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.