Late Night: How Do You Say “Grifter” in Dutch?
As we steel ourselves for the upcoming “National Festival of Missing ‘G’s” and Paranoics Anonymous meetings surrounding the release of real-world Internet troll Sarah Palin’s latest tract on how to be a hypocritical, vindictive leech who will go so far as to game a cheesy dance contest to exact revenge on the world for her loss in 2008, Mother Jones sheds new light on the the research “brains” behind SarahPAC. “America By Heart” indeed:
In recent months, Sarah Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, has paid thousands of dollars to a mysterious company that’s gone to significant lengths to mask its ownership. Addresses linked to the firm lead to mail drops. It has no website. No phone number. Not even the California lawyer who incorporated the company knew who was behind it. But a Mother Jones investigation has found that this firm is run by an unlikely foreign political operative.
Managed by a shell company, and incorporated in a state with favorable tax laws and scant disclosure requirements, Paideia’s corporate structure virtually assured anonymity. But interviews and a review of domestic and international business records led to the identity of Paideia’s owner—which presented yet another mystery: Why is Palin’s political action committee employing a Dutch right-wing journalist named Joshua Livestro, who is known for incendiary rhetoric?
Not surprisingly, Livestro’s views skew to the right. He helped to found the Edmund Burke Foundation, a right-wing Dutch think tank created to push back against progressive politics in the Netherlands. In one manifesto, citing the number of Muslims in the Netherlands, the foundation warned of ethnic conflict and said the country’s borders should be closed. In the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland, Livestro once wrote that the gruesome photos depicting detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib resembled little more than an out-of-control frat party; he complained that Abu Ghraib critics were “cry-babies” exaggerating the episode’s signficiance. On his blog, Livestro similarly quipped that the CIA’s torture techniques—with the exception of waterboarding—were milder than the hazing methods of fraternities. On the issue of climate change, Livestro falls into the denier camp: Last year, he wrote that the Climategate e-mail scandal showed there was no need for tackling a global climate treaty.
It certainly comes as no surprise that Palin would align herself with a right-wing lunatic in order to bone up on all matters potentially presidential; after all, she DID hire OfDoughy Pantload to “write” that mindless, jibbering dreck Harper Collins just published. What is rather amusing is that the Nativist-in-Chief had to reach all the way to the Netherlands (also home to Pam Geller’s white supremacist BFF, Geert Wilders) to find just the right propagandist to reinforce her narrow, bigoted, and downright idiotic world view. For someone who spends so much time parroting the same tired jingoisms (no, Bristol, that isn’t what got you pregnant) in the name of “patriotism,” it is more than a little ironic that she hired a “furrner” to run her research department.
Maybe for Livestro’s next trick, he can advise the Boreal Narcissus on Africa’s status as a continent and how to forever avoid a rematch with the dreaded Katie Couric.