Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 18, 2008
By: Hilzoy

Energy Expertise

Today, the person who "knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America" let slip some pearls of wisdom:

"Of course, it's a fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules, where it's going and where it's not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it's Americans who get stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It's got to flow into our domestic markets first."

I'm not sure I fully grasp that, though I am relieved to know that they, whoever they are, don't have to sit around flagging individual molecules all day long. I think, despite her saying that Congress is "not going to allow the export bans", that she is actually recommending such a ban. At any rate, what she says makes a lot more sense on the assumption that either the 'not' or the 'bans' was a slip than it does on the assumption that she thought that lifting nonexistent export bans would keep our oil here at home.

It seems pretty clear to me that Sarah Palin has no idea at all what she's talking about here. But let's pretend this is a serious statement, and consider it seriously. Who do we presently export oil to? Well: in 2007, the two main recipients of our oil were Mexico and Canada, who between them received some 170,716,000 barrels of what the Energy Information Administration calls "petroleum and products." That's nearly a third of our exports. But guess what? When you look at the analogous table of imports, who turns up in first and second place? Canada and Mexico again! They sold us 1,455,280,000 barrels between them in 2007, or about eight and a half times as much as we sold them. If you check crude oil alone, it turns out that all our exports in 2007 went to Canada, which was also our number one supplier, selling us nearly seventy times as much crude oil as we sold the Canadians.

Do you think that they would keep on selling us all that oil if we unilaterally stopped selling oil to them? Maybe they would, and maybe they wouldn't. Do you think Sarah Palin knows the answer? I hope so. It would be pretty strange for the nation's foremost expert on energy to come out in favor of an embargo without knowing whether or not it would cost us nearly 1.3 billion barrels of "petroleum and products" a day year (oops), including about 19% of our total crude oil imports. Annoying our neighbors so much that they cut off our oil supplies would, I suppose, be one way of helping us achieve energy independence, but it doesn't seem like a particularly good idea.

Call me cynical, though: I don't think Sarah Palin had any idea what she was talking about, any more than I think John McCain had any idea what he was talking about when he said she "knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America". Because if she does, we're in much deeper trouble than I had imagined.

Hilzoy 9:09 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (74)

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Comments

McCain can't run with what he's got. So we got Palin and all the mythology and distractions they can come up with. Like this:

http://snipurl.com/3rn7u

Where has all the Maverick gone, long time passing?

dk

Posted by: dk on September 18, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

that's just good fun.

Posted by: benyo on September 18, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I assume that NAFTA and geographical proximity are the reasons that we do so much reciprocal trade with Canada and Mxico. So cutting off our exports to those countries might well be a violation of NAFTA.

I don't know this for a fact. A simple Google search turned up a Canadian document pointing out some national security scenarios where Canada could restrict oil exports, so I assume the same applies to the US. In any case, oil clearly falls under NAFTA except under those extraordinary circumstances.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on September 18, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

sweet jesus.

frankly, i didn't expect this level of incompetence from Palin. but let's face it: she is genuinely stupid.

Posted by: raft on September 18, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

A friend from Alaska sent me a link on her facebook about a little girl in Anchorage, age 6, who was taken off life support on August 18 after being attacked by the family pit bull, so for Sarah Palin to then compare herself to a pitbull a couple weeks later is a disgrace. I realize she was just reading from a teleprompter, but really, she had to have read the story. It was front page news on the Anchorage Daily News.

http://www.adn.com/front/story/498031.html

Posted by: Margaret on September 18, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Can we get a language expert in here? Someone to diagram those sentences. Every single quote I've read of hers that was longer than 5 words -- is COMPLETELY unintelligible. It's like she's just stringing together random words that kinda sound related to the topic at hand.

Posted by: Christopher on September 18, 2008 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Ooops, you said billion barrels per day, when you obviously meant million. Whats a factor of a thousand among friends. Be careful to proofread (or have someone else) proofread your numbers. One of our advantages over the Repubs, is that our experts and candidates actually know what they are talking about. Lets not give them any ammo.

Posted by: bigTom on September 18, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Margaret, as if the child dying wasn't tragedy enough, her father was deployed and called back stateside from Iraq.

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 18, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Some, actually, a lot, of Palin and McCain's comments recently remind me of the old rejoinder about professionals [or experts]: "Sir, I am somewhat of a bullshitter myself, but occassionally I like to listen to a PROFESSIONAL. Please carry on."

Posted by: Anon, too on September 18, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

This level of brightness requires special handling as do all her prior activities including her past and present regular daily thought process.
And about levels, what level of ethical deception is being caused by the pardon man sending his troops to ak?
Is this legal for a political team to send a poltical team to ak and tell ak to stop an investigation because it has become political?
Not sure about the legal issues but you get the picture.A political team can dictate a legal issue?.. and no one gets.....mmmmm....tense?
Seems like ak people would reject outsiders telling them how to do ak business.
Also seems the political news adjustment wing from pardon man is in ak as well.
If ms. power-moose is clean why all the handi-wipes filtering the flow?
Anyone in ak with a clear view anymore?
What's up ak?
And mr.semi-gov can't talk now?How to handle him?
Any marathon snowmobile races coming up?

Posted by: johnsnottoodistracted on September 18, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Damn that liberally-biased Wolf Blitzer! "Oil answer appears clumsy to some," indeed.

Posted by: The September Fool on September 18, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy - there is nothing cynical about it.

It's simply fact that Sarah Palin has no idea what she is talking about.

You demonstrate that her comments make no sense as they are, or even if we imagine she said something else.

Sarah Palin has no idea what she is talking about. Period. Don't be afraid to call it as it is.

Posted by: Max Power on September 18, 2008 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Like John McCain and Sarah Palin, I don't know much about the economy. And like them I'm a little confused. I understand that we get a lot of oil from Canada and Mexico, but if they have so much oil, why do they need us to sell them less oil than they're selling us? As in, why are they buying oil from us if they already have it? Isn't the point of trade, getting something you didn't have?

Posted by: Freedom Fry on September 18, 2008 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Hey! She believes in molecules! I'm impressed!

Posted by: lampwick on September 18, 2008 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Sarah Palin had any idea what she was talking about [...] Hilzoy

Well, her (barely earned) degree is in *journalism*. Journalists aren't required to make sense anymore; all that' necessary is that they spout a regular jet stream of warm and fuzzy *words*. That explains *both* her coming through as an incompetent moron *and* an illiterate (like Christopher, @22:05, I can't make head or tail of her sentence structure, never mind find some rhyme or reason to the *content*)

Posted by: exlibra on September 18, 2008 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

bigTom: 1,455,280,000-170,716,000=1,284,564,000. I think that's billion, with a b. I did, however, make a different mistake.

I hate trying to proofread html. Just saying...

Posted by: on September 18, 2008 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

@Freedom Fry,

I really don't know all the reasons, but part of NAFTA is to make such transactions seamless. (However, per the link I posted above, NAFTA apparently applies to US and Canadian but not Mexican oil, so take my example with a grain of salt.)

For example, it might now be cheaper to ship oil from Texas to Monterrey than from wherever in Mexico to Monterrey. It might be cheaper to ship it from Mexico to California than from Texas to California. I don't know that transport costs are really the explanation, but if trade is 100% free (which it isn't, per the above) then they could be.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on September 18, 2008 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the actual clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkFyArd8zdw

No language expert needed. Just two minutes of the Coen Bros:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy2HfixB9_8

Posted by: welteule on September 18, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Heaven help us if this lot gets in.

Although if you think about it, having a babbling lunatic is still a step up from Darth Cheney.

Posted by: Jeff S. on September 18, 2008 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fry said: "I understand that we get a lot of oil from Canada and Mexico, but if they have so much oil, why do they need us to sell them less oil than they're selling us?"

I think the issue is proximity to the oil, Canada is a big country. It is often easier to send the oil into the States than to build the infrastructure to send it other places in the country and visa versa import oil from the US where the infrastructure supports it. Canada also buys oil from Venezuela . Doesn't Alaska export oil to Japan using the same logic?

Posted by: Rex on September 18, 2008 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

All that is missing is U.S. Americans and the Iraq.

Vapid and shrill.

Posted by: Sparko on September 18, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Fucking shit-for-brains. Jesus H. Christ. Anyone who votes for this retard should have their molecules flagged.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 18, 2008 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

What's the difference between Sarah Palin and George W Bush?

Lipstick.

Posted by: Max Power on September 18, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hey! She believes in molecules! I'm impressed!

Funny!

Posted by: lobbygow on September 18, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Rex. Much obliged.

Posted by: Freedom Fry on September 18, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

The House bill that passed a few days ago does include a ban on the exportation of Alaskan north slope oil. Maybe that is what she is referring to regarding the export ban although it is entirely unclear from her comments.

Maybe she's torn between what is good for her home state of Alaska (no export ban) and what may be good for the country as a whole (banning exports of Alaskan oil).

Then again, who the hell knows.

Posted by: Dungheap on September 18, 2008 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

So we're going to accept the dumbass-but-salt-of-the-earth vs the elitist-lacks-the-common-touch framework yet again. It worked so well against Bush and Reagan, who wouldn't want to replay that game?

Posted by: mg on September 18, 2008 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Um.. I think it's 1.3 Billion barrels of petroleum and products per YEAR not day...


Posted by: c. on September 18, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

My guess would be that there are two factors which explain why Mexico and Canada import from the US:

1. We probably ship them refined products, not crude.

2. Invariably some supplies we produce will be cheaper to buy from us because they are close to where they are used than it would be to move it from one part of Canada/Mexico to another part.

Imagine a large supply of Natural Gas on our side of the border next to a large Canadian city.

Oh, one other category works for Mexico: sub-standard refined gasoline. We ship out a lot of this to Mexico and other Central/South American nations.

Posted by: tomj on September 18, 2008 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

The National Enquirer of all damned things has more truth on these sharks than the MSM. Drug and alcohol addled losers. Yow. What was McCain smoking when he made this "choice."
Her inability to make sense, makes sense. As it were.

Posted by: Sparko on September 18, 2008 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hannity and Newt Gingrich are babbling away on hate radio today pounding out everything and anything that will diminish Barrack Obama. For me it is obvious and lame to hear their rhetoric of cheap shots with made up stuff. Especially now giving glowing remarks and dazzling testimony of how wonderful and smart Sarah Palin is, especially about energy.

Neither Sarah nor McCain have a clue in the simple Physics to the basics of energy or the Chemistry of the fossil fuels, like diesel, Carbon twelve -Hydrogen twenty three, or the average gas, Carbon eight Hydrogen eighteen usually called octanes. Did you know you don’t need spark plugs in designs of diesel motors? Also if you don't put your gas cap on correctly you may get that horrible yellow engine service light to go on in your dash panel. Beware you may get stiffed for about a hundred dollars by a dealer to get that fixed. Just reset and make sure your gas cap is tightened then the light should go out after a day or so. If it stays on there is something more serious.

Or the average six “cylinder” bore stroke estimations are fuel consumption about two hundred and thirty four cubic centimeters of mixed fuel and oxygen are burned in an instant power stroke, and you do need the right volume measure for optimum effect.

Currently a friend of mine influenced me to take a look at all the fuss on U-tube about do it your self hydrogen fuel cells. He has visions of building a huge jiffy lube type fuel cell business. So, for me this just happened and it looks like there are a lot more rookies out there than me. It looks pretty good to build a fuel cell for simple small motors but four, six, or eight, cylinder gas or diesel fuel enhancement takes a lot of technical talent in Chemical, Mechanical, and Electronic engineering. Simply strapping on a home made fuel cell is not only dangerous most of the experiments on U-Tube do not display the example to just completely shut off gas fuel and run on Hydrogen.

The Hydrogen fuel cells advertised on television, like NASA, and others do not use gas drilled from the ground, its vapor gas, this stuff is processed. Or am I wrong??? This is very misleading by the industry and T Boone Pickens.


Posted by: Megalomania on September 18, 2008 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

As the country's foremost expert on energy, it is not surprising that she talks over our heads.

Posted by: AJB on September 18, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Is that English? My high school son writes more clearly than that.

I'm not sure about Canada, but I know that Mexico lacks refinery capacity so they send us crude and we send them refined "petroleum products", aka gasoline and other stuff. By the way, Mexican exports oil exports have been trending down for several years and should hit zero around 2010 or so. Oil exports account for about 40% of the government budget so that might just push them over the edge. I'm guessing I'll have a new family living in my backyard.

Posted by: JohnK on September 18, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt if Canada would stop selling to us if we stopped selling to them (if we are willing to pay the going price), but any restrictions would unquestionably increase prices - they buy from us because somebody gives them a good deal, or they need a certain grade of crude or certain refined product, or transportation costs are minimized, etc.

Posted by: skeptonomist on September 18, 2008 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

1) Can she diagram a petroleum molecule, since she is trying to talk in chemistry-speak?
2) Can we trust oil from Canada? You never know, they could be passing off some fake liquid as oil, kind of like their fake prescription drugs.
3) The penultimate sentence of the quote makes no sense.

Subject: I
Verb: believe
Preposition: that
Object: ??? (what Congress is going to do, also,)
Subordinate dependent clause (link to "what"): is not to allow the export bans
Quantifying modifier: to such a degree
Preposition: that
Object: ??? (it's Americans)
Subordinate dependent clause: who get stuck holding the bag
Preposition: without
I give up...

Posted by: Cindy McCant on September 18, 2008 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

And the audience actually clapped...

Anybody know where P.T. Barnum is buried?

Anybody know if there was a seismometer near by to see if the earth shook from laughter?

Posted by: koreyel on September 18, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Just a passing thought, but is there anyone (outside the McCain campaign) who will vouch for Sarah Palin? Not because she's a hardcore Republican, or a very conservative Christian, but because she has shown leadership or performed a needed service or anything character- based? I mean, it's been over 3 weeks and I haven't heard a single heartfelt testimonial to Palin. Is the MSM ignoring this or does she really have no support from anyone who has known her for more than a month? I thought she was supposed to have this compelling narrative...

Posted by: coldhotel on September 18, 2008 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, I don't think you're being fair to Palin here. She could express herself more clearly, but I think her point is pretty clear. She's making a heretically un-Republican protectionist argument, but couched in obscurantist language, partly because she hasn't thought through the issue enough, but also because she can't make such an argument clearly without being attacked from the business wing of the party.

"Of course, it's a fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules, where it's going and where it's not."

What she means is, oil being fungible, it isn't strictly speaking meaningful to talk about the oil from Alaska or the oil from Texas being /reserved/ for America. Nonetheless:

"In the sense of the Congress today,"

"In the context of" or "in connection with" or "in the sense of" is standard bizspeak designed to suggest you are going to, in some way, address a topic. It mostly works here as a delaying tactic so that she think about the next phrase:

"They know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first."

Palin: Even though I just said strictly speaking oil is fungible, now I'm suggesting that the oil produced locally should be reserved for "hungry domestic markets" that "need that oil first." Since oil, by its nature, can only be used once, "needing that oil first" is logically equivalent to "needing that oil", but by appending "first" I soften the protectionist implication.

"So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it's Americans who get stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here."

This really is incomprehensible. I think she intended to argue /against/ "export bans", but also to suggest that /some kind of/ regulatory scheme be set up to ensure Americans are not "stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here." So long as the protectionism isn't called an "export ban", just has the effect of one, she's comfortable with it.

Note that, like a good oilwoman, she realized she made a slight slip, and corrects herself to distinguish oil that is produced (ie refined) in America, with that which is /pumped/ here, which is really what she is talking about.

"It's got to flow into our domestic markets first."

And now she summarizes her point. In short: we should institute an export ban or limit, so long as it isn't called an export ban or limit, in order to reserve domestically pumped oil for our domestic markets. By appending "first" yet again, she is either implying that other nations can use the oil we burn once we're done with it, or, alternatively, what she's arguing for is reserving /some/ locally pumped oil for domestic markets, but not all of it. (Even though she knows that oil is a fungible commodity and talking about /the/ oil produced locally is strictly speaking meaningless.)

Posted by: Jason on September 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Palin is an idiot to be sure, but she is a Republican and knows how to chase money. Palin doesn't want a complete export ban because Alaska is making money selling liquified natural gas to Japan, nor does it hurt the balance of trade to sell crude to neighbors on the Pacific rim.

But a big piece of the energy trade puzzle is that a lot of Canada's oil comes from Alberta tar sands -- a nasty thick asphalt-like substance that is strip mined not drilled and that with a lot of water and energy can produce heavy crude oil. Currently tar sands production consumes enough natural gas to heat half of Canada. When planned expansions come online, it will consume as much natural gas as it takes to heat the entirety of Canada.

With Canada's own gas fields diminishing in output and demand growing, guess which former mayor of Wasilla saw dollar signs and made an agreement with TransCanada to pipe Alaskan natural gas to the province of Alberta?

But tar sands doesn't produce the lighter hydrocarbons like propane or free-run gasoline, so demand for these fuels require that lighter crude oil or refined hydrocarbons be exported back.

Tar sands is a ghastly fuel, putting out 3-4 times the green house gasses to produce as conventional petroleum. And the upgrading and refining process causes tremendous water and air pollution exceeding regular crude (it is not the "light, sweet" crude we are used to from other sources but "heavy and sour" crude is much higher in sulfur and toxic metals.)

Posted by: petorado on September 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Pardon my public university understanding of civics, but aren't export taxes unconstitutional?

Posted by: kth on September 19, 2008 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see, it's "export ban", not an export tax, nevermind.

I think a lot of people in the general public think that, if we drill more domestically, then we can somehow keep all the supply benefit to ourselves. Like Exxon et al are going to give us some kind of home-country discount. But the only possible discount would be if the government sold the leases below market value to the oil companies (i.e., a subsidy). Otherwise, any addition to the world supply of oil reduces the worldwide price, and thus benefits North Korea every bit as much as it does the US.

Posted by: kth on September 19, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Does this have anything to do with something I read about last week about some hush-hush agreement to export a "bunch" of Alaskan natural gas to Japan? Palin, as governor, is involved in drawing up this very lucrative (for Alaska, NOT the rest of us) and controversial deal...

Posted by: j7e77 on September 19, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Does this have anything to do with something I read about last week about some hush-hush agreement to export a "bunch" of Alaskan natural gas to Japan? Palin, as governor, is involved in drawing up this very lucrative (for Alaska, NOT the rest of us) and controversial deal...

Posted by: j7e77 on September 19, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

---"Do you think Sarah Palin knows the answer?"

Of course she does. Don't you know she lives next door to Russia? Not to mention that she is a hockey mom.

Posted by: sw on September 19, 2008 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Moreover (please pardon the multiple posts), what good does banning the export of the ANWR oil do? To get around it (if an oil company needed to), all you would have to do is ship more of the oil you pump elsewhere in the US. All an export ban would do is introduce unneeded logistical inefficiencies, while the companies that produce oil in the US generally sell it anywhere they damn well please. Which is probably as it should be; an export ban would be nothing but a silly fig leaf to allow voters to think that there's some kind of national interest in drilling in environmentally-sensitive places.

Posted by: kth on September 19, 2008 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Back in the seventies, during the first energy crises, there was a big push to build the Alaskan oil pipeline. The “boomers” assured us it was safe and all the oil would be required by law to go to the U.S. It only took a few years till there were numerous small and medium size spills, and one humongous spill, and the major oil companies were lobbying to ship pipeline oil to Japan, arguing the U.S. west coast could easily buy oil on the world market from somewhere else.

Posted by: fafner1 on September 19, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK
Do you think that they would keep on selling us all that oil if we unilaterally stopped selling oil to them? Maybe they would, and maybe they wouldn't. Do you think Sarah Palin knows the answer?
Of course she knows the answer. Just like she can see Russia from her house, she has actually driven vehicle which use gasoline.

She obviously is an expert on this.

Posted by: on September 19, 2008 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

fafner1: back in the seventies, most of the "boomers" weren't old enough to influence getting the pipeline was built.

In fact, many of the "boomers" were against it, along with nuclear power plants.

whatever...

Posted by: Hannah on September 19, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

What's the difference between John McCain and a fucking liar?

Lipstick.

Posted by: Hammers on September 19, 2008 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, if we actually were able to flag molecules we could flag all the hotter molecules and send the cooler ones to Russia or wherever. Free energy! Of course, Palin would have nothing to do with demons, Maxwell's or otherwise.

Posted by: idlemind on September 19, 2008 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's economy:

http://www.youtube.com/gmontage

http://gmontage.blip.tv

Posted by: gv on September 19, 2008 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

Wow.

The fact that Palin is an authority figure probably lends her some gravitas with her audience. I think the academic term is that she "snookered" her audience with those BIG 25 cent words.

Color-me impressed "fungible commidity" "molecules"! Is this an SAT test, or did her speech writer just spend all of last night scouring a thesaurus?

Substantively she's saying: "Drill here, drill now" with a little twist -- that we need to impose tariffs on oil exports. The big problem is that the U.S. doesn't have the kind of reserves that will allow us to be net exporters of oil -- just as likely she'll drive up the price on the global markets, because U.S. oil now has a premium attached to it -- meaning more windfall profits for Big Oil and Alaska.

What an ass.

Posted by: Franklin on September 19, 2008 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Palin has tits for brains, McCain has shit for brains.

Posted by: PatD on September 19, 2008 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

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The answers to these questions -- and all your voting needs -- can be found at www.StateDemocracy.org -- the FREE 1-Stop citizen empowerment portal that Delivers Democracy to your Desktop! StateDemocracy is among the Internet’s first (since 2001) and most encompassing civic empowerment tools.
In order to boost voter participation this year, StateDemocracy.org is offering FREE widgets for all 50 states. You can simply download and embed these widgets into your own website so your visitors can register to vote, get an absentee ballot or find their local polling place.
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StateDemocracy.org also equips you to maintain an active dialog with your state and federal lawmakers once they are elected. And RIGHT NOW is an especially opportune time to contact your U.S. Senators and House Member, as Congress takes up major legislation on such issues as offshore oil drilling, another economic stimulus package and all federal appropriations bills over the next few weeks.
As you lobby your elected officials, remember that lawmakers view your constituent input as reflective of scores of other citizens who felt similarly, but didn’t have (or take) the time to share their opinions.
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Posted by: timothy moriarty on September 19, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

I think that Jason is right.

Palin is not stupid, although she is not coherent.

As far as I can see, she is also not really a Republican. What she seems to be saying here might not work, but it is way to the left of anything being proposed by either the Republicans or the Democrats. (While more authoritarian and centralised than anything proposed by the Greens.)

Is she a trojan CPUSA candidate? Inquiring minds want to know!

Posted by: MFB on September 19, 2008 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it's Americans who get stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here.

What Jason said. It parses if you read to such a degree that with the meaning, but then they also are aware that if they don't do something like that, then.

Just getting to November 4 is going to be a lot of work. She's a lot better at this incoherence thing than GW Bush.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape on September 19, 2008 at 4:14 AM | PERMALINK

Actually she sounds more like Dutch Schultz in his last hours. She makes Harriet Miers discoursing on constitutional law sound like Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Posted by: Henry on September 19, 2008 at 5:05 AM | PERMALINK

Hanna, these weren't "baby boomers" Fafnir1 was speaking of, it's an oil industry nickname.

Pick Pocket Sarah is afraid of getting stuck with all her nasty, hard-to-refine oil - her molecules aren't the same as Saudi Light molecules - if demand drops to the point that refineries can easily choose then they will buy elsewhere.

So she wants to convince the American people that all her oil is for them, but she wants to head off codifying that into law.

She is worthless, isn't see. The type of oil she's selling is predicated with the word "snake".

Posted by: doesn't matter on September 19, 2008 at 6:18 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think too many have heard of the Thripshaw Doctrine. The Thripshaw doctrine calls for preventative or preemptive impeachment of brain dead major party Presidential tickets. Do you support the Thripshaw Doctrine?

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on September 19, 2008 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

Have you seen the piece in The Nation (and longer version at the Nation Institute) by Sydney Schanberg on McCain's role in a coverup about American POWs in Vietnam?

The Nation piece:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081006/schanberg


The piece at the Nation Institute:

http://www.nationinstitute.org/p/schanberg09182008pt1

Posted by: Katharine on September 19, 2008 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

Palin's wowzer is that she ignores what it means for oil to be a fungible commodity. There's a world market for oil. Since oil is fungible -- which simply means that one bit of oil is like any other bit of oil -- if we keep our oil here, the market will simply buy oil from somewhere else. If we consume Alaskan oil rather than import it from Mexico, the people who were formerly purchasers of Alaskan oil will just buy the oil that we didn't buy from Mexico. Why? Because oil is fungible. Not exporting our oil doesn't add a drop to the global stock of oil.

Maybe she's expecting an oil embargo like in the 70s. Keeping our oil here won't help because we're net importers. If the price goes up because of an embargo, our producers won't want to sell oil for less than the going rate. And we'll still have to compete with other markets for the remainder. Alas, as she mentions, oil is fungible.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 19, 2008 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

Please someone do a side by side video of that statement and the other Barbie beauty queen who flubbed the geography question. Equally coherent

Posted by: John R on September 19, 2008 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously the cram sessions aren't working. They've given up on Palin being able to respond to question intelligibly.

Now their strategy is to train Palin to talk in sentence fragments that make no sense and cannot be connected. And she has to drop in occasional "info-blocker" words like "very, very" and "also" and "I believe" and "lipstick."

Posted by: chrenson on September 19, 2008 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah, now I feel better...SCARAH will soon be in charge ...and she wears neat glasses!

Posted by: Dancer on September 19, 2008 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

It just struck me what Sarah Palin's endless runon statements remind me of. The English satirical mag Private Eye runs (or at least once ran) a regular single-frame cartoon called "Great Bores of Our Time". Each episode featured ... well, here's something very similar.

That's our Sarah!

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape on September 19, 2008 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Palin is pretty, but she is incapable of being articulate and well versed in any subject of integrity.

Posted by: mljohnston on September 19, 2008 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Imagine all those patriotic little molecules, each with its own flag! It warms the heart just thinking of it . . . .

Posted by: rea on September 19, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

One of the benefits of fungible oil is that by taking advantage of the world market, we have competitive forces keeping the prices down. If we limit the market and only consume domestic oil, domestic oil producers are free to set a price higher than the market would otherwise dictate. The net result is the US will have higher oil prices and the rest of the world will have lower prices because all of a sudden 25% of demand would vanish from the broader market. No one seems to be pointing this out.

Posted by: petorado on September 19, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Can we get a language expert in here?

I'm not a language expert, but what I do know as an average American is I didn't understand a damn thing she said. Perhaps that is the point? Why make sense of it? People should just start saying WTF.

Also when I worked with chronically mentally ill adults (schizophrenics, etc.) we had a name for this kind of talking - WORD SALAD. Disordered thinking resulted in the person's inability to put two coherent thoughts together in response to a question or for that matter in general discussion. The verbal result - divergent, unrelated ideas and words that made little to no sense.

Posted by: on September 19, 2008 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

What Sarah Palin does know about energy is that the development and deployment of wind and solar energy technologies must be suppressed for as long as possible, in order to protect the the trillion-dollar profits of the fossil fuel corporations.

And in this she is entirely consistent with John McCain, who like Palin has disparaged and discouraged investment in wind and solar energy, and has voted against legislation that would support the growth of these new energy industries of the 21st century with investment and production tax credits.

National energy policy in the death-grip of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries: that's not the change we need. It's more of the same.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 19, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

I think that Sarah Palin is no more an energy expert than Ellie Mae Clampett was. Benefactor yes, expert no.

Posted by: mayorofmayberry on September 19, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Never mind what she said. The point is that she engaged everyone with her eyes, can't you see that? A Republican philosopher tagged as Brick Oven Bill, who used to be a regular poster on here, was quite sure that those eyes were going to be the making of Sarah Palin. Oh, and saying intelligent things - guess we can dispose of that premise.

Posted by: Mark on September 19, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Q: What is the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?

A: You can always spay the pitbull.

JOE BIDEN: He has nipples AND experience in foreign policy.

Posted by: David on September 19, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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