Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More Palin

Why the hell not? It's not like there's anything interesting going on in the financial world.

I was watching The Daily Show last night, and Stewart nicely tore into Palin's record. Let's see if I can recall everything:

- Bridge to Nowhere support (already covered here)
- Over $400 Million in earmarks, even though she claims to be against that.
- Never went to Iraq, despite claiming she had
- Left Wasilla $20 million in debt after her run as mayor
- Made rape victims pay for the rape kits used in their investigations

Let's work backwards.

- Paying for rape kits.

See, this is a means of attack you seldom see from the Demo side. Yes, under her term as mayor, the police budget was changed to shift charges for rape kits from the police budget to the victims. Yes, this was done by the new chief of police that Palin hired after firing the old one. Yes, Palin signed off on this. Yes, she is ultimately responsible. But she didn't actually WRITE the police budget, that was the police chief. It was his call to remove that cost from their budget. It was ill-advised, short-sighted, and just plain stupid, especially from a PR standpoint. I imagine it then went through a few functionaries before landing on Palin's desk for a rubber stamp signature. Or maybe she was more involved than that (I mean, it's only a town of 7000 people, right?). But by reducing the whole thing to one sentence, it portrays her in a TERRIBLE light. Nice attack, too bad it came on a fake news cable comedy show. The Dem's need to fight a little dirty like this though to counteract the Republican crap. It's not dishonest, just lacking some details. But ultimately, she's still responsible for what is likely a single line in a budget report.

- Wasilla debt

Not sure if I can find a counterpoint to this one. She cut property and small business taxes in the town (scroll down to the part about tax cuts), but raised sales tax to fund a sports complex (which is popular, but cost the city a fair bit in a legal battle). She didn't shrink the government any, ran into legal problems with said complex, and the budget rose around $2 million over the length of her term. That $20 million is long-term debt, which puts her pretty much in line with the Bush idea of how to pay for things with money you don't have. Not exactly a die-hard fiscal conservative I suppose.

This brings up a problem I have with tax-cutters. It sounds great, but in order to cut taxes, you have to cut services and create a more efficient budget and government. Often, this second part of the equation doesn't happen. Cutting taxes in the current environment is absolute economic suicide.

But it plays well in the sticks.

- Iraq

Oh this one is kinda fun. See, she just got her passport in 2007! In her ONLY trip ever outside of North America, the campaign said she's been to Ireland, Germany, Kuwait and Iraq. Ireland turned out to be a fuelling stop. Iraq? Oh, well, she stood at a border crossing between Iraq and Kuwait, so maybe a toe was in the country. I guess that's not technically a lie.

Once, I was stuck in O'Hare for 8 hours waiting for a flight. So I've been to Chicago. I also stopped, but didn't disembark in Pittsburgh. Ooooo.. and once I missed a connection in Hawaii, so I was in Waikiki for 24 hours. I drove through the Green Zone in Israel... well on the highway along the fence. I also did a U-Turn at the border to the West Bank because I missed the entrance to a park. Oh, and once I made a fuelling stop in Anchorage.

Yay! VP with foreign experience!

- Earmarks

Not sure about the $400 million. That probably includes the Bridge to Nowhere money. Some fairly exorbitant costs for different areas of research. Millions to study crab mating habits, or seal populations... hmm.

Then there was her ABC interview. The big point seems to be her having no clue about the Bush Doctrine. Now granted, if you'd asked me about it, I wouldn't have known a damn thing either, especially when it sounds like a very generic term. But then, I'm neither American nor a VP candidate.

What's great about Palin is that no matter how attacks on her get deflected, cleared up, or ignored, more keep coming.

Naturally, she's no longer doing any interviews due to the "attacks" by the media and the "rampant sexism" being shown to her. Except maybe with FOX News, because they're "fair and balanced" after all.

Interestingly, Stewart's guest that night was talking up a book about Cheney. I think we've forgotten something in the last 8 years - the VP is a fairly useless position. The VP is there to break ties in the Senate, and take over if the President is rendered incapable of leading. Outside of that, they do secondary political functions, gladhand with leaders, visit places the President doesn't want to go, and play around with their own pet projects. Some are advisors to the Prez, and some are relegated to dark corners where they are ignored.

And this is where Palin will end up. It doesn't matter what her policies or positions are, because if McCain wins, you won't hear a peep from her again. She'll be a pretty face that smiles and says what she's told to say. She won't have a voice, and every backroom wheeler and dealer will be terrified that McCain will croak and she'll take over.

This lipstick on a pig thing? Stupid. She called herself a pitbull with lipstick at the RNC.

She's done absolutely NOTHING to change my opinion of her as an ignorant hockey mom from a backwater state without a clue about how the world works.

And the opening to Saturday Night Live perfectly pointed out how she's nowhere NEAR a suitable choice for a Clinton vote-grabber. In fact, she's quickly become the party's biggest liability. Although she does deflect any focus on McCain's shortcomings... I can't help but think this was part of the plan.


VinNay said...

As an American from your favorite city, and a independent who has not yet decided who to vote for, I feel compelled to respond.

1. Rape Kits - thats fucked up. But, I would like to know a few things though - how much does a rape kit cost? How many rapes occur annually in that town? And did any victim actually have to purchase a rape test kit? Budgets are funny things, and games sometimes need to be played with numbers. Does taking that money out of the budget mean it was removed as a named line item, but funds were still available from the operating budget? Inquiring minds want to know.

2. Wasilla Debt - Would like some references, but can't agree more - cutting taxes and raising spending is stupid.

3. Iraq - meh. Biden and Mccain are well traveled, Obama and Palin not. Whatever.

4. Earmarks - The way taxing works in the US is like this - the feds take all our money and then redistribute it out to the states. I can't really blame state reps for trying to get some of that money, that is what people elect them to do. It doesn't mean I like the system, but it is what it is.

Obama took crazy earmarks for Coal in his home state, Mccain lobbied for wind and solar in Arizona (which is why Obama voted for the Bush/Cheney energy bill, and Mccain voted against it BTW - despite the lies that the Dem campaign keeps spreading). Its the way it goes. Once in the role of Pres or VP however, I would expect that favoring your own state would become secondary to doing what is good for the nation as a whole.

5. Bush Doctrine - The Bush doctrine is not a single thing. It is a group of policies relating to foreign affairs. When Palin was asked if she believed in the Bush Doctrine, her answer was not "I don't know what that is," it was "Which Parts?"

She may not agree with all of the Bush polices, but may agree with some. I actually thought it was a good question by her, followed by an answer stating what parts she agreed with and and what parts she didn't.

The question was unfair to ask her and was only trying to paint her as 100% the same as, or 100% different than Bush, with no option of falling somewhere in the middle.

All this said, I am terrified of a Palin presidency if some were to happen to McCain. I have to imagine that if McCain could no longer act as president, Palin would be sent away and Tina Faye would take over ala Kevin Kilne in the movie Dave.

Julius_Goat said...

Wait, there is an election this year?

Riggstad said...

Ignorant hockey mom???
Are you fucking kidding me?

She became a Govenor of a state in the United States of America, and this is all you can come up with?

Ignorant Hockey Mom?

Seriously, you have discredit any attempt by you to show that you have any interest in being fair or honest about opinions as they relate to the campaing.

btw, I have a huge flank steak I got from the butcher, and I am torn over what to do with it!

Astin said...


1. $500-$1200 per kit. I don't have the other stats or info. In short, I don't think the blame lies at Palin's feet, but it is ultimately her responsibility.

2. I'll include some links

3. Yah, but what bugs me is that the Republicans paint Obama as inexperienced and Palin as ready-to-go, when she has even LESS experience than Obama. This "executive experience" line is bullshit, and everyone knows it.

4. Again - no problem with the fact it works that way, but a big problem with Palin preaching how anti-earmark she is. It's high hypocrisy, especially when she was governing the one of richest states during the oil boom.

5. Granted, but there is a specific annunciated "Bush Doctrine" in terms of foreign policy. This is something she should at least have been briefed on so she wasn't confused by the question. Her actual response was "In what way do you mean?" followed by, "You mean his world view?" Gibson cleared up specifically what he meant at that point.

I'd much rather have Tina Fey than Palin in office these days. At least it'd be funny then.

Goat: Yup, October 14th, Canadian Federal Election. You didn't know?

Astin said...

Riggs - I stated this before after her RNC speech. She isn't showing me a damned thing that paints her as otherwise to me. All I did was add an adjective to the EXACT way she describes herself. A hockey mom. A pittbull with lipstick. The ignorance has come through in spades every time she opens her mouth. She lacks any sort of worldly political experience and that's her achilles heel here. She shouldn't paint herself as a "hockey mom" if she can't take that being used against her. She shouldn't speak about things she isn't familiar enough with. If she stuck to issues she had a grasp on, and didn't bend the truth to fit the party line (when it can so easily be bent back with some investigation), there'd be a lot less to complain about.

She's governor of a isolated backwater state that has 1/5th the population of my CITY. And please spare me any belief that rising to a political position should automatically garner my respect. There have been some pretty stupid people in pretty powerful positions. Note, I never called Palin stupid, just ignorant.

But maybe it's just too easy to point out her faults. I'm frankly surprised the GOP didn't clamp down earlier.

As for the flank steak - tough piece of meat. Marinate it for a few hours in something acid-based (tomato, vinegar, citrus, wine, etc..), sear/grill it over high eat quickly, you want rare or medium-rare for maximum flavour. Be sure to cut across the grain after cooking to make it easier to eat.

VinNay said...

As far as exec experience goes, she is the second line on the ticket, not the first (as is the case for Obama). I'm not worried at all that she couldn't do a good job as VP, I'm just worried about her if she needed to step up to P.

I'm also worried about Obama as P, and that is the position he is actually running for.

OhCaptain said...

It would be nice to have a MILF in the White House. It's been far too long since anything remotely resembling an attractive woman near there.

That being said. I've spent 20 minutes in Detroit and 1 hour and 50 minutes in Atlanta. Not sure I missed anything in Detroit.

Everyone should just be grateful they don't live in Minnesota. Not only are the usual presidential candidates flooding the airwaves with FUD, I've got Al Franken vs Norm Coleman. These guys know how to run a negative ad campaign. Franken actually compared Coleman to a drunken bowler...that's how you win over the working man.

lightning36 said...

I live in Illinois, Obama's home state. No one knew who Obama was before his big speech at the DNC.

Experience? He was a Chicago machine politician -- meaning Michael Madigan gave him all his working orders. My state has the worst government in the union. Can't even pass a budget.

A couple years as a US senator -- that's what he has. Needless to say, he spends little time representing his state ...

This is the guy who would be president? He SOUNDS good. And of course many in the international community would like to see him be president. They'd sure like an inexperienced pushover.