Someone Needs a Geography Lesson

…or at least a lesson on how to use any of the internet maps.

The Daily Mail has an article up on the arrest of some idiot who seems to have been stalking Sarah Palin.  The guy was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska “50 miles from [Palin’s] home town of Wasilla.”

This is the map that accompanies the article:

The reader is invited to check his or her preferred internet source for maps and directions to learn that 50 miles is a reasonable approximation of the distance between Anchorage and Wasilla.  You will also learn that on a map of the scale shown above, the distance between the two locations is just about 1/8 of an inch (at least on my monitor….your mileage may vary).

The best part is that the map does show a scale of what length 200 kilometers is.  By that scale, the map shows Anchorage and Wasilla to be about 170 miles apart (a very rough estimate on my part).

Alaska is over twice the size of Texas.  50 miles is next door.


Straw Poll Picks Pence for Pres!!

At this week’s Values Voter Summit in Washington the winner of the straw poll for President in 2012 was Mike Pence!!

This is just as I was beginning to think that Pence was more interested in being Majority Leader in the House than being President.

Note that the winner of the Vice President straw poll was also Pence, so the win goes to the second place Palin!

Yup.  That’s a ticket we can live with!  Pence/Palin!!

Taking The Easy Way

Given what Sarah Palin has been up to since I last commented on her, I have to conclude that she resigned as governor to either cash in or to run for president.  If she left to cash in, then I guess she’s not doing too bad a job of it.

But if she does indeed plan to run for president, then I do not believe she is going about things in a helpful way.  In a post at FrumForum, Danielle Crittenden describes a Palin appearance at a charity fundraiser in Canada.  Her appearance fee apparently was between $100,000 and $200,000, so that is definitely cashing in.*  Beyond the hefty fee, Crittenden describes how everything was arranged to limit Palin’s exposure to unscripted or unanticipated situations.

I am not paying enough attention to Palin to know if this is how her appearances are normally handled.  Assuming that it is, then this is poor training for a presidential run.  Her cozy perch at Fox News is also no help.  Now is exactly when she should be making as many appearances as possible and exposing herself to unscripted situations frequently so she can compile some experience dealing with them.  One does not get elected to the presidency without an ability to ad lib a wide variety of situations.

Sure, if she followed this advice, she might compile a resume of gaffs.  But the gaffs would be ancient history by the time 2012 came around.

* Long ago I read somewhere a comment that whenever an estimate varied by 100% or more, one could infer that there was really no clue as to the  actual number and the estimate was worse than worthless.  So who knows how much she was actually paid!


Somehow it already feels like ancient history, but the reader perhaps remembers the hubbub surrounding the book Game Change when it was published eight days ago.  Harry Reid was quoted talking about Obama’s lack of a Negro dialect.  Sarah Palin is also depicted negatively in the book.

Reid’s response was to stand up and admit he said what he said.  And he apologized.

Palin’s response was to simply state that the book was full of lies.

One might look at the two responses and draw conclusions about who is leadership material.

On the other hand, both of them responded in the way that their politics required of them.  Politics required Reid to man up and apologize.  Politics requires Palin to just declare the book to be lies.   (Maybe they are lies.  I don’t know).

With 63% of precincts reporting, the Republican Brown is defeating the Democrat Coakley in the Massachusetts senate race 53% to 46%.  It is not looking good.

Now the Democrats are faced with the question of what to do with health care reform.  Are they leaders or are they craven cowards to the political breeze.

TPM alerts us to the early leap by Indiana’s Bayh to cowardice.

The irony is that if the Dems listen to the lesson of Massachusetts and fail to pass health care, they will lose a lot more this fall then they will if they stand tall and pass the bill.  They already voted for it.

If Coakley does indeed lose, it probably means the end of Cap and Trade.   With luck the global warming deniers are correct.

Will we get leadership or politicians?


When Sarah Palin burst upon our consciousness, she brought her family along, including the baby, Trig.

The grandfather says Trig is named after his great uncle, a Bristol Bay fisherman.

I vaguely remember reading this explanation of the name at the time.  I gave no thought to where the name might have come from beyond that.

On page 405 of Coming Into the Country, McPhee is discussing the cabins of Dick and Donna.

The shanty that Dick and Donna use on stopovers in Eagle is only a little up from squalid…Their fish camp down the Yukon can be discouraging, too–a dirty, fetid, lightless cabin astink in aging salmon.  These more manifest habitations long ago earned Cook a reputation as a  sloven–among people who have never been here.  This secluded cabin (his home of homes) is neat and tidy–in fact, trig.

Upon reading this, I immediately thought about the Palin baby.  Visiting I find the following definitions:

neat, trim, smart, or spruce.

in good physical condition; sound; well.

to support or prop, as with a wedge.

to act as a check on (the moving of wheels, vehicles, etc.)

That is a complicated four letter name.  With luck the ironies will shift and multiply as he grows.

Sarah Palin

I guess Mrs. Palin had sympathy for Michael Jackson’s family.  I come home and it seems like everything in my Google Reader is about Sarah Palin.  There is plenty of speculation about why she is resigning.

I have seen arguments that her resigning the governorship will not hurt her presidential chances in 2012, and I have seen arguments that her chances for the presidency are now finished.  I would tend to agree with the latter.  I do not see someone winning the presidency when opponents can point and say “quitter.”

Time will tell.

I have never been a fan of Sarah Palin.  But I can see how she did well in Alaska.  And I can see how she may have been good for Alaska.  Alaska has 571,951.26 square miles and a population of 686,293 for a density of 1.19 people per square mile.  Plus, the state has large quantities of natural resources.  Residents do not pay state taxes, they get a check from the state for their share of the natural resource profits! (that’s socialism if anyone cares).

Given those facts, how much state government do Alaskans need?  Very little.  Palin’s ideology is minimal government.  A perfect fit.

When Palin was picked as McCain’s VP candidate, I had two problems with her.  I did not agree with her ideology and she was not prepared to deal with the issues of the country at large.  Yes, she had her idealogy and she had what she knew to do for Alaska, but she clearly had not given the issues of the country as a whole much thought.  I would want the VP to have spent a bit more time thinking about Iraq, Afganistan, Israel, and Iran; health care, recessions, bubbles, and fed policy than can be done in a six month cram session while furiously traveling the country campaigning.

I have no idea of what her plans are. And I wish her well.  But if she is planning to run for president in 2012 or 2016, I hope she uses the interim time to become familiar with the issues that a president may have to deal with so she can discuss them without so much reliance on conservative boilerplate.