Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thoughts on the Palin Speeches

The Highlight:
As they all gathered on stage after the speech, particularly an uncomfortable looking Levi and his preggers GF, all I could think was "biggest shotgun wedding ever". Man that guy looked like a moose caught in headlights. A million tabloid dollars for his thoughts! (And that might be his best job opportunity right now.)

The other highlight was reminding us of Harry Truman. Truman was VP for less than three months before the President died and put him the position of negotiating the partition of Europe, where many still argue that he gave away 1/4 of Germany by splitting it in half rather than quarters. But, oddly enough, she forgot to mention that the "haberdasher from Missouri" had been a US Senator from Missouri for a decade before he became VP. That national experience was crucial when he had to step onto the world stage without even knowing the US had an atomic bomb that was almost ready to be used. Even with all that, Sarah Palin is no Harry Truman. She didn't even have a passport until last year? Sheesh.

But I really liked how she spent more than 10 minutes talking about her family and only a few minutes lying about Obama's strong position in favor of going after Al Qaeda rather than fighting someone else's civil war as McCain preferred to do while bin Laden rebuilt his organization, and a few more lying about his tax plan and tap dancing around McCain's massive deficit plan. Others spent much more time lying about the Democratic ticket, so that was a plus. Otherwise, it was strong on insult and weak on specifics. It seemed like her only comment on foreign policy was that we should "Drill Baby Drill" so it would not matter if Russia captured the pipeline in Georgia.

Russia: We're going to invade the Ukraine.
Palin: We'll drill for oil off of Florida. Fixed you!

But the highlight was talking about bring back small government. Based on her huge goverment in Alaska? And not raising taxes? Gov. Palin pushed through a HUGE TAX INCREASE on oil that all of us are paying at the gas pump. That windfall is why her state has a budget surplus, not vetoes or good management.

You see, I have a good ear for numbers and order of magnitude. Last night I heard something about her executive experience that just did not make sense for a state with less than 700,000 residents. Their budget is what? They have how many state employees? The state budget of the state of Alaska totals more than $16,000 per person. The US budget is almost half that, only about $9100 per person, and that is while supporting an army fighting a war in Iraq! Even the most bloated "elite eastern government" like the one Rudy Guiliani ran is a fraction of that. Delaware? Delaware has 25% more people than Alaska, but only 30% of its budget. Delaware spends less than $4000 per person, less than a quarter of the gargantuan, bloated budget Palin brags is "limited".

How can the residents of Alaska afford the taxes to pay for all of that government? They don't have to. We pay the taxes down in the lower 48, and Alaskans each get $1500 of it, in cash, to spend as they wish.

Once the media get past the hypocrisy of family values that saw John McCain "forget" about his adopted child when posing for a family portrait on the People magazine cover and Lieberman tap dancing as fast as he can to avoid answering a question about Palin being ready to deal with Russia on Day One, maybe they will get to pocketbook issues like Palin raising the price of our gasoline to pay for the bloated budget in Alaska - and then pretending Alaskans had to sacrifice to pay for the Bridge to Nowhere themselves.

Finally, I'm sure everyone noticed that one of the speakers broke the rule about attacking family members with a snide attack on Michelle Obama's patriotism. So much for that promise of civility from the McCain campaign.

PS -
If you want to see Republicans hoisting themselves on their own petards, be sure to see a rerun of tonight's (Wednesday 9/3) Daily Show. Most. Brilliant. Use. Of. Clips. Ever.

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