Sarah Palin, Supreme Court decisions, and Pay Grades

So, Sarah Palin is taking some heat for not answering Katie Couric’s question regarding which Supreme Court decisions she disagrees with.

Well, I suppose she could have stated that answering that question, with any degree of specificity, is above her pay grade.

But, then again, she’s not running for president.

Comparing Alaska and New York City; Does size matter?

In Obama and the Palin Effect, Deepak Chopra states,

…On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City…

Now, that was an interesting comparison, wasn’t it? Chopra is arguing that because the number of Alaska’s 683,478 residents is about one-tenth the number of New York City’s 8,274,527 residents, the task of governing Alaska must also be about one-tenth the job of governing NYC.

But let’s take a look at this graphically. Below is a bar-chart histogram which compares both New York City (NYC) and Alaska (AK) with regards to their population levels.


Clearly, the population of NYC dwarfs that of AK.

However, what if we were to look at the size of NYC as compared to that of AK? The chart below illustrates this for us.


So, in terms of area (square miles), Alaska’s size (656,424 sq. mi.) so overwhelms that of New York City’s (469 sq. mi.), that NYC doesn’t even register on the chart. Simply put, Alaska is 1,400 times the size of New York City.

Using Chopra’s reasoning, this must mean that, in terms of area to govern, the job of running Alaska is expanded to the scale of running 1,400 New York Cities!

I wondered how these resource-based comparisons played out when comparing Obama’s state of Illinois to that of Palin’s Alaska. So I did a little bit of research. I found the results interesting.

Read the rest of this entry

Ed Brayton, normally quite accurate in his reporting, titles a post of his, Another Palin Lie. Ed states,

Remember that airplane she sold on E-Bay to make a tidy profit for the state of Alaska because she was just such a regular Jane she didn’t want to travel the state in luxury the way her predecessor had? Let me refresh your memory:
“You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor, and sold it on eBay — and made a profit!” McCain declared in Wisconsin at a campaign stop Friday.

And Stephen Foley, at The Independent, has an article titled, Sale of Alaska’s state jet on eBay revealed as a lie. From Foley’s article,

Sarah Palin bolstered her reputation as a reformer – and got one of her biggest cheers in her Republican convention speech last week – when she said she had sold the governor’s official jet on eBay as her first act on taking office in Alaska.

What she didn’t say was that the aircraft had failed to sell over the internet and was eventually sold off at a loss


…Inquiries by the journalists and Democratic party operatives who have descended on Alaska have turned up quite different facts: namely, that the jet was hauled off eBay after failing to attract decent bids.

Yet, here are the lines from Sarah Palin’s speech, at the RNC, in which she references said plane:

I came to office promising major ethics reform to end the culture of self-dealing, and today that ethics reform is the law. While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the Governor’s Office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for.That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.

That’s it. No other references to the sale of the jet was made in her speech. Astute observers will note that she does not state that the plane was sold on eBay, nor does she state that it was sold for a profit.

It ain’t there, fellas.

Do you think, just a thought here, that her intentions (at that point in the speech) were to emphasize her attitude towards wasteful spending, and not to give a detailed accounting report of how Alaska unloaded it’s luxury jet?

Did she imply, in her RNC speech, that she had actually sold the plane on eBay? Could be. Yet, did any intrepid journalists or Democratic party operatives, armed with the not-so-secret data of the plane’s actual sale, trap Palin by asking her for specific data on how the plane was sold? Are you kidding? That would mean actually trying to get to the truth of the matter.

Truth be told, we must rewrite Foley’s paragraph, from above, as follows:

Sarah Palin bolstered her reputation as a reformer – and got one of her biggest cheers in her Republican convention speech last week – when she said she had sold put the governor’s official jet on eBay as her first act on taking office in Alaska.

Words… just words.

Note: However, John McCain’s statement, referenced above, seems to be a different matter entirely. Maybe he should just let Sarah speak for herself.