Saturday, September 06, 2008

Why Palin's 82 percent popularity ain't all it's cracked up to be

Alaska has an estimated population of 680,000, which is about half that of Cuyahoga County where I live. Cleveland proper has a population of about 478,403. Add the populations of a handful of inner ring municipalities such as Lakewood, Bedford, East Cleveland and Euclid and you've as many people living in about 100 square miles in what's known as the greater Cleveland area as you've got in all 656,424 square miles of Alaska.

So remember that from now on: Palin is popular in a place as big as greater Cleveland as far as head count is concerned.

Alaska is also filthy stinking rich on account of their oil. Their 2007 budget surplus was $1.2 billion and is estimated to go up to $5 billion in the next couple of years while oil prices soar and poor bastards like you and me pay out the ass to fill our tanks and drive to the shitty discount grocer and buy a lousy can of beans for 79 cents (if you're lucky).

Every Alaskan gets a rebate check from state oil revenue, which this year, Palin upped from $2,100 to $3,300.

Believe me people, if I handed out three grand to everyone in Cleveland, I'd get 80 percent of them to say they damn well approved of me too, maybe even 90 percent on account of my general fabulosity.

The deeper I get into the smoky cloud around Palin, the worse it stinks. I'm telling you people, this broad is all empty calories on top of a heaping helping of religious zealot.

I'm telling you. I'm telling you. I'm telling you.

38 comments:

jonas said...

So let me get this straight: the government equally distributes resources to it's proletariat...I mean, citizens?

What do you think the chances are of the AK gov's office telling people: "we're going to spend that money on health care for you all?" Not a chance, right? But, because that equal distribution is cash and not services, its less socialist. Is that the idea?

At what point is the political scale tipped from left to right when it comes to governmental distribution of resources?

Just sayin...kinda odd.

Erin O'Brien said...

I really wasn't commenting on the politics behind the distribution, I just want to draw attention to this "enormously popular" politician that garners that description from a scant handful of people in a economically wealthy state.

Alaska has as many people as Memphis Tennessee and its oil revenue is staggering.

Erin O'Brien said...

I'm up to my ass right now, but poke around and you'll see that they're fighting like dogs about how to spend their $$ up in AK.

Wait'll that miserable broad gets an eyeful of a town like Youngstown, OH. or Detroit, MI.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jonas,

At what point would you give your mother or your next door neighbor some of your 3K to buy their medicine if they couldn't afford it?

Randy, proud member of the proletariat you bourgeois bastard.

The revolution is long overdue.

GLITTERGIRL said...

everyone i know keeps saying the same thing. there's just something very off or "wrong" about palin. once you get past the tina fey looks, you see someone devoid of humor & warmth, who seems to operate on pure manipulation.

she's a brunette "fem-bot" with a mean agenda. one of those folks hunter s. thompson would have torn to shreds.

so keep digging and talking about it!!!

Erin O'Brien said...

Anyone is entitled to any opinion they choose in this comment section.

But please, no name calling.

Anonymous said...

"But Mom! He started it!"

(My apologies, RJ)

Erin O'Brien said...

I am about to sound like a sap, but I'm just so thankful to live in a time when we can all have these open, public discussions with all their appropriate and inherent emotion.

This is what we're supposed to be doing. Thanks to everyone who participates.

People bitch about the Internet turning us into blobs, but I see it allowing regular joes to have national discussions. It's beautiful, really.

Your humble hostess,

Erin Sugartits O'Brien

Trée said...

Erin, no pun intended, but you're singing to my choir. I think all we need to know about Palin is told to us by the actions of the McCain camp--do not let her talk to anyone at anytime about anything. And I was thinking Jindal was a lightweight. Hell, Bobby looks like Gandhi next to her.

Anonymous said...

It's intriguing isn't it tree,

While technically the VP is elected she could concievably find herself a heartbeat from the presidency without having given a single interview.

Of course at this point she is being "coached up" and when or if she does ever speak it will all be scripted.

RJ

Anonymous said...

It's intriguing isn't it tree,

While technically the VP is elected she could concievably find herself a heartbeat from the presidency without having given a single interview.

Of course at this point she is being "coached up" and when or if she does ever speak it will all be scripted.

RJ

John Sheppard said...

You can be certain that, after an enormous amount of coaching, she won't come off like this.

The Fool said...

G'morning Erin. The coffers of the state of Alaska may be "filthy rich," but us common folk in Alaska certainly are not. Also, please explain to me why we pay upwards of a dollar more a gallon for fuel than folks in the Lower 48...and we have the oil, and the refineries right down the street? It's the same game everywhere...the rich get richer on the backs of the poor. There's not a candidate in this election - on either side - with vision, or even a clue as to how to turn things around. The lesser of two evils is all we are offered...

Erin O'Brien said...

Fool, never for a minute did I assume that since the state is wealthy, it's citizens are. I have no doubt that Alaskans have just as much recession trouble as the rest of us. My point is that as Alaska's governor, Palin is running an organization that's running in the black.

Running the United States, however, will be a far far different game. We're $9.6 trillion in the red.

Anonymous said...

Fool,

Thanks for the comment. Now there's a story! Once some of this hysteria passes perhaps we'll get to issues.

I essentially agree with your asses
ment of the candidates. But we have to play the hand we're dealt and I think there are important differences here.

RJ

jonas said...

Anon,

Let me be kind enough to explain the above sarcasm....

The point is, SHE is a conservative rep. Distributing monies like that is a fairly socialist action. Therefore, add it to the list of 'odd' behaviors by this woman. You'll note (or maybe not) that my point wasn't to offer an opinion. Merely point out the inconsistency.

Have some decaf, and watch where you point your misdirected ignorance.

Yes, Erin, that is alot of money. So, what should be done with it? Do Alaskans have an obligation to rest of the country with that money? We could all move up there and collect our $3K. Somehow, I don't envision a mass norther migration anytime soon....

Anonymous said...

Jonas,

I'll drink red bull and point my ignorance anywhere I choose. I don't answer to the thought police.

RJ

jonas said...

RJ,

Congrats to you and your Red Bull. And good luck with the revolution.

I hope you truly understand the contradictory nature of those very two phenomenon. Because if not, well, its going to be a disappointing ride from here on out.

Let me clarify: as long as you buy and drink that Red Bull, drove a car to get to the store (perhaps a national chain?), bought inexpensive clothing at some retail shop, etc, etc, the revolution ain't coming. Oh and FYI, you don't think reading and responding to quasi-obscure blogs ISN'T a bourgeois activity? Millions...millions of people cannot afford a computer or the cost of internet. Let along have access. Even if you use a public computer, millions cannot. You know, just as ONE example.

Glass houses, and all.

jonas said...

Sorry, that probably sounded a little too harsh. That critique is not meant for anyone, as it is meant for all of us. While Obama may well be the better choice in this election, he alone is not the answer. Neither are George Bush or McCain or Pallin singularly responsible for this mess. WE ARE. The problem we have now were started long ago and have been building for years. If we want the kind of idealized change Obama speaks of, we need to get off our collective, lazy arses and do it.

But, my concern has long been: not enough of us have the stomach for the fundamental, systemic change we all think we want. So, while Obama might be a good step, there's LOTS to be done well beyond him.

Anonymous said...

Jonas,

Life ain't black and white. It is true that when my heart stops beating all this activity will have been relatively meaningless. But in the mean time I engage life with all the vigor I can find, as imperfect as my logic might be to your obsessive mind. And, more times than not, I have a smile on my face. So I'd say if I can get one computer out of the hands of Microsoft and into the hands of a peasant, progress had been made. Does that make me an underachiever or a realist?
Oh well, I must be off to Columbia to pick some fair trade coffee beans, AND STICK IT TO THE MAN!

RJ

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see the term 'peasant' is back in use.

Fantastic.

spants said...

RJ - I think you mean Colombia, and while you're down there, can you get me a few kilos of china white? Thanks!

spants said...

Also, to address the topic at hand, Palin is redistributing the wealth of the state. And she's not doing it based on income. It's even-Steven across the board. That IS socialism, but without Big Brother telling you what to do with the money.

I agree that Palin is trouble with a capital T that rhymes with P that stands for peasant.

jonas said...

Spants,

Yup, that was my point all along. The argument will always be that be because the gov't id letting the people put the $$ back into the system, it's all Adam Smith, all the time. But it's fairly socialist (equal redistribution of natural resources/wealth). Thus, and another apparent contradiction. That's all.

And to be clear, lest folks get too riled up, I'm in no way saying its BAD that AK make that redistribution happen. My point about health care is that the Reps are not likely to support the money being used in that way. And there's a whole economic argument as to why spending the $$ on health care would make tons of sense.

If people are interested in what gov't should do with this kind of money, the Canadians in their West have been addressing this for some time. Over oil, no less. Oil sands, to be precise (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athabasca_Oil_Sands).

Ok, sorry to have dragged on this out. I'm sure Erin will have more fun things to digest soon enough....

The Fool said...

To folks taking point on the dividend...Palin is not distributing the wealth across the state...the dividend has been in place for years and years. She just moved up the distribution date by a month...that is her ploy. Tactics...like lipstick. Many politicos have tried to take the dividend away, or dip into it without success, too. And why shouldn't a state look out for its citizens...or the citizens demand that they do so? Don't you wish your state would/could do the same for you?

"I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there" (Maureen Reagan).

The Fool said...

And did any of you refuse the handout by Bush in the spring?

The Fool said...

And to correct your figures, Erin...there is a fuel rebate check for $1,200...and the rest is the dividend check. They are not the same. Also, it is not the governor who determines the amount of the dividend. These are legislative actions.

The Fool said...

"...while oil prices soar and poor bastards like you and me pay out the ass to fill our tanks and drive to the shitty discount grocer and buy a lousy can of beans." Ever seen the prices in an Alaskan grocery store? I'll swap for the prices in your shitty discount grocer...

Good thing our wilderness isn't spoiled and we can still subsistence hunt and fish...or most folks would not get by. Salmon, halibut, and moose are staples to us...and it's work to fill a freezer.

And consider travel in our state, and the price we pay for gas before you slam us for getting a fuel rebate...it's a lo-o-o-o-ng way between towns. I have to drive 180 miles round trip to get many things you consider conveniences...and 450 miles round trip to get to the city for other amenities. We're not packed like rats like you folks are down there.

So, we take care of our own.

The Fool said...

It's funny how slamming Palin has become slam Alaskans...

Erin O'Brien said...

Fool--I thought the Bush dividend was a ridiculous and transparent ploy. At least your rebate/dividend check came from an actual source. Dubya just printed ours. Or maybe borrowed it from China, making it part of the staggering national debt.

And I have never slammed the citizens of Alaska. Or hunting or fishing. I'm just pointing out that Palin is getting a lot of credit for her popularity, which is among a tiny group of people.

Alaska is also overwhelmingly Republican, which is fine, but it also tempers her 82% popularity. And from what I've read, ousting Murkowski wasn't all that difficult (he had about an 18% approval rating).

I laud you for taking care of your own and bringing your thoughts to these pages. Just understand that this woman whom we know nothing about has been thrust upon us as presidential material in the most imminent sense.

We've been staring at all the rest of the candidates for months. Now Palin won't give interviews and it's two months to the election. Of course we have to try to figure out her Alaskan history in order to get an idea about her.

$3,300 per person translates to $13,200 for a family of four. That's a lot of clams. I'm not saying you're not entitled to it, it's yours and your fortunate to have it. Here in the rust belt, We have state income tax. We have state and county sales tax. I have county income tax--blah blah blah--it goes on and on. Welcome to the poor states. Things are very tough. Come on down and I'll take you on a tour of the acres of abandoned steel mines.

Palin loves to trumpet about your state's wealth. See the vid embedded here.

You may or may not include Palin as one of your own. From what I can see (which ain't much, Johnny is doing all he can to keep her reading from a teleprompter), she sure isn't one of mine. You may detest Joe Biden, but at least he's standing in the light.

The Fool said...

Let's be clear...I've never voted Republican...and I do not include Palin as one of my own. She is a joke. I do not even consider her a typical Alaskan...just another of the elite.

My comment on hunting and fishing is not in response to a belief that you are against them either...it is in response to your comment about having to go to a shitty discount grocer...many up here can not afford such a luxury - they don't even have a shitty discount grocer in their town, and they must work and secure their own food or starve.

I've seen the Lower 48. I grew up there and ran away from a dead end town because of all the bullshit. I have only visited Outside a few times in the last 30+ years...and I don't really need a tour to remind me. It might be better for you to come visit Alaska and meet some real people, and to experience the beauty of our state, and the simplicity of our people.

As for the bucks that a larger family can get...if the parents aren't thieves, or in need of the money just to get by...they can set up a college fund for their children. It can be an equalizer to educational access...a betterment for the next generation and the state. I only get and spend one check. I don't hold it against others who get more.

And Palin may trumpet the state's wealth...but then again, that's a politician for you...the state is not the people.

The Fool said...

And as for taxes...it's the people of Alaska who keep the government in check on this point. They would tax the shit out of us if we didn't harbor so many guns. Perhaps your people should be more united on this point if it is breaking your backs.

Keep up the good work, Erin. I admire you, and what you do. I'm just trying to clarify a few points. We're actually in the same camp on this one.

The Fool said...

And Palin is not as popular in Alaska as the press leads you to believe. Every comment in a recent street poll conducted by our local paper on Palin as VP material was overwhelmingly negative. Here are a few samples:

"I like it that she took on Murkowski, and won. I have to admire her for that. I'm a hockey mom, too, and I have five children and I'm the same age, But I don't feel she is ready yet to be vice president."

"The campaign isn't about Sarah Palin. It's about helping our fellow Americans."

"At first I thought I was dreaming, literally. I thought it was a strange dream, then I heard it again on the radio. I think she's a good person. There are worse people, but..."

"I threw up. I thought it was some kind of joke."

- Homer Tribune 9/3/2008

spants said...

I'm not bothered by the redistribution of wealth - I'm a liberal. I was just calling a socialist spade a socialist spade. That's all.

And I do agree with the overall sentiment that it's a lot easier to be popular when governing a nation/state/county/city that has a glut of financial and natural resources.

The Fool said...

Call it as it is, Spants. Considering the billions upon billions of profit made by Big Oil in our state (many of them foreign firms), their ability to dodge taxes, the rape we receive at the pumps, and the paltry settlement the courts slap them with for destroying our coastlines (Valdez)...I'm all for this type of redistribution. Call me a socialist then. Perhaps our state will be the first to establish social medicine...if it comes from these corporate coffers, I'd be all for it. It's our money they make the profit from.

And I totally agree with your sentiment on the ease of popularity in such an environment...but many people up here see Palin for what she is/isn't, as pointed out by my excerpts from the local paper. Her popularity, in large part - as portrayed by the press - is a fiction and a game of shadows.

spants said...

I wasn't calling you a socialist. I was saying that Palin is a socialist. And like you said (or someone said it) who would turn down the money? Pretty much no one.

And I agree with your (and other Alaskans) assessment of Palin's reputation.

(P.S. "Socialism" isn't a four-letter word. Neither is "liberal.")

The Fool said...

No, they are not four letter words...and I'm not ruffled a bit to be called either. If the label fits my beliefs...so be it.

The Fool said...

Spants...all I was saying is - if the shoe fits, then I guess I'll wear it.

There's no hard feelings here. Words are slippery...all's cool. I yam what I yam.