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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Palin’s Hawaiian Past Will Haunt Her in 2012 Presidential Election


Turns out it’s not just President Obama whose Hawaiian whereabouts are in question:

Why did the 18-year-old beauty queen chose to live in go-go Waikiki, instead of student housing? Why won’t she say how she supported herself? Allow media to verify her alleged registration at three different campuses in 7 months? What about the rumors that she was pregnant?

Then there’s the mother of all speculations: Did Palin, aka "Barracuda" for her basketball prowess, find herself covering "Barry-O" on Kapiolani’s fabled Fire Station courts -- and if so, did sparks fly? (And if they did–where did they hide their love child?)

It’s all in The Realm of Possibility (tm). Read on for our 100% factual speculation.

Dateline Honolulu Nov 18 2009 – As thousands of fans line up to buy Sarah Palin’s book, the spotlight has returned to a still-unexplained gap in her resume: the seven months she spent in Hawaii after high school graduation. All the candidates’ lives were exhaustively scrutinized during the 2008 election campaign, but Palin’s surprise selection as vice-presidential nominee left the mainstream media scrambling to catch up to her colorful Alaskan roots and complicated family dynamics. Although the Hawaiian aspects of candidate Barak Obama’s life were also "exhaustively scrutinized," Palin’s tropical interlude escaped the same treatment–leaving unexplored the provocative question of how she supported herself while living in Waikiki, what were her true reasons for visiting Hawaii, and even the speculation that she met, and even played basketball with, her future rival and possible foe in the 2012 Presidential elections.

Palin herself tells the story of how she changed from tomboy to beauty queen in her senior year of high school. Friends and family have recalled how they were surprised and even shocked at how the scrappy basketball star nicknamed "Barracuda" went from slouchy sweats and Carhartt jackets to wearing sequined satin-polyester and high heels. It was a textbook case of discovering her attractiveness as a woman. And, like so many a small town wallflower making up for lost time, 18-year-old Sarah set off for the nearest big city–in this case, Honolulu.

Traveling with a high school girlfriend, Palin arrived poor and unprepared for the exotic and seductive streets of Waikiki. Palin has said variously that she attended three different colleges during her seven month sojourn, although she has repeatedly refused media requests to allow confirmation of her claims by accessing her records, protected under federal privacy laws. Only one school, Hawaii Pacific University, has affirmed her attendance, for a single semester.

Unusually for someone who has spent a "gap year," Palin has offered no details of her time in Hawaii: nothing about jobs, housing, tourist or cultural adventures, romance under the stars. She may be the only 18-year-old who traveled to the Islands during the peak of the surfing boom and never tried the sport–this despite practically living on the beach at Waikiki, the most tourist-friendly surf environment in the world, home to a cadre of beach boys who specialize in initiating Mainland wahines into Island mores.

The lack of detail is particularly curious because of the Waikiki connection. Where Palin lived was definitely not a student housing, being expensive, seedy and unsafe, particularly for women. It is, however, Hawaii’s 24/7 party zone, comparable to New Orleans’ own Latin Quarter or the Strip in Las Vegas or New York’s old Times Square, all world-famous attractions for tourists drawn to drinking, dancing, drugging, promiscuity and prostitution.
Most of the housing in 1982 Waikiki was of the shabby, SRO (single-room occupancy) kind, often rented by the hour. Transients, surf bums, hookers, petty criminals and drug dealers mixed with homeless Native Hawaiians squeezed out of their birthright, making life there, so close to the bright tourist lights of Kalakaua Boulevard and the International Marketplace, a bittersweet proposition. When you consider that 1982 was the climax of the disco era, a final flowering of polyester bodysuits, cocaine spoons worn as jewelry and amyl nitrates popped on the dance floor and boudoir for stamina, Palin’s silence is all the more indicative. As Sherlock Holmes said to a Scotland Yard detective, it’s the dog that doesn’t bark in the night that calls attention to itself.

Is the bark that didn’t happen, the great unspoken in this case, the trap that awaits young country girls, aspiring beauty queens, and runaways on their own in the big city? Are we talking about the plot of countless novels and movies, The Perils of Pauline, Jenny: A Girl of the Streets, Pretty Woman? In morality tales and real life, the progression is always the same, starting with taking a job in an establishment that hires pretty young things. Soon enough it becomes apparent that the $1.71 an hour minimum wage for restaurant workers won’t come close to making the rent. Around the time of this realization, a suggestion is made on how to supplement one’s income by being nice to the customers. Tourists, especially the Japanese, are generous to those who give personal attention. They buy more drinks, bottles for the table, private dances...

This is 100% speculation, but I’ve known of at least three girls who found themselves in the exact situation. In each case, they ran out of cash and couldn’t buy a plane ticket home. One called home in tears and got pried loose from the goon who was holding her passport as collateral (the job was teaching scuba diving). The other two took jobs, ironically, in Alaska; they too were bait-and-switches. Both girls took the bait. One ended up dead.

Is it fair game to question Palin about how she made the rent? About her uncharacteristic discretion? Given the rough-and-tumble of recent political campaigns, and the ongoing anti-Obama "birther" movement, the obvious answer would seem to be Harry Truman’s: "If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." But time and again when her version of events is challenged, Palin has played the gender card, and can be expected to do so here. (She might even cite Truman’s use of the word "kitchen" as evidence of subliminal woman-bashing.)

A true feminist might celebrate the thought of a teen beauty queen, away from home for the first time, claiming possession of her sexuality in such an environment as Waikiki’s. A true conservative might find it relevant if the same young woman were today jockeying for the most powerful elected leadership position in the world. As for Palin’s coy disclaimer that she isn’t interested in being President at present, wasn’t that stalling tactic at the heart of the McCain’s choosing her at the last second? While the mainstream media begged for background handouts tailored by GOP flacks, Palin could dominate the convention and revive the campaign. By the end of October, with McCain looking his age and worse, Palin was, in effect, running for President.

Right now Sarah Palin would no doubt love nothing more than for the media to declare a time out on any but fawning reportage. Then, by popular acclaim, unscarred and money coffers full, Palin could launch the first Presidential campaign by a talk show host. It’s a plan no more audacious than that of the first-term senator from Illinois who currently holds the office.

To wrap on an even more surreal note, it’s equally within the realm of possibility that the "Barracuda" point guard went one-on-one with the slick-shooting power forward from Punahou. The public basketball courts most frequented by visiting athletes and even celebrities happen to be in across the park from Waikiki, next to the Fire Station. Like New York City’s West 4th Street cage, the hot asphalt is where it’s at, where both young Barry and older Barak liked to showcase his game.

This brings up the inevitable, ultimate what-if: the likelihood that Barak and Sarah met, playing basketball. It’s certainly within the realm of "birther" possibility, a standard of truthiness that makes it almost a certainty that they guarded each other, got sweaty and, well, noticed the other was "hot." It happens in movies all the time.

The rest we'll leave to your naughty imaginations. But given that Sarah by her own account hid her last pregnancy, even from her husband, until she was 7 months along--before deciding not to abort Trigg--and given that we can say without refutation that 7 months was the same amount of time she was absent from public and family view in Waikiki–it begins to appear that we have no choice but to assume, using the same logical progression, that there is a love child of Sarah Palin and Barak Obama alive and well today.

Perhaps s/he’s living under an assumed name (Brandy O'Palin?). Perhaps s/he’s locked away in Gitmo or enjoying full Secret Service "protection" in a dusty Kenyan village far from civilization. The point is, we don't know, and that's wrong. We have a right to know.
These are the sort of questions that go unanswered because unasked–except when you’ve decided to risk another visit to....

[spooky music]

The Realm of Possibility.

[theme song and Outro]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obama Proposes "Literature for Clunkers" - TM

AP--Washington

President Barak Obama announced today a surprise stimulus package: "Literature for Clunkers." The details of the new program resemble those of the successful exchange of aging, pollution-spewing automobiles for newer, more gas-efficient models. "Here we are in the dawn of a new age," Obama said in a press conference in the Oval Office, "and people are dying for literature, actually perishing because of a paucity of the kind of news that stays new forever, as opposed to the meretricious kind that swamps our media outlets every single day." Raising up a hefty copy of the Dan Brown bestseller "Angels and Demons" in one hand, the President raised in his other hand a copy of little-known Andrei Platanov's "Fierce and Beautiful World." Dropping the Dan Brown novel on the dais with a resounding thud, he added, "All you have to do is bring in your used or unread schlock, and you will get a rebate from your bookseller on a work of lasting value, that never grows old, that will delight and succor your grandchildren as it did you." With an assist from daughters Malia and Sasha, the President then placed "Angels and Demons" in a shoebox. "See? Now we're going to take this one out to the Rose Garden and bury it so nature can work its magic."

Placing a spade on his shoulder and the shoebox under his arm, Obama exited the Oval Room with this quip: "Let me tell you, this kind of swap is a lot easier than those involving complicated derivatives. And it's a lot better for you, and the nation."