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July 14, 2009 5:10 AM   Subscribe

"The Cap and Tax Dead End", a Washington Post opinion piece written by soon-to-be-former Alaskan governor and frequent media critic Sarah Palin.
posted by zardoz (150 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
She's pulling an Elliot Spitzer, only with a less competent ghost writer.

The writer, a Republican, is governor of Alaska.

Not so fast there...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:14 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oboy oboy. Is it Palin Tuesday already?
posted by rokusan at 5:14 AM on July 14, 2009


Where to start? So utterly wrong-headed it makes my brain bleed.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:15 AM on July 14, 2009


Now, when they say "No sense in beating a dead horse..." do they mean there's no reason to punch and kick its corpse, or do they mean don't do a lap around Churchill Downs and dance on the finish line while it decomposes in the gate?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 5:17 AM on July 14, 2009 [12 favorites]


Actually that is so badly written it might just be genuine. Can't you just hear her voice in some of those clankety-clank sentences?
posted by rokusan at 5:17 AM on July 14, 2009 [8 favorites]


She's never going to go away, is she?
posted by octothorpe at 5:18 AM on July 14, 2009 [8 favorites]


What exactly is she proposing?

Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation? Yes...

great. how? What is the system under which investments in green energy become economically viable in the short term without resorting to cap and trade plans?
posted by H. Roark at 5:20 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh fucking Jesus Jones.
posted by Dr-Baa at 5:21 AM on July 14, 2009


To me it reads like Palin did the original writing and submitted to some editorial assistance, but not enough. Maverick.
posted by exogenous at 5:21 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


the federal government's reach into the private sector is unprecedented.

If I say it, it must be true!
posted by billysumday at 5:22 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is just like the teapot dome scandal, except I don't care at all.
posted by Faux Real at 5:28 AM on July 14, 2009 [9 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by notsnot at 5:29 AM on July 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wow. Palin managed to write an entire article about cap-and-trade without ever mentioning why cap-and-trade is under discussion. She talks a bit about eliminating our dependence on foreign oil and her central thesis is the possible economic impact of cap-and-trade, but she never mentions global warming. It seems to me that any discussion of cap-and-trade ought to at least mention that.
posted by HiddenInput at 5:29 AM on July 14, 2009 [15 favorites]


She's never going to go away, is she?

Not until people stop paying attention to her, she isn't.
posted by namewithoutwords at 5:35 AM on July 14, 2009


Sloppy writing, sloppy thinking.
posted by peeedro at 5:39 AM on July 14, 2009


I started reading assuming it would be ghost written - no such luck. The goals are laudable, who doesn't want cheap energy independent of the middle east (and China! apparently they stopped being an energy importer sometime during this article), but the solutions are piecemeal and, frankly, useless. It isn't a question of drilling and coal, these sources just aren't adequate to support the current and projected growth of business as usual. Even if this was a column by a neutral party it would be naive, but this is just dangerous.
posted by cerebrum at 5:43 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


she's one of those ignorant idiots who actually believe that we can make do with the oil and gas our country has and lose our dependence on foreign oil - they write letters to the editors of local papers all the time - they don't get national attention for it

what she doesn't tell us is that the price of electricity and gas are going up no matter what we do - and unlike some of her more manipulative colleagues, she's not telling us that because she really doesn't know it

and she had to have written this - a hired hand would have done a better job

you know, it would be really interesting some day if she were to suddenly wake up and realize that the people she's been following have been lying to her - she's a gullible and sincere fool - and god only knows what she would say if she found out
posted by pyramid termite at 5:43 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Serious question(s): is it my imagination, or does Ann Coulter get a lot less airtime right now, and is this related to the Freeper crowd having a new poster girl?
posted by MuffinMan at 5:48 AM on July 14, 2009 [11 favorites]


Using round numbers - 75% of your home energy budget is for building heat and hot water.

Putting in a solar hot water system cuts that budget. Typically the energy payback is in 5 years.

Using evacuated glass tubes - you can get the hot water in the dead of winter.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:50 AM on July 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


The writer, a Republican, was created in a laboratory to infuriate you.
posted by felix betachat at 5:50 AM on July 14, 2009 [78 favorites]


she's one of those ignorant idiots who actually believe that we can make do with the oil and gas our country has and lose our dependence on foreign oil

That might actually be possible but we'd have to change our national life-style pretty severely to use a tiny fraction of the energy that we do now. And since Jimmy Carter's telling us to wear sweaters made him the "worst president ever" in the minds of Palin's supporters, I doubt that would ever happen.
posted by octothorpe at 5:51 AM on July 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


My prediction: Sometime in the next year, John McCain will die. And we will all realize that Sarah Palin actually would have been our president. And, as a country, we will all let out a collective gasp at what might have happened. I mean, an audible gasp. There will be just one massive "WHOOP" noise as every man, woman and child exibilates noisily in astonishment at the terrible, terrible world we might have inhabited.

Entire Web pages will be devoted to tracking evidence of this moment, which will be called The Whoop, showing grainy videos of, say, masses of people in a mall who all go "Whoop" at the same moment, and audio recordings taken at sporting events, where you'll hear the sports announcers, and the crack of the bat, and then, suddenly, a huge "whoop." There it will be, preserved forever in millions of home videos, on surveillance footage, on television broadcasts, the moment when America realizes how close it came to having Sarah Palin as the head of the country.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:54 AM on July 14, 2009 [48 favorites]


I'm confused. What exactly does energy independence have to do with cap-and-trade? I guess they're both "energy policies", but they don't seem to be closely related.
posted by graventy at 5:55 AM on July 14, 2009


Ha ha ha ha

It seems very unlikely she wrote this. The writer responsible for that meandering, incoherent, blitheringly mangled resignation speech is incapable of something resembling .. oh wait, this has many of the hallmarks of her self referential aphasic gibberish and flawed grammar. But it seems still too comprehensible.

Compare the writing style to, oh, say, John Coale and I bet you will find a closer match than Palin's usual ejaculate.

What is that software used for examining textual style? Bring it to bear. Ah, fuck it, not worth the bother.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:59 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have another question - what are the words of a Good Republican doing in the liberal press?

Should there not be some kind of reaction like one gets when matter and antimatter meet?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:59 AM on July 14, 2009


she's one of those ignorant idiots who actually believe...

whatever she's paid to believe. Yes. I agree.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:01 AM on July 14, 2009


"Sometime in the next year, John McCain will die. And we will all realize that Sarah Palin actually would have been our president. And, as a country, we will all let out a collective gasp at what might have happened. I mean, an audible gasp."

This is, indeed, a quite horrific world to contemplate. And possibly one beyond further parody, also. With more disjointed speech.
posted by jaduncan at 6:06 AM on July 14, 2009


Well, looks like the Washington Post is one of "all of them" after all.
posted by educatedslacker at 6:07 AM on July 14, 2009


Can't she see climate change from her house?
posted by DU at 6:07 AM on July 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think they screwed up the byline, because this was obviously written by Piper Palin.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 6:07 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


She has the Simple Country Hyperchicken routine down pat:
- Appeal to patriotism: Check.
- Numbers! $4.2B! 3,000 miles! Trillions of cubic feet! Indisputable!
- Indignant little exclam: Check.
- Gosh-darn pull-together-ness: Check.

No mention of global warming because hey, it's only 3% of 3% of the pie.

Supply-side thermodynamics.
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:07 AM on July 14, 2009 [11 favorites]


Is one to assume that the WaPO is now trying to cultivate an audience uncritical of freshman-level writing?

Oh, and let the plagarism investigation commence.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:09 AM on July 14, 2009


I heard that this was just a preview of a new section that the Post is adding in the near future. It's going to be called "Ask an Idiot."
posted by diogenes at 6:11 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd like to see how long MeFi can go without a former governor of Alaska post.
posted by tommasz at 6:12 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


the moment when America realizes how close it came to having Sarah Palin as the head of the country.

<Maxwell Smart>"Missed it by [holds hands apart] that much."</Maxwell Smart>
posted by octobersurprise at 6:13 AM on July 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


She has the Simple Country Hyperchicken routine down pat

Don't forget the standard list of godless bad guys to position herself against: liberals, Washington bureaucrats, China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
posted by pracowity at 6:14 AM on July 14, 2009


Flagged. Not the best of the web, even for the humor factor. Can we please stop posting about this woman?
posted by nightwood at 6:19 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Zombie horse!
posted by Artw at 6:21 AM on July 14, 2009


Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama's energy cap-and-tax plan.

Ok, that rhymes.

She wrote this.
posted by jeremy b at 6:23 AM on July 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


This seems like a good time to recycle a comment from yesterday.

What the hell is with you, Washington Post?
posted by orange swan at 6:23 AM on July 14, 2009


People *still* care what Sarah Palin thinks? If we stop paying attention to her, maybe she'll go back to mucking fish, and the world will be a better place.
posted by jamstigator at 6:27 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pics or it didn't happen!
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:27 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges

Wait, isn't this your bread and butter Mrs. Palin? Wasn't filling this void the only reason you were even brought on your ticket. Go away.
posted by djduckie at 6:28 AM on July 14, 2009


...she never mentions global warming. It seems to me that any discussion of cap-and-trade ought to at least mention that.

Why would she mention something that everybody knows doesn't exist?
posted by dseaton at 6:29 AM on July 14, 2009


To every difficult and intractable problem, there is an answer which is simple, popular and wrong.

Sarah Palin is that answer.
posted by unSane at 6:31 AM on July 14, 2009 [15 favorites]


The Washington Post must be going after The Washington Times's audience these days.
posted by TedW at 6:33 AM on July 14, 2009


My favorite part: "We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil."
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:35 AM on July 14, 2009


Sarah, we can't quit you baby.
posted by The Straightener at 6:36 AM on July 14, 2009


Flagged. Not the best of the web, even for the humor factor. Can we please stop posting about this woman?

I think it goes "Flag and move on" not "Flag and then comment about flagging."
posted by diogenes at 6:40 AM on July 14, 2009 [10 favorites]


First she didn't write it, while it's bad writing and dumb I feel the writing is insufficiently bad to actually be from her. She had someone do it for her and that person was also not very good. Second, yeah it's dumb but there is a lot of truth in it; cap and trade will have fairly serious economic consequences, it will be regressive, and it will negatively impact economic growth. I still think it's worth doing and doing it in a way that takes the threat of climate change a little bit more seriously than we seem ready to but all the problems she articulated are real. But so what? Cap and trade is a bad idea if carbon emissions aren't a problem. Only carbon emissions are a problem. And that's what makes cap and trade not a bad idea.

She's also wrong about how much energy america can produce on it's own and a number of other things but really it is a lot less factually bad as a great exercise in missing the fucking point. Everything in life is nothing but downside if you ignore the upside.
posted by I Foody at 6:41 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to feel a little pity for the Republican party.... then I think about the 8 years of Bush and I smile and say they deserve this shit!
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:44 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to feel a little pity for the Republican party...

Lie down. It'll pass.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:45 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


She occupies the motionless void at the quark-precise center of the lacuna of rationality. She is the Kwisatz Haderach of America, the final culmination. She is the over-lacquered cedar toothpick holder decorated with sobbing eagles and the chromed lugnut covers, the footprints in the sand and the commemorative coin with fold-out action.

I think the writing is hers, with an editor riding shotgun. If anything, I suspect the editor has a light touch.
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:46 AM on July 14, 2009 [28 favorites]


Who's Sarah Palin?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:50 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is as if she has this piece of software. It is like AutoTune, but instead of taking taking the unmelodic and making it melodic, it takes gobbledygook and makes it coherent. And like AutoTune, you can spot a fake a mile away. It is human looking, but it is not human. Her own Weekend at Bernie's.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:50 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Am I the only person who remembers when cap-and-trade was being promoted by free-market conservatives in economic textbooks and policy discussions as a way to convince the public that this was a better alternative to the liberals' ideas about anti-pollution regulations?

Well, it turns out the liberals found those conservative arguments convincing, and now the conservatives are upset that the liberals took them seriously.
posted by deanc at 6:56 AM on July 14, 2009 [13 favorites]


Metafilter sure loves Sarah.
posted by caddis at 6:59 AM on July 14, 2009


Oh, that cap and trade can never work because it will increase prices and cost jobs. But clean coal, now there's an idea backed by flawless theory and a proven history. Big government is bad and evil, except when there might be a uterus involved, in which case... hooboy, watch out for that Cloverfield-sized monster of a government.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:01 AM on July 14, 2009


deanc, yea wasn't Jack Kemp one of the biggest proponents of cap-and-trade as a market based environmental policy?
posted by octothorpe at 7:01 AM on July 14, 2009


TedW: "The Washington Post must be going after The Washington Times's audience these days."

To be fair, the Times' editorial pages are not this stupid.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:05 AM on July 14, 2009


deanc, octothorpe: It's a combination of a "snipe hunt" and moving the goalposts. "In the time it took our esteemed colleagues to come around to our old opinions, we have established yet more strictly-constructed and family-valutated opinions!"
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:08 AM on July 14, 2009


Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama's energy cap-and-tax plan.

I see what she did there.

Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia?

China = big, scary bugaboo of a growing capitalist economy with lots of cheap labor and new friends
Russia = big, scary bugaboo for decades of Cold War during which American pop culture villains almost always had Russian or Eastern European accents
Saudi Arabia = big, scary bugaboo full of Arabs, money, oil, and Muslims who want Our Freedom™

She's not using logic. She's using scare tactics. The The writer, a Republican is redundant.
posted by notashroom at 7:08 AM on July 14, 2009


from the article:
The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

Finally. We've never really gotten a chance to understand supply-side economics.

(If Sarah Palin is the answer, it must be one fucked-up question.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:10 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yglesias's comment:
I’m not going to link to Sarah Palin’s Washington Post op-ed on why unrestricted pollution should be allowed to destroy the planet. Let’s just observe that the Post’s habit of publishing this kind of material is part of the reason why, adverse consequences for a number of writers I like, I wouldn’t shed a tear if the Washington Post Company were to choose to shutter it’s money-losing newspaper and focus on its core competency in the field of standardized test preparation. After all, why does Sarah Palin have an op-ed on climate legislation in the Washington Post? Does she have scientific expertise? Economic expertise? Knowledge of the state of international climate negotiations?

Perhaps during her brief time in the public spotlight she developed a reputation for an unusually solid grasp of complicated policy details? Or is the idea that she’s known for being honest? A good-faith participant in public policy debates?

Well, no. And the fact of the matter is that the Palin op-ed actually fits very comfortably alongside the established norms of Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and Robert Samuelson—words on paper that are neither paid advertisements nor serious efforts to improve people’s understanding of the world.
Writing as someone who enjoys reading the Post, my local paper, every morning, their editorial choices are making it more and more difficult to want to put in the time.
posted by OmieWise at 7:11 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did she finish it?
posted by mazola at 7:14 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember being shocked (shocked!) when I found out that Jerry Springer was once the mayor of Cincinnati. I can't wait to see the shock on my children's faces when I tell them that this woman was actually governor of Alaska. You know, before she quit and took that daytime talk-show host job.
posted by ailouros08 at 7:14 AM on July 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


Metafilter sure loves Sarah.

Everyone loves Sarah because Sarah's the first political figure that everyone feels self-confident enough to form an opinion about.

Ask Joe Streetcorner a substantive question about the policies of Bill Clinton, Reagan, a Bush, eventually they'll admit they don't really know anything about capital gains taxes or Medicaid or Iran-Contra.

But asking anything about Sarah guarantees a considered heartfelt response.

As a bonus, it's a litmus test of the answerer precisely because there are no substantive questions about her.

Has anyone gone through the EPIC SARAH THREAD hunting for predictions of her imminent disappearance from the national stage?
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:14 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


People *still* care what Sarah Palin thinks? If we stop paying attention to her, maybe she'll go back to mucking fish, and the world will be a better place

Oh would that that were true! Unfortunately we can ignore her all the live long day, but this lady will not go away. She has been fervently embraced by a sizable group of our countrymen and the best thing we can do is to continue to point out that the Empress has no clothes. If you don't wish to play along, I understand, but she is not going to fade away anymore than Paris Hilton will. She is in it for the fame and money and she is going to milk this county's love of Average Joe (i.e. undereducated, under-thinking, talking-points-spewing, self-satisfied blowhards) for every penny she can get.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:16 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


People *still* care what Sarah Palin thinks? If we stop paying attention to her, maybe she'll go back to mucking fish, and the world will be a better place.

I care that the Washington Post thought it was a good idea to publish it.
posted by prak at 7:17 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah baby! Limbaugh and Hannity will love this. Uh -- they can read, can't they?
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:17 AM on July 14, 2009


Can we please stop posting about this woman?

Hell no.
posted by anniecat at 7:20 AM on July 14, 2009


...she is not going to fade away anymore than Paris Hilton will

I have far more respect for Paris Hilton.

I never thought I'd ever say that in any context whatsoever.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:20 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for Improv Everywhere to admit to all this.
posted by srboisvert at 7:21 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Our position is simple. Market-based solutions are the only way to fix things - until you guys propose one. Then they suck and put us in danger. You betcha.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:27 AM on July 14, 2009


Just for grins, doesn't the cap and trade plan not even go into effect for 3+ years? How can it affect anything in the short term? I would think that in anticipation of a perceived restriction on their ability to do business as usual, the energy companies would go full tilt until the plan goes into effect so they can fatten their beltlines for the lean times to come...

The funny thing is cap and trade is a free-market, conservative style solution. There is a market need to output co2. There is a scarcity of "capacity" to output co2. Let the market figure out how to match the need with the scarcity. Actual conservative thinking demands that the government regulate externalities.

(or, what deanc said. same thing happened when Clinton did a lot of conservative style things, like welfare reform. suddenly they had to figure a way to out-conservative the conservative. or the bailouts. perfectly necessary when Bush did it, evil socialism when Obama does it.)

And, not for nothing, despite their whining and rending of clothing, I'm sure they will be investing in the new technology that this creates.

But, of course, these kinds of conservatives only believe in anything to the extent it lets them win. Winning either politically or personally.

Steve Dahl, radio guy, has a couple of genius theories for the left-versus right false dichotomy we have going on.

1, is the gop "simplifying machine". Find a way to simplify the issue, via logical fallacies, into an unassailable statement. "Do what I say or you are supporting the terrorists, and you aren't a terrorist, are you?" Any argument to a statement like that muddies the arguer up.

2, bullies versus the marching band. Doesn't matter who is right, in fact, the more wrong they are, the more they bully. They are still going to grab your hand, hit you in the face with your own hand, and tell you to quit hitting yourself. The goal is to make themselves feel better by being "stronger". And to make sure they can keep that up by recruiting just enough people so that an all out battle ends in MAD.
posted by gjc at 7:27 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


But she was for it before she was against it.

Says so herself at 5:03.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:28 AM on July 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


McCain: Sarah Palin "knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:38 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


What bothers me about Republican demonization of cap and trade is that they don't seem to grasp that the point is staving off global climate disaster. President Obama isn't plotting to make you pay more for utilities, he's trying to prevent your grandchildren from being eaten by migrating polar bears.

Scientists project that in order to get things under control, we need to reduce our emissions by 80% by 2050. That's going to require government-industry cooperation on a large scale, so what are our alternatives?

(1) Carbon tax. The government could allow sources (e.g., manufacturing plants), to emit as many tons of carbon as they wish, but tax every ton emitted. This would be easy to administer, but it would also be inefficient. Big polluters might find it cheaper to pay a tax than develop technology to reduce emissions, which misses the point of the project entirely. On the plus side, it would be a relatively transparent system.

(2) Command and control. The government could set up a site-specific permit system and impose a fine for any emissions over a set limit. But if the government prescribes the technology which must be used to meet that limit, there is no incentive to develop new technology. Why bother sinking money in developing a new whatzit that would cut your emissions by half if your plant is already below the cap using your existing whatzit?

(3) Cap and trade. My understanding of cap and trade is that the government would allocate an annual emissions limit to each source, or it would auction emissions credits (and pledge the money from the auction to climate-related projects). Emissions sources would then buy and sell emissions credits from one another; sources that find it cheap to reduce emissions may do so and sell their remaining credits to sources that find compliance prohibitively expensive. This would create a competitive market with a profit incentive to develop new climate-friendly technology (to generate sellable credits) and would keep money in the economy rather than in the hands of government (unlike funds generated by taxes or fines).

I am puzzled by conservative outrage over the cap and trade option, because it seems like it offers the least amount of government involvement and biggest opportunity for profit. I guess opposing it makes sense if you think that “doing nothing” is a valid alternative… which I don’t think it is. I am neither a scientist nor an economist, but if someone can please explain the conservative opposition to cap and trade succinctly, please do, because Sarah Palin’s “article” was an insult to language and logic.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:39 AM on July 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


There is an option with less government involvement than cap and trade. Google Ron Paul to find out more about this option.
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:42 AM on July 14, 2009


Does anybody on this thread seriously believe that Sarah Palin would use the phrase "chattering classes" without having it fed to her?

My first reaction was that this reads like William Kristol. Who's also a lousy writer, and is probably self-clueless and arrogant enough to think he can 'write in her voice.'
posted by lodurr at 7:54 AM on July 14, 2009


Clankety clank Sarah
posted by pianomover at 7:56 AM on July 14, 2009


Metafilter: Supply-side thermodynamics.

because having a name like "rat spatula" is icing on the cake.
posted by lodurr at 8:00 AM on July 14, 2009


plus, DUH, polar bears can't fly!

Honestly, I'm amazed that (the Limbaugh breed of) conservatives would ever give cap-and-trade the time of day. Even its most ardent proponent has to concede it emits a not-entirely-free-market smell; the government allocates the emission limit (a ripe opportunity for the congresscritters to remember their donors), and the government enforces compliance. You can call it "market-driven" or "market-oriented", but it's adding a force to the marketplace to rein in pollution that doesn't exist otherwise.

Think of pollution as pebbles slowly filling up a bucket at the end of a very long lever. By the time the lever starts to move, it's too late to start trying to empty the bucket. Cap-and-trade is a cleverly-designed lever that points back the other way, and tries to make micro-movements of the pollution bucket, which have long-term repercussions, register on the short-term business landscape.

It may be ingenious, it may even work perfectly, but it's still a contrivance. The CO2 emitted by a polluter doesn't fall as birdshit on his doorstep that he needs to shovel; a bunch of guys in white coats tell him how much his meter says he owes the government.

Your gas meter makes intuitive sense. Your electric meter is actually kind of weird, but most people accept it by analogy with the gas meter. The CO2 meter is ingenious, but it's non-intuitive to most folks. Even the honorable ones, who will pay to get rid of paint or batteries or spent motor oil have trouble understanding why they should pay for something nontoxic (It's got what plants crave!) that's carried off by the wind.

And on preview: Yes, I can imagine the phrase "chattering classes" said in her voice (in fact, I can't make it stop now; with luck, the autotune will kick in shortly). It's a perfect phrase for her to use, in fact; it says everything about the shiftless community organizers who don't know what a hard day muckin' into night is all about.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I read the article, but was it just the word 'Energy' written over and over again for anyone else? Energy, energy, energy, energy. Energy for security, for finance, for bunnies that run on batteries. ENERGY! Come on Sarah, nobody cares about energy. Tell us; who really killed MJ?
posted by Bageena at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2009


Hey, I wrote a column too! Mind if I read you the first paragraph?

"Leaving a trail of slime wherever she goes..."
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 8:13 AM on July 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


gjc: "The funny thing is cap and trade is a free-market, conservative style solution. There is a market need to output co2. There is a scarcity of "capacity" to output co2. Let the market figure out how to match the need with the scarcity. Actual conservative thinking demands that the government regulate externalities."

Absolutely. Even under the most strict Libertarian interpretations of the role of government (as opposed to anarchistic ones), regulating externalities is typically legitimate. You can get into a hell of an argument over what constitutes an "externality" in various scenarios (in the same sense that you can get into a hell of an argument with a Georgist over what constitutes rentierism), but dumping pollution into the atmosphere is pretty clearly one. I don't think there's really any argument over that.

I hate to go all No True Scotsman, but that's what makes it crystal clear to me that Palin et al aren't really ‘traditional conservatives’ or big-L-Liberals or whatever you want to call that philosophy. They're a weird mix of populist social authoritarianism mixed with whatever economic policy they think will win them votes at the moment. That's why you see them pummeling an idea — cap and trade — that ought to be pretty close to the ideal free-market solution to the CO2 pollution problem.

All of this is not to say that there aren't possible objections to the proposed cap-and-trade implementation that could be made, but Palin isn't making them. There's no realistic critique there, which is unfortunate because I think there's a serious risk that the current plan could be co-opted by the likes of Goldman Sachs, and used as a sort of private tax on industry by Wall Street. That's the sort of thing I'd like to see the opposition party bringing up, but the Palinist branch of the Republican party certainly isn't going to.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:15 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


So, wait, let me just be sure here. She honestly believes that we have all the natural resources we will ever need, right here in our own borders? Does she have a reason for why we buy oil from, well, just about everywhere? Is it those lazy libruls?

Could someone build her a kind of economy/environment sandbox (you know, like Civilization, but hyper-realistic) that would actually allow her to do all of the things she thinks would be super keen! just so that she could watch in horror as it all went down the drain? Granted, she'd just complain that the game (based on such abstract concepts as "reality" and "science") was biased. Probably also made by libruls.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:26 AM on July 14, 2009


gjc: "The funny thing is cap and trade is a free-market, conservative style solution. There is a market need to output co2. There is a scarcity of "capacity" to output co2."

The scare quotes around the word capacity is exactly the chink into which the Sarah Palins of the world insert their wedge.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:27 AM on July 14, 2009


Wait, second page, coal has technology now? Has it developed literature? Arts? Complex notions about self and other, and the possibility of a higher power creating cartoonish characters on the national stage to exemplify the golden rule of "No. Don't do that."?
posted by Ghidorah at 8:28 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]



What bothers me about Republican demonization of cap and trade is that they don't seem to grasp that the point is staving off global climate disaster.


You know the expression "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"?

It's like a corollary to that--"Stupidity always attributes malice to that which can be adequately explained".
posted by Benjy at 8:30 AM on July 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


she's a gullible and sincere fool - and god only knows what she would say if she found out
She'll never figure it out. That's why she's a Republican.
posted by silkyd at 8:37 AM on July 14, 2009


the government allocates the emission limit (a ripe opportunity for the congresscritters to remember their donors)

Sane plans have the permits auctioned off precisely to avoid this problem.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:40 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Agreed, what I wrote suggested that Congress would actually create a list ("IBM: 10 units... Dow: 7 units") which is not how it would work.

But just like the Internet routes around censorship, big business routes around legislation. (I'm not saying cap-and-trade is a bad idea, I'm saying I'm an eternal pessimist.)
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:44 AM on July 14, 2009


My understanding is that the majority of credits for the next several decades will in fact be doled out via a list constructed by Congress. Perhaps we don't have a "sane" plan.
posted by Wood at 9:05 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


So, wait, let me just be sure here. She honestly believes that we have all the natural resources we will ever need, right here in our own borders? Does she have a reason for why we buy oil from, well, just about everywhere?

Whenever I see people advocating these clearly asinine propositions, there is a dark part of my soul that occasionally climbs into my brain and whispers things like "Oh please do it. We have all the fuel we will ever need. Tax cuts are the answer to all our economic ills. Stopping immigration is the only answer to protecting our country. You are right!"

Just because I want to hear their explanations when it all goes wrong. When, in 20 years, the very landscape of this country is a shadow of what it used to be, I want to hear them defend their actions.

Then, of course, the rational part of my brain kicks in and points out that the suffering of a couple of hundred million people is not a good trade off just to hear them maybe admit that they were wrong.

Then the cynical part makes note that the fact that I can see this last piece, where suffering doesn't outweigh being right, is the thing that makes me different from them.
posted by quin at 9:17 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait, second page, coal has technology now? Has it developed literature? Arts? Complex notions about self and other, and the possibility of a higher power creating cartoonish characters on the national stage to exemplify the golden rule of "No. Don't do that."?

That sentence that jumped out at me for being truly Palinesque-- both meaningless and grammatically incorrect plus deliberately blind to the economic forces and policy decisions that have made coal extraction dirtier. But to be fair, "whose" can be used with an inanimate antecedent, so while she is stating that coal possesses technology she is not necessarily granting coal personhood.

As a counterpoint to Palin's piece, Maryland's governor Martin O'Malley also has an opinion published today about a cap and trade program:
As the debate over energy independence, climate change, and "green jobs" heats up this summer, Congress and the American public should take note one of the most significant accomplishments related to climate change to date and some of the lessons we've learned. In September 2008, 10 northeastern states, including Maryland, launched the United States's first greenhouse gas "cap and trade system"—and it is working.
posted by peeedro at 9:20 AM on July 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


You guys will never understand; it's about country.
posted by Kabanos at 9:33 AM on July 14, 2009


exibilates?
posted by cortex at 9:35 AM on July 14, 2009


Hey WaPo: Don't feed the trolls.
posted by regicide is good for you at 9:36 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


What bothers me about this article isn't that it was written by Sarah Palin (who, as a human being, doesn't offend me as much as she seems to offend everybody else); it isn't that she disagrees with me (heaven forbid!); hell, it isn't even that it seems to entirely disregard the most important issue in my mind: the environment.

No, what bothers me about this article, and what bothers me about Sarah Palin's contribution to the conservative movement in general, is the fact that it represents an extraordinary shift in the notions and ideals of conservative people that's come with the erosion of and alienation from its libertarian constituents. Not ten years ago, the grassroots conservative ideas of self-reliance and independence were strong enough that conservatives were the first ones to accuse politicians of being in bed with big business; sometimes I think I'm the only one who remembers the Clinton administration, when every Republican to the right of Arlen Spector had the phrases “corporate corruption” and “ill-gotten gains” on their lips when speaking about the president. I remember talking with a few people who were pretty damned gung-ho about this whole Y2K thing, stockpiling stuff and fantasizing about their Red Dawn-esqe subsistence in the new wasteland; yeah, they were wackos, but they shared something with the common conservative: a distrust of the big corporations and of large public ‘institutions’ alike, and a feeling that such groups were most likely not doing anybody any good. The easiest, the most common, the most frequent villain in those minds was the oil companies; greedy, rich fat cats who lived off of the sweat of others.

Now, everything has changed; our society has become so very marketized and advertated (you have permission to used these new words I've just invented as much as you'd like) that it's been possible for those oil companies to actually buy a better reputation in the national mind. I realized this the moment those conservatives, the same conservatives I could've trusted to run down the big corporations any time of day a generation ago, started chanting “drill, baby, drill!”—the ruse was more transparent than ever, and if our national consciousness and awareness hadn't been dulled long ago with ad jingles and sitcom theme songs we would've seen it right away—this was just a very convenient way of, as the marketing consultants (the most powerful people in our culture) would put it, changing the paradigm. It was clear at that precise moment that people were going to start getting very angry at the oil companies; politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, were winning votes in the two houses by running down oil execs and demanding that they answer for making gasoline so goddamned expensive while at the same time making more money than they'd ever made before. I'm certain that the oil companies realized that they just about had a mutiny on their hands.

And at precisely this moment, when the oil companies couldn't answer for why their prices kept rising and their profit margins kept rising with them, appeared Sarah Palin and her chant about drilling. It was marketing genius; that is, it implied the message in such a bombastic and apparently patriotic way that most people accepted the premise without even knowing it was a premise. That premise being: the oil companies are made up of people like us, they are good for us, and they are beneficial to our country.

Let me just say—and it's the old-school conservative in me saying this—bullshit. Oil companies have never done a damned thing for us. This has always been true. I don't know anybody who works for them; I used to, but then my buddy quit his job at the gas station, got a real job, and moved out of his parents' house. My dad was in the peace corps in Nigeria in the early '70s; he tells stories about how even then oil companies were destroying the environment and the African political climate at the same time. So it's been for the past forty years; from those uneasy times in the '70s to the alliances with dictatorships and juntas and military coups in the '80s to the entrenched corruption and the buying of political power of the '90s. I'll say it again: oil companies have never done a damned thing for us.

But they knew that if they could make it folksey, if they could make it seem like they employed a bunch of down-home folks just like us, they could make us believe that they are us, and that their priorities and benefits align with ours. Well, guess what: if a few thousand guys in Alaska make a little bit more money per year than they would if they lived in the lower 48, if those guys get bigger tax returns, it's still not going to convince me that oil companies are any damned good for us. Oil has always been a tale of a tiny number of guys scheming carefully so that they make a boatload of cash and nobody else makes money.

Tax them all to hell, I say. Don't let them drill anywhere. Sarah may have no imagination whatsoever, but I know for a fact that if we didn't rely on oil at all we'd be paying a hell of a lot less for energy.
posted by koeselitz at 9:41 AM on July 14, 2009 [38 favorites]


I was gonna read this, but then I got bogged down and decided to resign, to better focus on the real business of Klang Klangston—masturbating.
posted by klangklangston at 9:58 AM on July 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'll say it again: oil companies have never done a damned thing for us.

Didn't oil firms keep George W Bush employed for years?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:58 AM on July 14, 2009


I was going to read this, but then I just kind of went on living my life.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:06 AM on July 14, 2009


...just to hear them maybe admit that they were wrong.

That's a really big "maybe." Won't happen without "climate crimes trials" (such as Bruce Sterling has been suggesting for the past four or five years). Even then it would be a positive orgy of "but based on what we knew at the time"....
posted by lodurr at 10:09 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


rough_ashlar: he said for, not to.
posted by lodurr at 10:09 AM on July 14, 2009


Just because I want to hear their explanations when it all goes wrong. When, in 20 years, the very landscape of this country is a shadow of what it used to be, I want to hear them defend their actions.

Peeedro -- I often think that the modern Republican Party is a bizarro-world Utopian movement. It's a world where nothing can go wrong and everything will be just fine. Hilariously transparent policies are set without any regard for real-world conditions, and consequences are never considered:

Dwindling world energy resources? Drill, baby, drill.
Global Warming: It's a hoax!
Invade Iraq: They'll welcome us with flowers.
Capture Osama? Sounds hard.
Deregulate eveything? What could go wrong?

Right now, I think the country is already of shadow of what it used to be. (We can't even afford to keep open rest areas on the highway. --not like that's something we should be outraged about, but it just seems to me like the fuzzy thinking of people like Palin have made the country shrink, somehow. ...the cupboard feels so bare.)

And if you're hoping for a day of reckoning, I don't think that would ever come. In 20 years they'll have future Limbaugh blaming it all on Obama, no matter what happens.
posted by silkyd at 10:16 AM on July 14, 2009 [8 favorites]


The only problems that exist are the ones created by communist socialist atheist unchristian government. You can cure all problems with this here mixture of private initiative juice, jesus juice, filtering out all taxes and foreigner elements, spinning it all in a high spin cycle to emulsify until it has the consistency of oil. From a snake. Now elect me.
posted by VikingSword at 10:20 AM on July 14, 2009


koeselitz: Well said.

I don't think it's just the oil companies that have managed that turnaround; I think it's a whole slew of industries, including the financial sector. (Although I don't think they've been nearly so successful at it.)

There's always been a sort of tension in the Republican party between the 'Rockefeller Republicans' in favor of business and commerce and what I always thought of as the more Libertarian-leaning "I just want government to leave me the hell alone!" quasi-populist Republican party that I remember growing up in New England. In general these two groups had a lot of common goals — small government, low taxes, etc. — that outweighed their differences.

Where I see everything as going off the rails was with the introduction of the ex-Southern Democrats. The pro-big-business side of the Republican party teamed up with this powerful new constituency, which by and large seemed to care more about social issues than economic ones, in a Faustian bargain: we'll push your social agenda if you'll back our economic one. The Libertarian-leaning "Yankee Republicans" got left out in the cold.

But like all Faustian bargains, eventually the Devil came for what was his, and I don't think it's much of a stretch to imagine Sarah Palin as his infernal instrument.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:28 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Then, of course, the rational part of my brain kicks in and points out that the suffering of a couple of hundred million people is not a good trade off just to hear them maybe admit that they were wrong.

Except that they'd never admit to having been wrong; they'd always find some scapegoat to blame the country's woes on (Jews, kulaks, single mothers, gay liberal college professors).
posted by acb at 10:31 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


ts;dr

(too stupid; didn't read)
posted by brand-gnu at 10:40 AM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


McCain: Sarah Palin "knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America."

He's become just another doddering old fool. Damn good thing he lost the election.
posted by caddis at 10:43 AM on July 14, 2009


I just can't stop thinking, talking, and posting about Sarah Palin!

Promise me we'll never have to stop thinking about Sarah Palin
posted by hamida2242 at 10:44 AM on July 14, 2009


Google Ron Paul to find out more about this option.

SRSLY?
posted by joe lisboa at 10:47 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


...we are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil.

*vomits on keyboard
posted by sswiller at 10:50 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]



Metafilter sure loves Sarah.

Not as much as Tina Fey.
posted by notreally at 11:09 AM on July 14, 2009


"Drill baby drill!" may have been the climax of the appropriation of conservative trappings by Consumptive Adverbusiness, but it hardly seems to me to be the beginning of it, not by a long stretch.

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, I went to an arena football game. The U. S. Army had a recruitment tent alongside the stadium, next to the BEER LITE BIKINI GIRLS tent and the K-ROCK 106.9 tent, with a Humvee parked jauntily up on a rock. At the beginning of the game, soldiers in dress uniform presented the flag. Oh, wait, I forgot the creepy part: Before the dress uniform soldiers appeared, the lights in the arena fell dark.

The PA system throbbed with sound of circling helicopters.

The spotlights swirled.

What's that? In the corner? A squad of grunts in full camo, deploying out of the locker room tunnel. Two squat, their machineguns leveled. A third sprints downfield under their cover; then takes a knee. More appear; they spread out, securing the astroturf.

Then it's safe for the color guard.

Every dumb summer blockbuster I watched toward the end of G. W. Bush's term was preceded by a Music Vinfotainment Thing starring Kid Rock or 3 Doors Down talking about BAD-ASS ROLLING and THE TEARS OF A HERO.

"Drill baby drill" is where it went mainstream, but I think H. Ross Perot was the first big tremor. Dubya was the pendulum swinging back too hard.

On preview: Sorry, Joe the Lisboa; no, not seriously.
posted by Rat Spatula at 11:11 AM on July 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I don't understand all this hue and cry over Sarah Palin. Why the wish she'd go away?

Isn't she the best thing that's happened to the Democrats and all forces for good in this country, in at least 20 years?

Why would you ever want her to go away? On the contrary, I hope she becomes even a bigger force in the Republican party. I hope she wins the nomination of her party for the next presidential election, or even better, for the one after that. Because she'd be a sure loser.

Why not have her as a symbol of the Republican party? She's such a great force for getting the independent vote to go Demo. Having her stand for Republicans, discredits the party to vast numbers of people, and the more prominent she is, the bigger the adverse publicity.

Personally, I hope she keeps the stupid loud and clear for all to see and hear. I want her to keep on destroying the Republican party and discrediting everything that she and they stand for. She's like the scary poster of the terminal meth junkie used to scare people straight. I love it.

She can't actually win - so that's harmless, but she does great work for the Democrats. It's like installing a really stupid general at the head of your foe's army. Gotta love it. It's like Bin Laden and Bush - Bin Laden must have been dancing a jig every single day, that America has as stupid a leader as GWB, one who actually recruits for the other side, bankrupts his own country, destroys credibility, weakens their constitution and ravages everything in sight - all self-inflicted wounds. He could have never accomplished a billionth of the damage GWB did to his own country.

Same here. I love this Sarah Palin business.

More Sarah Palin! More Sarah Palin! More! More! THIS is the Republican party, everyone, come and see it!
posted by VikingSword at 11:25 AM on July 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


She can't actually win...

I really wish I shared your confidence. But she doesn't need to win an election for her side to win the game (or lose with a drawn-out, bloody endgame). In fact, she's right on target to do just that; become the World's Sexist Republican Cheerleader, clearing brush from the public mind and drawing fire from the actual elected officials, letting them go about the business of giving the nation the business.
posted by Rat Spatula at 11:33 AM on July 14, 2009


OK, I can't hold back anymore, I have to know, is she really related to Michael Palin?
TIA
posted by From Bklyn at 11:39 AM on July 14, 2009


Why won't she just go away. Every time I turn on the news, its her ugly mug on the screen. I hope she runs for president in 2012 so that she screws over republicans again.
posted by ilrozo23 at 11:59 AM on July 14, 2009


From Bklyn: OK, I can't hold back anymore, I have to know, is she really related to Michael Palin?

Sarah Palin: IT'S
posted by shakespeherian at 12:25 PM on July 14, 2009


More Sarah Palin! More Sarah Palin! More! More! THIS is the Republican party, everyone, come and see it!

The trouble is that if the Republicans are crazy, the Democrats can be as military-industrial/big business/rip-off the average guy as they like, and we still have to vote for them.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:28 PM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


There may be legitimate arguments against Cap and Trade, but I'll be damned to an eternity of evangelical heaven if I am going to read, let along take seriously anything this attention-whore (used non sexistly) says regarding energy policy. If anything it makes me more prone to look favorable on C&T just cause she doesn't like it.
posted by edgeways at 12:42 PM on July 14, 2009


"Not ten years ago, the grassroots conservative ideas of self-reliance and independence were strong enough that conservatives were the first ones to accuse politicians of being in bed with big business"

Okay, phweeet, There's a Flag on this one.

Seriously. "Not Ten Years ago" was 1999, I'll thank you to reset your "Long time ago" meter to a number that doesn't wind up in the latter half of the 20th (post Nixon and Reagan) Seriously, Nixon opened the door to Private Insurance and Reagan did everything he could to hand over the reigns of power to KBR and their ilk. Not that KBR existed then.

The "Grass Roots" conservatives at the time were either plotting to blow up a federal monument, kill an abortion doctor or complaining about taxes. Given that unemployment was so low that in some parts of the US stuffing flyers under windshields paid more than the federal minimum wage (like 200%) most "grass roots" conservatives (when not complaining about fellatio) were working hard and making money. By 1999 big business was already in charge.

Plus Ca Change, huh?

How is it that relative naif from Alaska can captivate the Political Discourse so? Well, I think we all know, everyone loves a "train wreck" and we're all holding our breath to see when it comes.

There was alot of breath holding over Nixon too.
posted by NiteMayr at 1:55 PM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


This reads like a fourth grade report by a girl who's father works for an Oil Company in Alaska.

*Stabs self in the neck.*
posted by Skygazer at 2:14 PM on July 14, 2009


Yes, yes, I found one! A line she may have actually written: Our 3,000-mile natural gas pipeline will transport hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of our clean natural gas to hungry markets across America.

Then again, maybe not.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:25 PM on July 14, 2009


How is it that relative naif from Alaska can captivate the Political Discourse so?

Ooo, oo! I know! I know!

"She's just like me." I'd like to say this was a carefully stage-managed ploy, but that would give her way too much credit. She lucked into a story that hews to popular Disney-fied myth that an ordinary woman could reach the top simply by being ordinary. Hey, it worked before, for another "mom in tennis shoes."

People in the U.S. incorrectly equate Alaska's geographic size with a large population. At about 700,000 residents, Alaska is roughly equal in population to the city of Fort Worth, Texas. In population, Alaska represents about one-fourth the number of people that call Chicago home.

That's OK, Alaska. Wyoming is about 200,000 people smaller.

Alaska is obviously the most sparsely populated state in the union, but they're a huge producer of raw natural resources, right? Not so fast. Alaska ranks No. 45 in GDP.

That's right, bitches. RHODE ISLAND has a bigger economy than Alaska.

Ocean State, represent!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:30 PM on July 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


John Kerry rebuts Ms. Palin.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:59 PM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Governor Palin need look no further than the view from her front porch...
Oh, I liked that.
posted by pointilist at 3:21 PM on July 14, 2009


That's right, bitches. RHODE ISLAND has a bigger economy than Alaska.

Which is what makes the Alaska secessionist movements so hilarious. Sure, secede you morons. Even if you get as much as 25% of the entire state (which you couldn't - maybe 10%) to go along with it— the lower 48 could occupy and milk dry the natural gas and oil fields with less than a division all the while 17,000 methed out "combat ready" dip shits skawker out into the woods to freeze their asses off in an arctic winter. Or, they blow up their own pipelines and cut off their own infrastructure.

Yeah. Good plan.
posted by tkchrist at 3:39 PM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh Lord, I love this:
(Pat) "Buchanan had some harsh advice for the Palin family on how to deal with Levi:" Well, first, with regard to Levi, I think First Dude up there in Alaska, Todd Palin, ought to take Levi down to the creek and hold his head underwater until the thrashing stops.
Nothing like a good murder joke, eh Buchanan?

But back to Sarah...
Here is some info on Sarah's natural gas pipeline. Turns out about half the gas will be diverted to make "dirty oil"
The other 80 percent [of the oil] is buried too deep for strip mining. In these locations, massive quantities of natural gas are piped in to make steam. The steam is injected into the ground, liquefying the bitumen. Although this operation is undoubtedly an engineering accomplishment, it's also kind of, well, stupid. Eric Reguly, a reporter for the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail described burning natural gas in the tar sands this way, "Burning a clean fuel to make a dirty fuel is a kind of reverse alchemy, like turning gold into lead."

Commenting on the tar sands three years ago, Al Gore said, "It is truly nuts. But you know, junkies find veins in their toes. It seems reasonable, to them, because they've lost sight of the rest of their lives."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:47 PM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


"First Dude" never stops being hilarious.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 3:53 PM on July 14, 2009


Weird
posted by Artw at 4:55 PM on July 14, 2009


And disturbing. And here I thought the Guardian was an actual newspaper.
posted by lodurr at 5:05 PM on July 14, 2009


the lower 48 could occupy and milk dry the natural gas and oil fields with less than a division

I. DRINK. YOUR. MOOSESHAKE.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:18 PM on July 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


I am an enormous fan of Sarah Palin. I'm even a supporter of Sarah Palin on Facebook. She is by far and away God's biggest gift to the Democratic Party in decades. This is his apology for Wellstone.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:53 PM on July 14, 2009


a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

what
posted by heeeraldo at 6:52 PM on July 14, 2009


I see that lots of comments on The Guardian site have been deleted by the moderator. I wonder what the comments were. Calling Palin a B.I.T.C.H? Would that get you deleted? Or are they comments about the other comments. Now we will never know.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:02 PM on July 14, 2009


I think First Dude up there in Alaska, Todd Palin, ought to take Levi down to the creek and hold his head underwater until the thrashing stops.

Pat Buchanan's a Sugar fan? Who knew?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:53 PM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just because I want to hear their explanations when it all goes wrong. When, in 20 years, the very landscape of this country is a shadow of what it used to be, I want to hear them defend their actions.

Umm, this has already happened: America has never recovered from the damage done by the Reagan administration. This country is already a shadow of what it used to be.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 9:53 PM on July 14, 2009


a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

what
posted by heeeraldo 2 ¾ hours ago [+]


If I may ... a lot of people don't realize that ANWR is enormous. It's nearly 80,000 square kilometers -- roughly the size of South Carolina. Proponents of drilling point out the size of ANWR to downplay the impact of drilling. If you keep going with the South Carolina analogy and imagine that ANWR were the literal size and shape of South Carolina, a full-scale drilling operation -- which really would be about 2,000 acres -- would take up about as much space as Charleston International Airport and the attached Charleston Air Force Base.

But these are fuzzy numbers and best-case scenarios. And ANWR's estimated oil yield is tiny compared to current needs. No real impact on the nation's energy usage as a whole.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:55 PM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


This country is already a shadow of what it used to be.

Well, to be fair, he said when the "landscape of this country is a shadow of what it used to be," and for that we'll need a few more years of mountaintop-removal coal mining. But I think it's totally doable.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:22 AM on July 15, 2009


Reading some of this.... at this point Palin, and by extension the GOP, are like Harry Cooper in Night of the Living Dead. (I think the remake is more apt). Just go down in the cellar, don't help anyone, pure opportunistic and ego-driven obstructionism.
I'd contest the point about conservativism, but it's not at all relevant to the conversation.
What do you call someone with no principles whatsoever? Or rather, who only mouths whatever platitudes might serve to selfish ends?
Hell, that's not even enough to be nihilism.
I mean, it is true that in 99 you did have people (conservatives) with the 'go it alone' mentality. It wasn't the hallmark of rationality perhaps, but it was predicated on something at least. And people knew big money wasn't going to have their backs. There was a recognition of, or at least some connection with reality. That one would have to bend to it. You gotta eat. You gotta sleep. Crap. You need shelter. Etc.

At this point it's all presentation. That is, only presentation matters in success.
In a sense, if Palin does say it, and says it enough, to a wide enough audience, it is true.

The dichotomy between the farmer plowing his field and Pappy O'Daniel's truck driving by blaring electioneering propaganda at him comes to mind.

Palin is wise to embrace power at a higher level in the media sphere. As governor, you've got what, direct control over some national guardsman, you veto, politick - the big downside though, you have to show results. The things you say and do have effects.
Here - no downside.
You can say whatever you will. As long as it grabs attention, you're succeeding. And success is the only thing that matters (in this particular milieu). And you don't need to show results so you can never be wrong.
Hell, Bush did this dance throughout his presidency. It was a complete artifice. The books were cooked, all that.
More I think about the surveillance program and the nature of information the more I think one of the goals was to look for ways to rewrite history (not as Orwell did in 1984. No need. You just find a scapegoat. Attack the messenger. etc. etc. you know the tactics). No need for sweeping changes in pronouncements, one just needs to reframe.

Speculation aside, seeming is, of late, and more and more, often more important than being. If Palin is going to run for president, this was the logical way to go about it, given all the givens.
I mean, it's rational to place tinfoil on one's head, given that it blocks mind control rays and given the snakepeople of Acturus are sending such things out. Or, within a game, it's rational to drive one's competitors into the poorhouse and to jail, directly to jail, without passing Go.
But those things aren't real. And have no bearing on reality no matter how well we play them.
If the stakes weren't so high at this point in history, it'd almost be laughable.

But today? Commodus in charge of the media? Nero with nuclear weapons? Caligula in charge of foreign policy and the environment?
The excesses of such past leaders are trite only because they didn't have a world civilization as powerful as ours.
We can quite literally exterminate all life on Earth.
Time to stop playing fucking games.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:48 AM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


(well, all macro life. I suspect some lower forms could survive intense radiation, etc.)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:49 AM on July 15, 2009


Sarah Palin, meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You two right-wing populists have a surprising amount in common
posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM on August 3, 2009


Could this be an early trial balloon for a Palin/Bachmann ticket in 2012?
posted by homunculus at 3:45 PM on August 7, 2009


Orly Taitz for Press Sec. in that case.
posted by cortex at 4:04 PM on August 7, 2009


homunculus: "Could this be an early trial balloon for a Palin/Bachmann ticket in 2012?"

Wow, she really is bonkers, isn't she? Obama's Death Panel? WTF?
posted by octothorpe at 5:08 PM on August 7, 2009


Wow.

Pity she wasn't a national figure during the Clinton era, she'd have been all about the black helicopters and the greys.
posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on August 7, 2009


Or maybe it will be Palin/Gingrich in 2012. Bachmann could be Secretary of State. That would show the world we mean business.
posted by homunculus at 1:50 PM on August 9, 2009


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