What Sarah Brings Michael Medved

Analysis: Palin could complicate energy debate

Analysis: Palin could complicate energy debate
AP News
Saturday, August 30, 2008

If Democrats hoped to portray John McCain as captive to the oil industry, their task became more complicated with his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate.

She is an ardent advocate for more drilling _ off Alaska, off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the off-limits Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Yet she also not shied from confronting Exxon Mobil, BP and ConocoPhillips.

As the presidential campaign moves into high gear, McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama will duel over two overriding energy issues: whether to expand offshore oil drilling into areas long off-limits and whether to impose new taxes on oil companies enjoying tens of billions of dollars in windfall profits.

Palin is a popular governor in a state that for decades has been closely tied to oil. She may be a political novice, but she is hardly a newcomer when it comes to these two issues. Her emergence as McCain’s No. 2 and possibly the next vice president could shift the campaign’s energy debate.

When it comes to the oil industry is Palin friend or foe?

The answer may not be black or white but shades of gray.

“No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club in comments reflecting the views of a cross section of environmental activists. They cite her eagerness to embrace expanded offshore oil development, her lawsuit against further protection of polar bears so as not to hinder oil drilling in Alaska’s ice-filled waters and her ardent support to allow oil companies into the Alaska wildlife refuge.

Drilling in the refuge’s sliver of coastal tundra in northeastern Alaska _ an area viewed by environmentalists as a treasured wild place that also harbors 11 billion barrels of oil _ was believed to have been a dead issue. McCain opposes drilling there, as does Obama.

But that too might be changing.

The selection of Palin places the refuge’s “energy production front and center in the policy debate once again,” maintains Brian Kennedy, senior vice president of the Institute for Energy Research. The group has pushed for increased domestic oil production and has some oil companies among its sponsors.

While McCain has said he hasn’t changed his mind about drilling there, he also has said that he is willing to re-examine the issue.

When it comes to taxing oil companies, Palin’s selection might well be a doubled-edged knife for the McCain campaign.

Shortly after becoming governor in 2006, she pushed new oil taxes through the Alaska Legislature, saying the taxes proposed by her predecessor, Frank Murkowski, were too favorable to the oil companies. She was bucking Exxon Mobil, BP PLC and ConocoPhillips, which strongly opposed the legislation.

The new tax brought in an estimated $6 billion in the last budget year, bulging Alaska’s treasury with an expected surplus of as much as $9 billion. Thst enabled Palin to push a second initiative _ giving each Alaskan $1,200 to help them cope with high energy costs.

Sound familiar?

Obama has proposed taxing the windfall profits of the five biggest oil companies and giving people $1,000 to pay for high energy costs. Palin called such financial help “a tool that must be on the table” although she differs with Obama on where the money’s source.

Like McCain, Palin says a national windfall profits tax on oil companies will hinder domestic energy production. Democrats are expected to be quick to ask: If it’s good for Alaska, why isn’t it good for the country?

But Palin has bucked oil companies in other ways. She pushed for more competition for the construction of a $26 billion pipeline to bring natural gas from the North Slope to the lower 48 states by favoring the TransCanada pipeline project, backed by independent companies over one proposed by BP and ConocoPhillips. She has tangled with Exxon Mobil and other oil companies over their reluctance to develop gas fields on state land.

Republicans hope that will neutralize claims that the McCain ticket is too cozy with the oil industry and shift more of the energy debate away from oil taxes to the need for expanded offshore drilling and generally more domestic energy production _ issues on which Palin has been outspoken.

Don’t expect the Obama campaign, not to mention many of the environmentalists activists, to cooperate.

“Big Oil extended its reach into the campaign of John McCain,” said Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America, a federation of state-based environmental groups, after Palin’s selection became known.

Mark Hellenthal, a GOP pollster in Alaska sees it differently. In the state “she’s viewed … as almost anti-oil. She’s probably pro-oil from a national perspective, but she’s not in the pocket of Big Oil. She’s fought them at every step.”

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On the Net:

Governor’s office: http://gov.state.ak.us/

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EDITOR’S NOTE _ H. Josef Hebert has covered energy and environmental issues for The Associated Press since 1990. AP writer Steve Quinn in Juneau contributed to this report.

Weekend Reads Re: Governor Palin Et Al Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 9:05 AM

First, Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, “all-American”, but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I’m not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin’ Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who’s done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of “community organizer” and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy….

Third, real people don’t define “experience” as appearing on unwatched Sunday-morning talk shows every week for 35 years and having been around long enough to have got both the War on Terror and the Cold War wrong. (On the first point, at the Gun Owners of New Hampshire dinner in the 2000 campaign, I remember Orrin Hatch telling me sadly that he was stunned to discover how few Granite State voters knew who he was.) Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state and a town and a commercial fishing operation, whereas (to reprise a famous line on the Rev Jackson) Senator Obama ain’t run nothin’ but his mouth. She’s done the stuff he’s merely a poseur about. Post-partisan? She took on her own party’s corrupt political culture directly while Obama was sucking up to Wright and Ayers and being just another get-along Chicago machine pol (see his campaign’s thuggish attempt to throttle Stanley Kurtz and Milt Rosenberg on WGN the other night).

Does chick mate spell checkmate for McCain?

Media’s full court press against Palin

Media’s full court press against Palin

Ed Lasky

The political flamethrowers have been unleashed on Governor Sarah Palin.
The media is not just trying to attack her on experience grounds (she has a far more successful record of accomplishment than either Joe Biden or Barack Obama) but now are trying to besmirch her character and image-two of her most appealing qualities.

How?

Two quick examples of the media’s desire to characterize here as a traitor to her political patrons.

A decade later, the nickname [Sarah Barracuda] resurfaced when she was a 28-year-old political novice on the Wasilla City Council. She turned on a veteran council member who had coaxed her to run for office, blocking a bill that would have steered business to his garbage-hauling firm.
The moniker was revived once again in 2003, when Alaska’s governor, whom she would later unseat, appointed her to a state oil-and-gas commission. As a brand-new member, she challenged the ethics of the panel’s leader, the chairman of state’s Republican Party, forcing him ultimately to resign.
Another example from the same Washington Post article (just to hammer the point):
Her swift ascent to the governorship, and now to a vice presidential nomination, is regarded by some in Alaska as a case of fortunate timing, for someone who possesses the right outsider’s tactics at the right political moment. Others cite driving ambition and instinctive opportunism — a willingness to turn on political patrons to get ahead.
This sentence denigrates her own political triumph (first woman Governor of Alaska and one who assumed office at a young age) by describing her victory as the result of fortunate timing. To compound the insult the writers depict her “instinctive opportunism-a willingness to turn on political patrons to get ahead”.
Of course, the other interpretation would be more truthful and accurate.
She took on a notoriously corrupt political establishment and took great risks in battling her own party to ensure miscreants were identified and corrupt practices ended..
Now contrast that with Barack Obama who has run on the issue of ethics reform. In fact, he ran on the same issue in Chicago-both at the state level and when he ran for the role of a US Senator. As David Freddoso points out  in his superlative new book ” The case Against Barack Obama” (and as others have also pointed out), Obama’s claim to be a reformer was a fraud. He helped defeat reformers in Illinois-despite his campaign promises (props) that he would reform the corrupt political machine of Chicago.. He solidified the control of corrupt politicians such as State Senate President Emil Jones (who returned the favor by tacking Obama’s name on pieces of legislation Barack Obama had very little-if anything-to do with) and the father and son team of John and Todd Stroger.

Obama, of course, had as his political patron and chief fundraiser, Tony Rezko-a man who was just convicted  in a case involving political corruption (“pay to play”).

Palin saw corruption and fought the establishment to end it; Barack Obama was a creature of corruption and sought to strengthen it.

Did he “turn on” his political patrons? No, despite their corruption that robbed and weakened the citizens of Illinois? No..he bolstered them.

How about that perspective?

Another fabulous Sarah Palin Video

Another fabulous Sarah Palin Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5zsownDK2A&feature=users

Thomas  Lifson
Sarah Palin shines, and ignites the comedic passions of Late, Late night comedian Craig Ferguson. How can Joe Biden compete in appeal? Worse for the Democrats, she is fresher, more accomplished and more genuine than Barack Obama.

Hat tip Dennis Sevakis

 

Defending Against the First Attacks on Sarah Palin

Defending Against the First Attacks on Sarah Palin

By Patrick J. Casey

As John McCain has shocked pretty much everybody with his pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, it’s important to prepare for the attacks on her that will be launched, starting this afternoon, by the Democrats and the media. For attack they will, relentlessly. And they’ll start with these three things:


First – “Palin has no experience”.
That’s an easy one to dismiss. Sarah Palin has had more executive experience, meaning experience in running either a business or a government, than either Barack Obama or his running mate, Joe Biden. She has more executive experience than even her running mate, John McCain. Governor Palin served as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska from 1999 to 2002. She was elected as President of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. She was elected as Governor of Alaska in 2006. And she has quite a few concrete achievements, considering the amount of time she’s been in office.

 

Second – “Palin’s part of the corrupt GOP establishment in Alaska (Stevens, Young, etc.)”. That’s an even easier one to dismiss. Governor Palin has always run as the anti-corruption candidate. She served as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004, when she resigned in protest over the actions of her fellow Alaskan GOP leaders, including then-Alaskan Governor Frank Murkowski. She was furious over the fact that they ignored her reports of rampant GOP corruption. When she chose to run for Governor, the GOP establishment ignored her and supported the incumbent Murkowski. Palin beat him, and went on to beat former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles with no support from Alaskan GOP leadership. She has actively supported and helped the GOP primary opponents of current indicted Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens and Representative Don Young, and denounced both of them often in public.

 

Oh, and the forthcoming claim that Palin’s in the pocket of big-oil? Her ethics complaints were filed against people who really were in the pocket of big oil – she was on the outside, investigating.

 

Third – “Palin used her position as Governor to get back at the man whom her sister was divorcing, and fired the man who refused to fire her sister’s ex-husband”. This is the slimiest attack that the Democrats and the media will launch. It concerns a current investigation into allegations that Governor Palin fired former Alaskan Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he would not bend to her will.

 

When Palin fired Monegan, her office gave no reason for her decision. As the Commissioner serves at the discretion of the Governor, no reason is needed. In an effort to save his job and get back at the person who fired him, Monegan claimed that he was fired because he would not fire an Alaskan State Trooper, Michael Wooten, who was going through a messy divorce with Palin’s sister. Recently, the Associated Press ran an article about some tapes that surfaced regarding phone calls made by some of Palin’s staff worried about Wooten – and worried about the safety of the Palin family:

 

JUNEAU, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday said at least two dozens calls were made from her staff members to Department of Public Safety officials questioning the employment of a trooper who went through a messy divorce with Palin’s sister.
But Palin maintained none was done at her direction, a claim backed up by one administration member caught on tape.

 

…The Palins have accused Wooten of drunken driving, illegal hunting and firing a Taser at his 11-year-old stepson, Palin’s nephew. These allegations led to an internal investigation, which occurred before she ran for governor.
Todd Palin has said the family was concerned about the governor’s safety, claiming Wooten threatened to kill Sarah Palin’s father and made vague threats to her. Todd Palin has said he took concerns about Wooten directly to Monegan.

 

So, the tapes seem to prove that Governor Palin was unaware that anyone from her office was aware of this, which should take care of questions about Palin’s possible complicity. But we should go past that, and look at the facts of the entire situation. Even if this investigation shows that someone in Palin’s office did pressure the Public Safety Commissioner to fire Wooten, this is a fight that we should relish having with the white male hierarchy of the Democratic Party and the drive-by media. Let’s get all of the dirt about Wooten out in the open. Show that the police union and the Commissioner were protecting him, and then ask why? What would any American do, if faced with the same situation – an overt threat to their family?

 

Over the years, many of the allegations against Wooten – including the fact that he Tasered Palin’s sister’s 10 year old son and threatened the life of Palin’s father – have turned out to be true:

 

Grimes suspended Wooten for 10 days. He also was punished for illegally shooting a moose and using a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson. The trooper admitted to using the Taser on his stepson in a “training capacity” and said he shot a moose on his wife’s tag, but didn’t think the act was illegal.
…Wall’s investigation did find that Wooten threatened Palin’s sister, Molly McCann, with shooting her father if he hired a lawyer to represent her. Wooten denied making the statement, but Palin, McCann and Palin’s son all confirmed that he did.
Wall said the act wasn’t a crime because Palin’s father was not present when Wooten made the statement.

 

Who the heck uses a Taser on a 10 year old kid!? It appears as if Wooten’s gotten off scott-free so far, and it’s those that are protecting him that should be ashamed. And once the facts of the entire situation come out, the voters will largely agree. I can’t wait until Keith Olbermann attempts to use this!

 

Read as much as you can about Sarah Palin. Her story is remarkable and inspiring. She’s about as solid a conservative as you can find right now. There will be many attacks on her launched in the media over the next 60 plus days, primarily because she is such an excellent pick for McCain. A suggestion – don’t rely on the ads or the pundits, go to the Internet and read the original source material. Then launch a counter-attack, armed with the facts.

 

When this year’s Presidential campaign started, shortly after the 2006 elections, I felt that this would be the last of the old-guard GOP elections. Regardless of who wins this election, I felt that 2012 and beyond would belong to the likes of Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin. As a matter of fact, I was kind of rooting for a one-term McCain Presidency followed by a Jindal-Palin or a Palin-Jindal ticket.

 

I’m pleased that the future of the GOP is coming a little early.