pay the photographer two years later. (From attorney\'s letter to restaurant owner Padriac Sheridan.)

Two years after posting what he thought was the official portrait of Governor Sarah Palin, a Manhattan restaurant owner got a letter from a lawyer saying the image - which was still on his web site - was private property. The lawyer said his client wanted at least $30,000 in damages.

My story:

So, how did [photographer Jeff] Schultz come to own the Palin portrait, which he, and at least one attorney, are litigiously protecting?

"Jeff has had the pleasure of taking Sarah Plain's official state photo," according to a profile of him on the Copyright Alliance web site.

Indeed, smaller, closely-cropped version of the portrait of Palin appears to have been available on the Alaska governor's official web site back in 2008. It can still be found there when accessed through archive.org, a web site that allows visitors to see what web sites looked like in the past.

The portrait of Palin was used by another web site, the Catholic News Service, in August 2008 with the following credit: "CNS/Jeff Schultz, Alaskan governors office."

Schultz is a professional photographer based in Alaska. Among the copyright images on Schultz's web site are at least 280 of Palin. (Images of Palin include one where she is wrapped in an American flag, holding a freshly caught fish, playing hockey on a frozen lake and holding a shotgun over her left shoulder. Several are from Palin's time in the governor's office, including several from the "Governor's Inaugural Ball" from 2007.)

It is unclear if Palin herself is aware of Schultz's effort to guard against uncompensated usage of her image. Palin's own efforts to control her brand include an unsuccessful attempt to trademark her name and that of her daughter, Bristol.

Back in Manhattan, [Padriac] Sheridan said he still resents having paid [attorney Eric] Meltzer and his client for leaving the Palin image on his web site.

"Maybe if we had gone to court we could have proven it actually was legitimate for us to use at the time," he said.

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