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May. 24 2010 - 9:09 am | 7,967 views | 1 recommendation | 32 comments

Sarah Palin has more oil spill credibility than you think

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at Dover, New Hamp...

Image via Wikipedia

When Sarah Palin took to Fox News yesterday and declared the following, the heads of millions of progressives around America spun around so fast you’d think that they were doing some sort of new breakdancing routine:

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Palin suggested that the White House is too cozy with the oil industry because of contributions to candidate Obama during the 2008 presidential race.

“I don’t know why the question isn’t asked by the mainstream media and by others if there’s any connection with the contributions made to President Obama and his administration and the support by the oil companies to the administration,” Palin, a Fox News Channel contributor, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“If there’s any connection there to President Obama taking so doggone long to get in there, to dive in there, and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico — now, if this was President Bush or if this were a Republican in office who hadn’t received as much support even as President Obama has from B.P. and other oil companies, you know the mainstream media would be all over his case,” she said.

via FOXNews.com – Palin Links BP Donations to Obama to Explain Gulf Spill Response.

How, the casual observer might ask, can Sarah “Drill Baby Drill” Palin with her ‘drill here, drill now’ position even imagine that she could get away with this?

It’s simple, really. As Alaska’s occasional governor, Palin actually took a rather populist position on how oil companies should be dealt with.

I blogged about this back in March of 2009 when Portfolio fronted Palin on the cover of its soon-to-be-out-of-business magazine. Portfolio’s story sought to identify failings in Palin’s energy policy – that she had failed to make a big natural gas pipeline deal happen because she had taken a hostile position against the major fossil fuel corporations that wanted to invest in the project.

But what the story actually revealed was not that Palin had failed in her energy policy. Rather, it showed that she had refused to let her state’s energy policy be set on terms that were most favorable to those large companies – like the very ones she accuses Obama of receiving too much money from today.

So while people on the left will see Palin knocking Obama and asking “What about ‘drill baby drill’?” what they’re missing is that Palin was always a believer in Alaska’s system of petro-socialism, and does not in any way believe that the oil companies should get a pass. It’s a classic example of liberals underestimating Sarahcudda’s political wits, the savvy moves she made during her years in Alaska politics that put her on the footing that allowed her to become nationally relevant.

Now there’s certainly an insincere germ in Palin’s attempt to Katrina-ize the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But when it comes to not being a great friend to oil companies, Palin was the real deal when she held political office.


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  1. collapse expand

    Michael Roston is a real journalist, not a lamestream hack. His article is factual & fair, not the tendentious hysteria associated with most blogs about Gov. Sarah Palin. Thanks, pal.

  2. collapse expand

    Well she has no credibility when she lies – she’s like a high-school troublemaker.

    From http://www.opensecrets.org : “BP: All Recipients. Among federal candidates (1989 – 2010)…Big friggin deal, there’s a $3,751 difference between what Obama received & the next highest recipient, Don Young (R-Alaska)!!
    Did she bother to fact-check, just ran her mouth and counted on the media not fact checking (which they didn’t)?

    Obama, Barack (D-Ill) $77,051
    Young, Don (R-Alaska) $73,300
    Stevens, Ted (R-Alaska) $53,200
    Bush, George W (R-Texas) $47,388
    McCain, John (R-Ariz) $44,899

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D...

    $3k? Hardly the big expose of a covert relationship between Obama & BP..now is it? And PLEASE NOTE – 4 of 5 top recipients are Republicans!

    • collapse expand

      I agree, the allegation against Obama is overblown and highly politicized. The notion that the President isn’t dealing with the problem because of his ties to Big Oil, or that President Bush didn’t take much money from Big Oil, is laughable. But those are the grounds on which you need to address her statements, the facts. You can’t shoot the messenger in this case.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      truthfairy…first of all, you did NOTHING to contradict what Palin said. Obama REALLY DID receive the most amount of money from BP.

      An a lame attempt to explain this away, you look at contributions from the past 11 years. Obama was a complete nobody in 1989, genius. Take a look at the 2008 only contributions, if you dare. Obama received around DOUBLE what John McCain did. You had to extrapolate 11 years to compare to Obama’s one year, and Obama STILL TOOK IN MORE MONEY than anyone else.

      Thank you for unwittingly reinforcing the point that Obama is a puppet of big oil.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      “President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

      BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

      On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as it has tried to influence energy policy.

      During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Governor Palin has made the correct argument with respect to the Obama oil spill. Her argument is that both British Petroleum and Barack Obama have failed miserably.
      As she indicates in a recent Facebook post, she was merely asking why the media wasn’t asking questions about the contributions that Barack Obama received from BP when it would have done so if a Republican were President and was the top recipient of BP contributions in the last twenty years (Obama was the top recipient of BP cash in the last twenty years).

      Governor Palin didn’t dispute the fact that McCain received more from the oil and gas industries in the whole than did Obama. This disaster was not caused by the oil and gas industries, but by BP and BP alone, and it is from BP alone that Obama received the biggest chunk of all their political contributions. It is reasonable to demand questions be asked about the coziness of the Obama administration to BP.

      Governor Palin: It’s About BP and Media Bias
      http://tinyurl.com/3yklke9

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Governor Palin has made the correct argument with respect to the Obama oil spill. Her argument is that both British Petroleum and Barack Obama have failed miserably.
      As she indicates in a recent Facebook post, she was merely asking why the media wasn’t asking questions about the contributions that Barack Obama received from BP when it would have done so if a Republican were President and was the top recipient of BP contributions in the last twenty years (Obama was the top recipient of BP cash in the last twenty years).

      Governor Palin didn’t dispute the fact that McCain received more from the oil and gas industries in the whole than did Obama. This disaster was not caused by the oil and gas industries, but by BP and BP alone, and it is from BP alone that Obama received the biggest chunk of all their political contributions. It is reasonable to demand questions be asked about the coziness of the Obama administration to BP.

      Governor Palin: It’s About BP and Media Bias
      http://tinyurl.com/3yklke9

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    Mr. Roston,

    One of the nuances in the story of how the Federal Government has been responding to the Deepwater Horizon disaster is that the former platform in question is actually outside the “territorial seas” of the United States. This means that the Clean Water Act, the relevant statute, does not apply beyond the three mile limit of “territorial seas”. By extension, the USEPA thus has no authority. While the now horizontal platform is within the “Extended Economic Zone” of the US, just how much authority that gives the federal government in this situation is not at all clear. Without the power of the CWA and the USEPA, just what Mr. Obama is going to be able to do other the fume is unresolved.

    This is where Ms. Palin is all bluster and ignorance, as usual. Without appropriate legal authority, no president can do anything. This has nothing to do with Mr. Obama being “cozy” with big oil and everything to do with legal authority and precedent. Had Mr. Obama accepted not a single dime from BP or any other oil company, he would be right were he is right now. So would President McCain and even President Palin.

    This is just another reason by “drill, baby, drill” is not sound public policy. Oil companies like BP get all of the benefits of deep sea drilling are privatized but when something goes wrong, all of the costs are socialized. This is how big business works, they want to “externalize” all of their costs but internalize all of the income. How different costs get externalized varies, it might moving manufacturing overseas or getting local tax breaks, or getting bailed by the federal government when they burn their own house down.

    Finally, Ms. Palin took a strong stand against the petroleum companies externalizing their costs at the expense of the people of Alaska because that was popular at the moment, just like she formed a commission to address global warming. When pandering to the ultra-right in the Republican Party, she took exactly the opposite positions, “drill, baby, drill” and “Global warming is snake oil”. Now with a moment to score some cheap political points, she makes yet another completely self-contradictory position on the oil business and off-shore drilling.

    There are ballerinas who cannot spin that fast.

  4. collapse expand

    Sarah Palin did not represent a populist point of view in her dealings with “Big Oil”. Her position was always driven by money, either for Todd (BP Employee) or her personal Seven Flags Over Alaska extravaganza of pleasure. She was never driven by populist edict or some anachronistic dedication to what was best for “her state”. It was always the money, just like now. The T-Baggers are her current meal ticket. (Her daughter, Little Miss Roundheels, seems to be learning at the Alter.) Some quotes:

    “Obama is way off base on all that. I think those politicians who don’t understand that we need more domestic supply of energy flowing into our hungry markets, you know, they’re living in La-La Land. And we’re in a world of hurt if their agenda continues to be to lock up these safe, secure domestic supplies of energy.” – http://kudlowsmoneypolitics.blogspot.com/2008/06/drill-drill-drill-my-interview-with_26.html

    “Kudlow: Why don’t we just liberate, and decontrol, and deregulate the whole bloody energy business…

    Palin: Yeah absolutely! You’re hitting the nail right on the head. That’s what so many of us normal Americans are asking. The same thing.” –
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/25394468/Drill_Drill_Drill_My_Interview_with_Alaska_Governor_Sarah_Palin

    “Just prior to discussing Iraq, Alaska’s governor asked the audience to pray for another matter — a $30 billion national gas pipeline project that she wanted built in the state. “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,” she said.” – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/02/palins-church-may-have-sh_n_123205.html

    Then there is the First Dude – “For eighteen years, he worked for BP in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Palin

    • collapse expand

      Sarah Palin’s successful efforts to stop the cronyism and reform the energy business in Alaska were so impressive Kay Cashman, the publisher and executive editor of Petroleum News, wrote the book entitled: “Sarah Takes On Big Oil”. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the leadership Sarah Palin has exhibited in the area of reforming government and industry.

      http://tinyurl.com/ygkeo2f

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Nope. Sorry. Gotta disagree. Your assertion that Sarah Palin’s efforts to stop cronyism and reform the energy business in Alaska were “sucessful” and “impressive” is open to some pretty serious challenge.

        http://www.andrewhalcro.com/june_8_agia_-_signed_sealed_and_delivered

        For anyone interested in the nitty gritty of Alaskan politics (which is a far larger subject than the exploits of a half-term governor) Andrew Halcro is well worth reading. Halcro is an Anchorage businessman, a former Alaska Republican legislator, a former independent candidate for AK governor (lost to Sarah), a total policy wonk, and a conservative. The blogpost of his that I’ve linked to is a pretty damning picture of AGIA- the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act- shortly after it passed. Every criticism of AGIA he made has been demonstrated to be pretty much correct.

        AGIA is Sarah Palin’s signal (really, only) legislative acomplishment of her short tenure as AK governor. It is a botch. It is a failure. It will never happen. While a Natural Gas pipeline, with either Valdez or Alberta as terminus, may well be built one day, it will not be built under AGIA’s auspices.

        As for addressing reform, how exactly did she do that? While AGIA’s passage was certainly helped by public disgust with the “Corrupt Bastards Club” indictments and trials, AGIA offers no systemic reforms- bluffing BP, Conoco, and Exxon, in a way that they’ll call and win does nothing for the people of Alaska- except waste up to $500 million of their tax dollars.

        While Cashman’s book may be valuable, I found your link inadequate to your argument. An Amazon link to a book, that only offers a few sample pages, and does not offer any direct support to your case just won’t do. If you’re going to make wildly implausible claims, you need to back them up if you don’t wnat me to dismiss them.

        While the former governor certainly exhibits a great deal of skill at populist pandering- from all sorts of mutually contradictory positions- AGIA stands as concrete proof that she is nohow, no way, an “Energy Expert”, and offers no proof that she is or was ever a genuine reformer.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Under her leadership as Governor, Alaska invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding and protected Alaska’s natural resources. She created Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to provide oversight and maintenance of oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure and the Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.

          During Governor Palin’s first year in office, three of her administrations major proposed pieces of legislation passed—an overhaul of the state’s ethics laws, a competitive process to construct a natural gas pipeline and a restructuring of Alaska’s oil valuation formula.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
  5. collapse expand

    Obama is in bed with BP, that much is obvious. The only question is how long is the administration going to hold out before it succumbs to political pressures and have the Army Corp of Engineers actually the fix leak? Well I for one, a resident of the Gulf Beaches in Florida, hope it’s sooner rather than later. We are all here bracing for the economic fallout of Obama’s decision to give BP the chance to make it right. Check out this little graphic… the headline says it all.

    http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2O3jTc/votedemocraticparty.com/%3Fp%3D526%26sms_ss%3Dstumbleupon

    • collapse expand

      Hello Blake Chiszar,

      1) The ACOE does not have any expertise in this field, they have no staff or experienced in plugging deep sea oil leaks. If fact, really nobody does, a leak of this size and at that depth is really quite unprecedented.

      2) The leak is in international waters, or at least outside of the “territorial waters” of the US. Under what authority would the Mr. Obama essentially seize private property, the private property of a very powerful oil company? Even if he did, what he do with it?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        The cause of this explosion will not be investigated by OSHA because the rig is in international waters an OSHA spokeswoman told the Times-Picayune. However, the U.S. agency that oversees offshore drilling, the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the Department of the Interior, and the Coast Guard will investigate the cause of the explosion, according to Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  6. collapse expand

    Mr. Roston;

    You have made what I hope is a very unfortunate typo, seemingly accusing the former governor of Alaska of demanding sexual gratification, “…Palin with her ‘drill her, drill now’ position….” Judging from the size of her family, I assume Governor Palin gets all the drilling she needs from her more than capable, and very attractive husband. I hope you will make the appropriate corrections without delay.

    Regards,
    Your 9th Grade English Teacher

  7. collapse expand

    Sarah Palin’s successful efforts to stop the cronyism and reform the energy business in Alaska were so impressive Kay Cashman, the publisher and executive editor of Petroleum News, wrote the book entitled: “Sarah Takes On Big Oil”. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the leadership Sarah Palin has exhibited in the area of reforming government and industry.

    http://tinyurl.com/ygkeo2f

  8. collapse expand

    Sarah was saying that in light of the fact that Obama received the biggest chunk of the total political contributions BP has made to any candidate over the past 20 years, the media ought to have at least asked some questions as to why there wasn’t proper oversight of BP by the Obama administration. The Governor also pointed out that had President Bush been president today under the same circumstances – of being BP’s biggest recipient of political contributions – the media would have gone all out to accuse the administration of being in bed with BP.

  9. collapse expand

    It is a good day when a liberal or conservative goes heretic (especially when the common enemy is targeted). This ain’t rocket science. It’s us against the machines(corporations). Corporations do not create employment security. They seek to destroy it. Corporations do not benefit society. They compete with it. Corporations do not make people healthier. They poison them. Corporations are not accountable. People are. Corporations have rights and privileges that citizens can only dream of. Sarah may be a dumb bimbette to a lot of people. But she is fearless in the face of these robbers (which is more than can be said for all the highfalutin’ lawyers from the ivy league that nonchalantly sell their souls to the highest bidders in Washington).

    • collapse expand

      Occasional Governor Palin irritated big oil when she ruled the Petroleum Kingdom of Alaska, but I doubt she’d be as deferential if she were running for office again.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        The only office sh will ever attain is MILF of the year. She will never get elected to high office. You liberals fret about it. True conservatives just laugh it off and shake our heads at your angst.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Again, pissing on the wrong fireplug. I don’t believe Palin has any future electoral prospects. But she’s a good movement builder, a la Newt Gingrich.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            Newt, while a tiresome bore, was an relatively eloquent statesman with a good command of political landscape during his prime years. Sarah is just in this for the money and celebrity. The two are not in the same league. Eventually, you will learn not to take her so seriously. The Republicans will play right into your hands, rightfully so, if they continue to run a a party that looks like the Hee Haw show. She’s a clown. “Movement Builder” is giving her way too much credit. If the democratic party loses elections, it won’t be because Sarah Palin is a formidable opponent in any way. It will be because the democrats lost touch with what they can offer the citizenry. Here’s a hint: Molly-coddling banks and corporations ain’t the right idea.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          leon k- I can’t speak for all Libs, but speaking for me: it ain’t Sarah that bothers me. She’s pretty obvious and transparent. (Boring list of obviosity: She can’t govern- my comment above touches on that, but there’s plenty of easily found evidence that she’s a rotton administrator at every job she’s held, from Wasilla mayor, on up. She lies- there were no “death panels’, and she had to have known that- plenty of examples of dishonesty I’m not gonna bother with. She’s treacherous- she’s left a long line of backstabbed mentors and benefactors running back to the start of her career. She’s not educated- Karl Rove has less academic credentials than Sarah, but he’s an autodidact and she ain’t. She can’t think on her feet, she can’t write her own speeches or books, she’s lazy- enough. You know all this, or you ought to.) To hell with Sarah, she’s as boring as a wind-up doll.

          It’s the Sarah base, the true Sarah believers, that grind my ass. These people can’t get enough of her boolsheet, happily vote for people who manipulate them, and have contempt for them, who act against their interest; and get extremely angry at those of us who aren’t fooled. They believe in this incompetent little narcissist with a childlike, cultlike faith, and they’re all on your side of the fence. What’s up with that?

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            Your logical fallacy was in the last sentence. A true conservative would never support Sarah Palin. They aren’t on our side of the fence, they aren’t even comparable. While the Tea Party concept was a neat idea, the “Tea Party” that is Sarah Palin supporters is just a bunch of red neck racists who hate Barack Obama for reasons not pertaining to politics. They don’t know politics.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            I don’t blame you one bit for how you feel. I am repulsed by rednecks that bolt the stars and bars to their vehicles. There are extremist idiots in the rear of both camps that should be rejected by people that try to think through things.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
  10. collapse expand

    Ahhh… yes… Sarah Palin is such a credible source. We should all listen to people who aren’t capable of even finishing one half of their first term in public office. She’s really a big girl for standing up to Big Oil, or is it Big Mother Earth? Which one will earn her the most points from idiots today?

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    I'm waiting for the day when I can get the news directly into my brain. Until then, I'll be lit up by the electric glow of screens, chasing the latest breaking like the hopeless news junkie I am. Ever since the Encyclopaedia Britannica tried to launch a web portal ten years ago, I've seen many ends of the online news spectrum, from my time as a political news reporter for both RawStory.com and the Huffington Post to the better part of a year I spent running the late New York Sun's website. There have been a lot of other stops in between. Now I am your homepage editorial overlord. But I haven't let it go to my head. Yet.

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