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Sarah Palin spoke this weekend at the Oil Palace in Tyler, Texas, a small town in East Texas. She was introduced at the event by Texas Governor Rick Perry, who referred to half-term-ex-Governor Palin as one of the “great Americans of our time.” Certainly Perry and Palin have many things in common, not the least of which is a total lack of respect for the truth.
Consider the similarity in the willingness of Palin and Perry to lie. While many examples of the lies of Palin have filled pages of this blog for months, I have worked hard to limit my comments to Palin. I have intentionally refrained from sharing my feelings about Rick Perry. Perry’s description of Palin at the Tyler event has come close to putting me into a coma. My doctor has indicated that the only potentially therapeutic treatment for my condition is to write. Thus I ask you to consider the similarities between Palin and Perry:
1. Both Have Been On the Cover of Newsweek Magazine
Palin: “Saint Sarah” graced the cover in June.
Perry: Perry was featured with the title “Don’t Mess with Texas”.
2. Both Claim to be “Fiscal Conservatives”
Palin: Palin has described herself as a “fiscal conservative”. Palin said she was opposed to federal earmarks for Alaska, but she hired a lobbyist for Wasilla and received millions of dollars in federal funding. Palin said she opposed to the Bridge to Nowhere, but she originally favored it. She said she opposed to earmarks, but the truth is that she accepted millions of dollars to study the genetics of harbor seals and the mating habits of crabs.
Perry: Before Palin quit her job as Governor of Alaska, she endorsed Rick Perry. Palin described Perry as a “true conservative”. She cited one of Perry’s top campaign issues as his opposition to federal financial bailouts. The truth is that Texas, under Perry’s fiscal conservative leadership, has accepted $16 billion in federal stimulus funds. The state of Texas is in the throws of a financial crisis, with approximately $18 billion in debt. Given the financial crisis in Texas, and given the identification of the financial crisis as a “top issue”, one would expect the Governor to be devoting extra time to his job, and to solving the financial problems of the state. In 21 weeks of work, Perry enjoyed 16 long weekends and worked an average of seven hours per week. Do you think he has solved the financial crisis yet?
“How long will the folks in Washington keep spending money that they don’t have, for solutions they haven’t thought through, for problems they really don’t understand?” Perry asked.
The Wall Street Journal noted that the stimulus is the reason that Texas has a balanced budget. State debt has doubled during Perry’s term as Governor, but fortunately for him he has had time to write a book by the title, “Fed Up.” His publisher described the book as describing federal policies as a “legitimate threat to America’s continued leadership in the free world.”
Rick Perry, the true fiscal conservative, has spent taxpayer’s money for items including:
- Over $130,000 for parties, food, drinks and cable TV.
- At least $18,000 for “consumables” such as household supplies and cleaning products.
- A $1,000 “emergency repair” of the Governor’s filtered ice machine.
- A $700 clothes rack.
- A little over $70 for a two year subscription to Food & Wine Magazine (probably to give him ideas on throwing all of those lavish parties at our expense!).
- Maintenance on the heated pool has cost taxpayers at least $8,400.
- Grounds and lawn maintenance has topped $44,000.
- A 6,386-square-foot rental home located on three acres of land and which was advertised in 2007 for sale at $1.85 million. The Governor’s mansion only had 2,750 square feet.
- He has only one housekeeper, on full-time chef, one part-time chef, a mansion administrator, and a steward. The salary for these servants is $195,770.00.
3. Both SAY They Advocate Transparency in Government
Palin: Sarah Palin has explained the importance in making the financial matters of public record.
Perry: Perry also says he demands transparency in government, but ignored state law, and his own executive order, that required all state agencies to be “accountable and transparent.” It was the stimulus spending information that he conveniently failed to post. Perhaps “opaque” would have been a better choice of words for Rick Perry’s budget.
4. Both Sued the Federal Government on Environmental Matters
Palin: Before Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska she sued the Federal Government seeking to remove polar bears from the endangered species list.
Perry: Rick Perry sued the EPA over its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Both Shoot Animals for Pleasure
Palin: Palin and her parents have a long history of killing animals. Both Palin and her parents surround themselves with proof of the animals they have killed.
Perry: Perry has been known to jog with a laser cited pistol, and shoot animals during his morning run. Even Fox “News” reporters found this story a little frightening.
6. Both Have Been Associated with Seceding from the U.S.
Palin: Todd, Sarah husband, was a member of the Alaska Independence Party for 6 years. The primary focus of the party was secession from the United States. The Alaska Independence Party was founded by the “rabidly violent” anti-American Joe Vogler, who is quoted as saying, “I’m an Alaskan, not an American.” “I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions,” Palin herself provided the opening remarks to the Alaskan Independent Party Convention of 2008, saying:
“I am delighted to welcome you to the 2008 Alaskan Independence Party Convention….I share your party’s vision of upholding the Constitution of the State…Your Party plays an important role in the State’s Politics… We have a great promise to be a self-sufficient state…Keep up the good work, and God Bless You.”
Perry: Rick Perry made national headlines when he said:
“We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”
7. Both Sound More Like Preachers than Politicians
Palin: Of course Palin is no longer a politician. In an interview she was asked:
“Do you think the mainstream media and the left understands your religious faith, Governor Palin?” Her answer: “I think that there’s a lot of mocking of my personal faith,” she said. “And my personal faith is very, very simple. I don’t belong to any church”.
Palin has repeatedly advocated prayer as a solution to the countries many challenges. Her solution is to seek divine intervention. In religious gatherings she has asked the congregation to pray that the war in Iraq is “God’s plan”, and she has asked the congregants to pray for a $30 billion national gas pipeline. Sometimes with Palin it’s hard to remember if you are in a prayer meeting or a legislative session.
Perry: Perry has been compared to a “tent revival preacher.” Perry has said:
“We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation…Do we believe in the primacy of an unrestrained federal government? Or do we worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in his eternal, natural laws, and defending his children?”
8. Both Are In Bed With BP
Palin: In spite of the many examples of the violations of safety standards by BP in Alaska, Palin has blamed the environmentalists for the Gulf Oil spill. In her Facebook post Palin made reference to the “extreme greenies,” and used the BP spill as a reason to justify drilling in ANWR.
Palin’s history with BP is extensive. Of course her husband worked 18 years for BP. As early as 1995 Palin was aware that BP admitted to felony charges for environmental crimes on the North Slope (Palin 95). She was also aware that BP had actually injected illegal and hazardous substances into wells to save money (95). Palin’s history of knowledge of the atrocities committed by BP is long and colorful.
Before resigning as Governor, Palin admits that she knew:
“…that BP had been trying to save money for years by cutting corners on oil pipeline maintenance on the North Slope. This was very serious: leaks and spills from corroded pipelines were all too common and harmed the environment…” (153).
The largest land spill in the country occurred at the BP Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska, in 2006. An estimated 212,252 gallons of oil leaked from a BP Oil Transit Line. Even today the consequences of that spill still linger. Palin was sworn in as Governor in December of 2006. Thus not only was she aware of BP’s history of conscious indifference to safety regulations, but she was Governor during the time of the clean up, and the suit by the EPA. In March of 2009, before resigning as Governor, the EPA sued BP for a string of violations related to the spills in Alaska. The EPA alleged federal violations related to numerous problems with BP’s operational practices at Prudhoe Bay. That suit, seeking tens of millions of dollars, alleged that the company failed to implement an acceptable spill-prevention and control plan and was delinquent in repairing pipelines which they were under federal orders to fix.
Perry: Perry has suggested that the Gulf Oil disaster was:
“…just an act of God that occurred… From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.”
Perry’s first instinct after the explosion was not to blame people responsible, but to indicate it must have been an act of God. Rick Perry went on to say that BP has “historically had a very good safety record from my perspective.” He must have just forgotten about the largest explosion in the state of Texas, which occurred in 2005, during the time he was Governor. The families of the 15 people killed and the 170 people injured in that explosion probably wouldn’t describe the safety record of BP as “very good”.
The Texas refinery was one of two BP refineries that accounted for 97% of all “flagrant” violations in the U.S. refining industry. Not only was BP responsible for virtually ALL of the refinery violations in the country, but most of the violations cited were classified as “egregious willful,” according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration records.
Here’s a look at how those violations breakdown:
- 760 egregious willful
- 69 willful
- 30 serious
- 3 unclassified
Most violations came, according to the Center for Public Integrity, because BP failed to fix the problems identified as the cause of the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion. “The only thing you can conclude is that BP has a serious, systemic safety problem in their company,” Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, told the Center for Public Integrity.
As if the explosion and the people killed or injured, on the day of the Texas City tragedy were not sufficient to get Governor Perry’s attention, OSHA imposed the largest fine in history against BP as a result of its many failures at the Texas City plant. In October 2009, just six months before the Gulf Oil explosion on the Deep Water Horizon well, OSHA imposed a record $87 million fine against BP for lack of compliance with safety regulations, and for failure to make agreed-upon improvements at its Texas City refinery. The US Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, reported that during 17 inspections since the explosions four years ago, OSHA found 270 cases where BP failed to comply with changes; BP had previously agreed to make. Additionally OSHA found 439 “willful” violations involving pressure release systems on units at the Texas City refinery.
“The fact that there are so many still outstanding, life-threatening problems at this plant indicates that they still have a systemic safety problem in this refinery,” Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said.
If Perry didn’t know about the safety record of BP, then he was grossly negligent. If he knew, then he lied when he indicated the BP had a “very good” safety record. Consider these facts to help you assess whether you think he was consciously indifferent, or that he lied:
1. BP donated $250,000 to restoration of the Governor’s mansion. When Rick Perry needed to raise money to restore the Governor’s Mansion after a major fire, he turned to his friends at BP. According to the Austin American-Statesman, “The largest donation is $250,000 from energy giant BP America.” (Source: Austin American-Statesman, January 30, 2009)
2. Perry paid BP for jobs already in Texas. Perry gave BP $750,000 to create 150 jobs in League City, Texas. It was soon revealed that, “50 already work for BP and live in the area.” One expert called it, “a classic case of getting paid for doing what you’re going to do anyway.” (The Houston Chronicle, January 13, 2005)
3. Perry has been widely criticized for his Texas Enterprise Fund after a report revealed that almost half of the companies that received taxpayer dollars have, “failed or struggled to meet job goals.” The companies, including key player in the subprime mortgage market Countrywide Home Loans, have been given a total of $363 million taxpayer dollars. (Source: Austin American-Statesman, January 28, 2010)
If you still have any doubt about whether Rick Perry truly thought BP had a “very good safety record”, please watch this two minute video.
Of all the people who are, or have been, politicians, can you think of anyone who would have been in a better position to anticipate the worst environmental disaster in the history of our country than Palin and Perry?
9. Both Are Losing Popularity
Palin: By the time Palin resigned as Governor, her popularity had declined from an 89% approval rating to 54%.
Perry: Rick Perry is an unusually weak incumbent, and his opponent, Bill White is an unusually strong challenger. Only 36% of voters in Texas approve of Perry and 49% disapprove. Independent voters are particularly dissatisfied with Perry, with 55% indicating he is doing a poor job. White meanwhile is better known and better liked than most challengers running across the country this year. Thirty-seven percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him compared to 25% with an unfavorable one, and he posts positive numbers with independents at a 35/24 spread.
There is one difference between Perry and Palin. Palin resigned as Governor, and Perry is still the Governor. Surely if people know the facts, we won’t re-elect Perry. Please help me make people aware of all the facts, about both Palin and Perry.
Emme Meijer 1000 De Waagtoren Kornwerderzard, Netherlands
June 17, 2010
Dearest Half-Term-Ex-Governor Palin:
I have a dear friend who lives in Louisiana, but is originally from the Netherlands. Her name is Doortje (meaning “Gift of God”) Van Dijk (meaning of “Dike”). Before lapsing into a coma, Doortje asked me to write to you to explain a few things. Doortje has been afflicted with PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) since September of 2008. She thought it would have gotten better after the election, but alas, you keep talking on national television. Your recent interview with Bill O’Reilly precipitated the coma, and I am not sure if she will recover.
Doortje’s, last words before falling into a state of unconsciousness were, “Sarah Palin is a dumb ass”. I explained to Doortje that while “dumb ass” might be a technically accurate description, there are many more socially correct adjectives from which she could choose. The list I gave her included stupid, ignorant, foolish, deranged, clueless, mentally impaired, unintelligent, nonsensical, and mentally handicapped. Unfortunately, Doortje may never regain consciousness, so I will always remember her fondly by her parting words.
In case Doortje ever regains consciousness, I seek divine intervention, praying that you will refrain from uttering another word about the oil spill in Louisiana. It was bad enough when you chanted “drill baby drill”, then “stall baby stall”. Then you had the gall to suggest on your Facebook that the spill was the fault of the environmentalists, some of whom were out trying to rescue wildlife in the Gulf region. Until now you have been very clever to avoid discussion of any policies. You have limited your speeches and comments to criticism, rather than articulating (that means talking) any policies for which you stand.
I know that you said in your book Going Rogue that you were an expert in energy, and I know John McCain agreed. Yet virtually the only form of energy produced in Alaska is oil and you seem to lack expertise in even drilling and production. Certainly the development of oil in Alaska is on-shore, so most people would not expect you to know anything about off-shore drilling. Your education would not suggest that you ever took a course in energy development. My understanding is that you majored in broadcast journalism, and worked as a sportscaster, not a commentator on energy development. Todd worked for BP for 18 years, and the only way that would make you an expert would be if he shared with you examples of the failure of BP to comply with safety and environmental standards. Since you did nothing to combat the repeated failures of BP in Alaska, I assume Todd didn’t share that with you. If he did, that would count as abandonment of the people of Alaska, wouldn’t it?
In your recent interview with Bill O’Reilly, you suggested that there were two points you would make to President Obama, if anyone asked for your input. I think the only person who asked for your input was Bill O’Reilly, and I doubt he will ask you again. In your answer you indicated that you would tell the President to stop the leak. However even Bill O’Reilly indicated that nobody knows how to stop the leak! By saying this you lost any credibility because you have repeatedly advocated LESS governmental intrusion into our lives. You have repeatedly suggested that we were better off to rely upon the private sector.
The second wisdom you imparted was that we should consult with experts in the Netherlands and build a dike. It was this comment that sent Doortje into a coma. In case Doortje doesn’t pull through, let me share a few facts with you in hopes that you will refrain in the future from offering any suggestions about anything.
The Netherlands is a low-lying country, with about 20% of its land located below sea level, and 50% of its land less than 1 meter above sea level.
Significant land area in the Netherlands has been gained as a result of land reclamation through an elaborate system of polders and dikes. Thus the only reason the Netherlands was able to build dikes was because the land reclaimed was so close to the surface of the ocean, and the dikes could be build on existing land just below the surface of the ocean.
If you still don’t understand, here is a picture of a dike that will help you understand the notion that dikes can only be built when the surface of the ocean is very close to the surface of the land.
Dikes were never built to address any type of oil spill. In fact the Netherlands depends upon energy imports for oil. The use of renewable energy sources for power generation has caused the Netherlands to become a significant country in terms of installed wind power capacity.
The Deepwater Horizon is called that because the well head is DEEP! It is located 5000 feet below the surface. The current surface area of the spill covers at least 2500 square miles, and hundreds of miles of beach are at risk. The drilling that resulted in the worst environmental disaster is U.S. history occurred approximately 41 miles from shore. Suffice it to say that the Netherlands has never dealt with an environmental catastrophe 41 miles off shore resulting from deep water drilling at a depth of 5000 feet. Even the children in the Netherlands would laugh at you if you suggested building a dike 41 miles from shore where the ocean floor was 5000 feet deep.
I know you resigned your position on the Oil & Gas Commission after serving less than one year, and you resigned you position as Governor of Alaska after serving only half of that term. Perhaps you should consider also resigning from your position at Fox “News”. They would probably pay you to leave, and to stop talking. I know the people of Louisiana would appreciate it if you would stop talking about building dikes. If you stop talking maybe Doortje will make it out of her coma, and she will discover that it was God’s plan to facilitate the cessation of any verbal communication from you.
Just when we thought you couldn’t do anything to embarrass yourself more than you did in the Katie Couric interviews, you surprised us. By writing on your hand you indicated you couldn’t remember even three words, and you got confused about those and had to cross one off. When the cameras caught your hand on tape, you suggested that it was God-like to write on your hand. Maybe you will find a way to justify such a dumb ass comment about dikes, but I am afraid the explanation will likely be as unbelievable as the original statement. You have an exceptional gift of fooling people, but I am afraid you have compromised even that.
A fool and his money are soon parted. You have a lot of money, so before you are parted with it, give it to someone else to manage for you before you invest it in a new dike building start-up company, or before you purchase a call option on dike building equipment, hoping that the price will go up.
As indicated in yesterday’s post, Sarah Palin has been in bed with big oil and British Petroleum for years. The next logical question is whether Palin was conscientiously indifferent to the failure of BP to comply with safety standards, or whether she intentionally disregarded the impact of BP’s failure to comply with safety standards in an effort to increase the profits of BP, and thereby her state. Consider the positions of Palin regarding the environment:
- Palin opposed protections for salmon from mining contamination.
- Palin was responsible for initiating a lawsuit against the federal government to remove polar bears from the endangered list.
- Before Palin resigned as Governor she encouraged the cutting of timber, mining, drilling and fishing in Alaska.
- Palin has not only been a strong advocate for wolf predator control, but she has shot wolves from helicopters herself. She also worked to encourage others to kill wolves by offering a bounty for every wolf killed.
- Palin advocated removing beluga whales from the endangered list.
- Palin has been a strong advocate for drilling in ANWR.
- Palin has been a proponent of building a rail line across the Alaskan wilderness.
- Palin doesn’t believe that global warming is the result of man’s efforts. Even George Bush acknowledged that the U.S. should reduce man-made carbon emissions.
- Palin spent $500 million in state money to encourage the development of a 1,700 mile pipeline to transport natural gas from the North Shore of Alaska.
- Palin refused to press Exxon to repay Alaska for the unanticipated environmental damages from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill; all the while Exxon continued making record breaking profits in Alaska.
After reviewing Palin’s history of environmental apathy, it is clear she willfully and consciously favored oil companies over the constituents and the resources of the state she was elected to protect. She purposely sought to increase the profits for oil companies at the expense of Alaska. Palin’s hands are not merely covered in oil, but in the blood of the countless animals who died as a result the aerial hunting, loss of habitat and environmental degradation in the pursuit of profit.
Given the seriousness of the post today, Jon Stewart is one of the few people who could make me laugh today.
This is an old clip of a comedy routing involving drilling in Alaska and Bush. Enjoy!
From the moment Sarah Palin came to the attention of the national media, the only “policy” slogan we might associate with her, that was more specific than “common sense conservatism” was “drill-baby-drill.” Admittedly, Barack Obama advocated a more environmentally responsible program of energy development, with the clear goals of protecting the environment and working towards energy independence. Initially Obama was not in favor of additional off-shore drilling, but on March 31st he unveiled a plan to expand the U.S. coastal areas available for offshore drilling. Some might have expected Palin to have claimed victory. Some might have anticipated that Palin would have suggested that the President had learned something from her. Wrong! Instead Sarah now complains that Obama’s plan is a “joke”. (http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/sarah-palin-explains-why-the-news-of-offshore-drilling)
Sarah’s new slogan is “stall-baby-stall”. Palin explained that she doesn’t like the President’s plan because there were going to be “studies” associated with the proposed plan for off-shore drilling. Palin explains:
“As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action…”
This quote from Palin lacks persuasiveness because…
- She resigned as the Governor of Alaska.
- She resigned from the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. (“Rebuttal to the Rogue” pg. 37)
- Palin has never been fond of the people who study in high school or at the five colleges she attended. She seems to prefer friends who are interested in the weather and smoking pot. (“Trailblazer”)
Palin was also quoted as saying:
“…Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.” (http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/sarah-palin-expalins-why-new-offshore-drilling)
How would delays caused by an effort to be “environmentally responsible” not be in the national interest? The only logical conclusion is that Palin feels it is in our national interest to be “environmentally irresponsible”, or that the state of Alaska is interested in environmental irresponsibility.
Before Palin resigned as governor, Richard Feinberg was an oil and gas analyst who consulted with Palin’s administration during 2007 and 2008. See, http://www.globalresearch.ca/indes/hph?context. Jamail, Global Research.com, and Insider: Palin Failed to Lead on Oil and Gas Safety in Alaska. Feinberg said:
“Based on my first-hand experience, I can tell you that Sarah Palin is misinforming the public on ACES (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share-one of three pieces of legislation for which she takes credit.)-as she does on many other issues. “Ibid.
While Palin takes credit for ACES, it was in fact not a new system, but modification to a new tax plan her predecessors put in place before she became Governor. More importantly, the major part of the ACES gains is the direct result of the Alaska Legislature’s reversal of key elements of Palin’s proposals. Ibid. Feinberg concluded by saying:
Palin “deliberately perpetrates myths about her performance as governor…and…why would anyone believe she is competent to govern?”
“When it comes to the craft of governance, Palin exhibits a superficiality that I find frightening. She tends to prefer homilies to homework and all too often over-simplifies or distorts issues.” Ibid.
To make matters worse, it appears that several spills in Alaska would be an indication that a little more study was merited. On Dec. 23, a tugboat hit the Bligh Reef (the same reef Exxon Valdez hit 20 yrs ago); on Nov. 28 there was a spill at a refinery in the town of North Pole; and on Nov. 29th, there was a large spill on the North Slope. The risk of environmental damage in Alaska is not only real, but it has happened in the last few months. As long as people believe what Palin says, instead of considering what she has actually done, the risk of damage to our country is not only predictable, but happening daily. While energy independence is important to the country, I am glad President Obama is studying the issues, before taking action. We have proof of the outcome from a leader who prefers homilies to homework.