Right Thinking From The Left Coast
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

Pondering Palin

It’s kind of amazing to watch the blogosphere react to the Palin pick.  This site is having more argument than we’ve seen in a while.  Sulivan is freaking out.  The various attack memes are emerging.  As I predicted, the Left are attacking her as a “beauty queen”.

Part of the furor is anger at McCain for stealing Obama’s thunder.  We were supposed to be spending the weekend talking about Obama’s luminous transcendent speech that shook both Heaven and Earth.  Instead we’re talking about Sarah Palin.

But a larger part is that conservatives—real conservatives at least—do not automatically fawn over every decision made by their leaders. We’re unwilling to automatically proclaim Palin to be the Best Vice President Ever, as the Left instantly did with Biden (and Lieberman, and Gore).  Indeed, the most cogent criticisms—the only ones that are affecting me—come from the Right. Frum, for example:

Here’s I fear the worst harm that may be done by this selection. The McCain campaign’s slogan is “country first.” It’s a good slogan, and it aptly describes John McCain, one of the most self-sacrificing, gallant, and honorable men ever to seek the presidency.

But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?

Or Ponnoru:

I am not even sure that the pick will have quite the galvanizing effect on conservatives that it seems to be having now as it sinks in. The concerns I’ve mentioned here—about her readiness and her credentials—are the kind of thing that many conservative voters take seriously.

Now, as I said, there are pros too. Maybe Palin will be a terrific candidate and vice president. But let’s not underestimate the potential downside.

I’ll lay out a few of my random musing now that I’ve slept on it.

The inexperience angle both bothers me and doesn’t.  Obama is light on experience, as you may have noticed.  But he has also spent the last year meeting with foreign leaders, diving into think tanks and improving his credentials.  He also tapped a VP with tons of foreign policy experience.  Palin has never said anything about Iraq.  For all the talk of her being the only candidate with real executive experience, two years as Governor of Alaska does not exactly ring my bell.

On the other hand, this concern is predicated on the idea that McCain is going to pull a Harrison on us.  That seems unlikely.  There’s no reason not to expect that someone like Palin can become a foreign policy “expert” in the same amount of time Obama did.  And no, she didn’t really mean it when she claimed she didn’t know what the VP did.  And even if she did, no one really knows what the VP does.  The first Vice-President, John Adams, was extremely frustrated because he didn’t know what he was supposed to do.

Her stands on creatonism and abortion are, as you can imagine, very bothersome to me (although Allahpundit argues, rather unconvincingly, that’s she’s not that bad).  Her record on taxation is not that good.  However, her history of cracking down on corruption, even within her own party, is impressive.

Of course, some of the napalm being thrown at her is just stupid.  For example, I don’t think accepting the nomination makes Palin a bad mother.  If that were the case, every single mother in America would be a bad mother.  Moreover, I wish the Left would make up their minds on the meme to use.  They are claiming that McCain made an unserious choice because he only met her once in person.  Fair enough.  But then they turn around and claim that he chose her only because he was smitten with her looks (there, apparently, being no attractive women in Washington).  Make up your mind, guys.

All in all, I’m still slightly positive on the pick but have some concerns as to whether she’s ready for a national post, least of all the Presidency.  I’ve flogged Palin as the future of the GOP on this blog, but I was thinking more of 2012 or 2016, when she would have finished one or two terms as Governor and maybe taken that weevil Stevens’ place in the Senate.

I’ll withhold judgement until I see how she fares in the debates.  The general consensus is that BIden will make a meal of her (in the Lincoln-Douglas sense, not the Clinton sense).  That’s where we’ll really see her command of the issues, her grace under fire and her ability to step in should John McCain pull a Harrison.

Bonus Prediction:  By the end of the week, the Dems will be calling her the “Katherine Harris of Alaska”.

Update: A reason for optimism on the Palin pick?  The Left’s reaction.  If that many liberals dislike her, there must be something really good about her.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/30/08 at 08:03 AM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 08/30/08 at 09:52 AM from United States

We’re unwilling to automatically proclaim Palin to be the Best Vice President Ever, as the Left instantly did with Biden

Interesting straw man. I mean I’m sure you can find some folks on the left saying this. However, the majority seemed to see Biden as a safe choice—hardly the best ever.

Ironically enough, if the conservative response were a distribution, the two you referenced above would be statistical outliers and represent neither the mean nor the median.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 09:58 AM from United States

What’s Sullivan’s problem? Palin could turn out to be dumb as dirt for all I know, but these attacks are a little much. The debates will tell the tale, but a bad mom? Freaking out because she hasn’t commented much on Iraq? WTF? I’ve heard seen her speak on TV yesterday, and it wasn’t horrible. Certainly not the cut and paste/merge two separate parts of an interview together crap put out by Think Progress.

Here’s an idea. People constantly bitch about career polititians. Well, she’s not one so far so let’s wait and see how she performs in the campaign and debates before bashing her for not being a career politian.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/30/08 at 10:03 AM from United States

Ironically enough, if the conservative response were a distribution, the two you referenced above would be statistical outliers and represent neither the mean nor the median.

I did say “real conservatives”.  But HotAir has been somewhat circumspect.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 10:13 AM from United States

polititians should be politician. I guess I was thinking tits and beauty queen. My bad.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 10:43 AM from United States

I still find it humorous that Joe Biden is considered some foreign policy expert because he’s been blowing hot air in the Senate for 35+ years. He was wrong about the Cold War and he’s been all over the place on the WoT and Iraq.

Like you, Hal, one thing I really like about Palin is that she’s taken on her own party. She’s hardly some Republican hack. That’s what’s so bogus about the Obama camp’s claims that she’s “just more of the same.” She has no real ties to Bush administration and as far as I know, she hasn’t even met the President. To try and portray her as this “business as usual” pick and tie her to the last eight years is a losing strategy, imo.

OTOH, there really are few examples of Obama splitting with his party and being his own man. It’s interesting because Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are both products of regions known for their political corruption… While Obama got swept up in the Daley machine and associated himself with crooks and dirtbags like Ayers, Rezko and Rev. Wright, Sarah Palin rose to the top in Alaska while keeping her hands (mostly) clean.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 10:51 AM from United States

I find the left’s current out-of-control blathering and desperate reaching to be comforting and funny as all hell.  McCain gave them a good mindfuck by giving them someone so far out of their expectations, though I’ve seen her name tossed about as a viable choice for months.

Really, “beauty queen”?  If that’s the best they they can come up with then what they are really admitting is that they have nothing.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 10:58 AM from United States

Plus, she’s mean to polar bears!

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 10:58 AM from United States

Here’s a question - if it was Sarah Palin running for president, who would her VP choice be?

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 11:03 AM from United States

Joe Lieberman.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 11:06 AM from United States

OT, but with all the talk about the VPs taking center stage, Russia is going to annex South Ossetia. This is going to bring massive protests as Russia has no respect for international law, as that region was internationally recognized as part of Georgia. Georgia did not attack Russia. If Iraq was wrong (and personally I was never big on going there) after years or broken international resolutions, then a flat out invasion and absorption into the invading country for no reason should bring a huge uproar.

Oh wait, I forgot, the Left are hypocrites when it comes to International law, wars, bombs and poor little dead babies.  So are the Right to some extent, but then again, when does principle have anything to do with it. It’s all about picking sides. 

We need to get out of NATO, when the same populace who views us as war mongering cowboys doesn’t even bother to show any contempt for a far worse action. Just my opinion.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 11:10 AM from United States

Well, Obama and Biden have been promising that the Russian/Georgian conflict wouldn’t have happened under their watch. Seems to me this is a perfect time for them to demonstrate how exactly they would stand up to such thugs and tyrants.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 11:14 AM from United States

Well, Obama and Biden have been promising that the Russian/Georgian conflict wouldn’t have happened under their watch.

I agree. What would they have done? Of course, they’ll probably say we started it. That seems to be the popular excuse for everything these days.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 11:20 AM from United States

I just thought it was interesting that they started making those sort of statements, that this wouldn’t be allowed on their watch. Well, you’re running for president/VP, you already have quite a bit of political clout… What’s your suggestion? If they’re so infuriated about what’s happening, why aren’t they leading the charge to resolve the situation?

It’s similar to Obama promising all sorts of tax cuts in his big speech the other night. He’s a sitting Senator, after all, so why not submit a bill to do just that?

What a load of bullshit.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 11:23 AM from United States

I see. Democrats might say that “real liberals” don’t gush about Biden and then define “real liberals” as the set of liberals who do not gush about Biden. Then they will criticize conservatives for gushing about Palin and define “real conservatives” as people who happen to be gushing about Palin…

More seriously though Ponnuru is Republican not a conservative. Sure he gives lip service to conservative principles. Today Ponnuru is a “real conservative”, yesterday he was willing to give up federalism to enforce his morals:

There may be reasonable criticisms of the Republicans’ course of action in the Schiavo case—I haven’t watched or thought about it in enough detail. But it seems to me that the Times’s criticism of the Republicans for flouting “federal constitutional precedents” is at odds with the widespread criticism of them for getting involved in a state matter. To the extent that the Supreme Court’s policymaking on euthanasia is in play here, the federal government is already involved, and any “federalist principle” militating against federal involvement in these matters—which I’m not sure exists in the first place—has already been breached.

That’s the ever effective “They did it first” line of argument.

By titling his book “Party of Death” do you think he was trying to appeal to “real conservatives” or demonize liberals (or Democrats or whomever)? There are very
valid conservative arguments against getting the government involved in things like stem cell research. However conservatism is something Ponnuru and the current Republicans hide behind to push their agenda and quickly abandon when it is inconvenient.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 11:34 AM from United States

At this point I would vote for any president who would do the following:

-- Get out of NATO.

-- Promote the idea of moving the UN headquarters to the Secretary General’s country of origin. Poorer nations could benefit by having the UN brought to their country for the term if one of their citizens becomes the UN Secretary General.  Like the Olympics, maybe it will help boost their economy, and bring international respect, but more importantly get it the fuck out of here.

-- Promise to break every one of their campaign promises, so they can at least keep one promise, which would be a record.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/30/08 at 11:49 AM from United States

OT, but with all the talk about the VPs taking center stage, Russia is going to annex South Ossetia.

I was about to post on this, but am trying to thing o something to say other than I Told Ya So.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 12:08 PM from United States

Part of the furor is anger at McCain for stealing Obama’s thunder.  We were supposed to be spending the weekend talking about Obama’s luminous transcendent speech that shook both Heaven and Earth.  Instead we’re talking about Sarah Palin.

Which was a brilliant political ploy on McCain’s part. He stole Obama’s thunder and had the left(and the MSM)scrambling for dirt on Gov. Palin. I believe the Obama camp had no opposition research on Palin and were caught completely flatfooted by this pick. All in all, McCain played this one brilliantly.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 02:40 PM from United States

What are her measurements?

Posted by Ed Kline on 08/30/08 at 03:43 PM from United States

But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?

This is a mindless criticism...you cant do anything good as a president ‘for the country’, if you dont first win the election. Also the notion that any specific job or history makes one ‘ready’ to be president of the most powerful nation in the history of the world is nonsense. Reagan was certainly not as qualified as Bush the elder based on this criticism.

Lastly, if running with Albert Einstein means you lose the election, and running with Bozo the clown means you win, you run with Bozo. Fuck Obama if he didnt understand that...if he had picked Hillary, he could not have lost this thing like he probably will now.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 05:13 PM from United States

Palin is no dummy.

Palin on CNBC June 25

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 05:23 PM from United Kingdom

This identity politics play is really an insult to women; one I can’t really see going down well - especially when moderate women who are pissed Clinton is out are not going to take well to her views on abortion. (The rumour going round that she faked her own pregnancy for her daughter would at least show some strength of character however).

I am not sure whom I would have picked if I was McCain, but this reeks of utter desperation; I just can’t picture the type of voter they are attempting to pick up.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 05:27 PM from United Kingdom

Oh my, just saw the creationism bit. Ah well, who needs science anyway; I am sure they teach magic fairies in science class in China and India as well; so it’ll all be ok.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 05:30 PM from United States

This “desperation” stuff is nonsense. McCain was in great position going into the conventions. He could very well have selected someone safe like Tim Pawlenty and weathered the post-DNC bounce for Obama. The fact of the matter is that no Republican has any business keeping this election as close as it has been thus far, but McCain’s doing just fine. Why would he be desperate?

If nothing else, the pick has the social conservative base suddenly VERY excited about this election. That’s hardly a bad thing for McCain.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 05:35 PM from United Kingdom

For example, I don’t think accepting the nomination makes Palin a bad mother.  If that were the case, every single mother in America would be a bad mother.

5 kids, one 4 months old and has a mental disability - you really think she has time to be VP? I can’t imagine how anyone, be it a mother or father could have time to campaign and be VP with 4 kids and an infant.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 05:43 PM from United States

Joe Lieberman.

You need to lay off the crack…

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 05:46 PM from United States

5 kids, one 4 months old and has a mental disability - you really think she has time to be VP? I can’t imagine how anyone, be it a mother or father could have time to campaign and be VP with 4 kids and an infant.

One of those “kids” is already in the Army, the other one is almost out of school - the only real children are the infant the little girl.  Not like there haven’t already been public officials with a shitload of rugrats - I suppose they’ll have to break down and have a nanny or two, you know like everyone else does in DC....

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 05:49 PM from United States

Okay that’s pretty funny - that single parents are bad parents. What about Romney?! He has five sons. His wive has multiple sclerosis in remission.  Where was the outrage of Romney being a bad dad? There are so many things wrong with the logic of accusing Palin of being a “bad mom”. You have to just laugh.

The video link I posted above shows that Palin is more capable than Obama, Biden, and McCain, or any other candidate recently in discussing energy. This is getting exciting.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 05:59 PM from United States

5 kids, one 4 months old and has a mental disability - you really think she has time to be VP? I can’t imagine how anyone, be it a mother or father could have time to campaign and be VP with 4 kids and an infant.

Hey, here’s opportunity to spin this into another anti American post: Let’s see, how about the US is evil for not delaying the election so that a woman can have time to promote her career and take care of her disabled child. Might as well just take that route, since the only thing better than taking shots at Republicans is bashing America in general. Right Padders?

Posted by The Contrarian on 08/30/08 at 06:55 PM from Australia

Sullivan is so full of shit these days. I know that you have to be in order to support Obama, and twice as much if you support Obama while calling yourself a “conservative.” Not ONE of his criticisms of McCain and Palin in that post hold any water, and he has the nerve to say that McCain is putting the country last?

Read his reaction to Obama’s speech for more evidence. While I try to be objective and considerate of anything I read, I still wince a bit when this blog links to him.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 07:38 PM from United Kingdom

Hey, here’s opportunity to spin this into another anti American post: Let’s see, how about the US is evil for not delaying the election so that a woman can have time to promote her career and take care of her disabled child. Might as well just take that route, since the only thing better than taking shots at Republicans is bashing America in general. Right Padders?

Huh? Where did I say anything about America?

Okay that’s pretty funny - that single parents are bad parents. What about Romney?! He has five sons. His wive has multiple sclerosis in remission.  Where was the outrage of Romney being a bad dad? There are so many things wrong with the logic of accusing Palin of being a “bad mom”. You have to just laugh.

Any infants?

The video link I posted above shows that Palin is more capable than Obama, Biden, and McCain, or any other candidate recently in discussing energy. This is getting exciting.

Really? She pushes for oil drilling in Alaska (of course her family has no links to oil companies) - she was asked directly about it making no different to the price of oil given the relatively tiny amounts there to drill; she just say it’s not true; that’s it. It’s fine to be for drilling up there, but to argue that it’s going to make any real difference or change the US reliance on foreign oil is completly absurd.

The most sensible thing she said in that video is how it was pretty much outside the realm of possibility that she would be considered for the VP role.

She hastn’t quite got the talking points on Iraq sorted yet either.

The fact of the matter is that no Republican has any business keeping this election as close as it has been thus far, but McCain’s doing just fine. Why would he be desperate?

If you really think it’s close you should put some money on McCain. He is 2.74:1 as opposed to Obama at 1.63:1. Personally I trust the odds of people who have put their money where their mouth is far far more than any opinion poll.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 07:40 PM from United States

Huh? Where did I say anything about America?

You didn’t. I was just giving you ideas as to how to spin it. I’ve read the posts here for years. Just trying to help.

Posted by dwex on 08/30/08 at 07:47 PM from Germany

Any infants?

I seem to recall that JFK’s kids were quite young when he was president. What a horrible man he was for taking time to be president rather than staying home with the toddlers.

Piss off, padders. Double-standards --> that way

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 07:52 PM from United States

he has the nerve to say that McCain is putting the country last?

That storyline about McCain not living up to his “put country first” pledge is everywhere. It is sort of an awkward point that Palin = “not putting country first”, but so many are making that point. Where does this stuff come from? One sad side-effect of major newspapers going under is less original reporting and news sites and blogs parroting each other.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 08:28 PM from United States

She hastn’t quite got the talking points on Iraq sorted yet either.

My flash isn’t working right now, and I’m not bothering to fix it, so if someone else can verify, I bet this is that same audio job with two separate parts of an interview pasted into one. Now, I don’t know whether she’ll be any good or not, time, debates, and campaigning will tell, but that audio going around is just more slimy shit. There is a link to the real interview in the Sarah Smile thread.

This is the best the Left can do? Taking separate paragraphs from separate sections of an interview and paste them to make it an inane tangent? I think there are some legal issues with that. I hope they prosecute any organization that is still promoting that as fact.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/30/08 at 08:55 PM from United States

I was about to post on this, but am trying to thing o something to say other than I Told Ya So.

You still should post it, and with the I Told Ya So. You called it.

Posted by on 08/30/08 at 10:10 PM from United States

it’s going to make any real difference or change the US reliance on foreign oil is completly absurd.

The ‘do everything’ energy plan is not that complicated. It includes ANWR. I think Paris Hilton put it in a way you can understand.

The dumbest point is to say anything we do now won’t affect the price for years. This is an admission that our current energy crunch would be less intense had the enviroholes not blocked energy 5 years ago. Any of these massive solar and wind farms and transmission line projects will take years to complete. Does this mean we should not do them? No! We should do everything.

The big problem with solar and wind is even if they were implemented instantaneously, they are very expensive for what they generate. Talk about not making a dent… Anyway, it is good to see Obama jumping on the clean coal and nuclear energy bandwagon finally.

Posted by HARLEY on 08/30/08 at 11:32 PM from United States

Fuck it, have a drink ... relaxe its a holiday weekemd........

Posted by Ed Kline on 08/31/08 at 04:44 AM from United States

she was asked directly about it making no different to the price of oil given the relatively tiny amounts there to drill; she just say it’s not true; that’s it. It’s fine to be for drilling up there, but to argue that it’s going to make any real difference or change

You dont really understand the oil speculation market do you Padders? If we aanounced we will be drilling in ANWAR and off the continental shelf tomorrow, oil would drop immediately. Both short and long term futures.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 06:24 AM from United Kingdom

The dumbest point is to say anything we do now won’t affect the price for years. This is an admission that our current energy crunch would be less intense had the enviroholes not blocked energy 5 years ago.

That is not what people are saying, they are saying drilling in Alaska will not affect the price *ever*, it’s a piddling amount of oil that makes only a negligable difference.

I am not saying it shouldn’t be drilled; to be honest I don’t care a huge amount either way; however those who think it is any sort of solution to anything are incredibly naive.

Energy policy needs some thinking orders of magnitude higher than drilling for a bit more oil - in my mind it envolves about 4 things:

* Nuclear energy
* Carbon taxes with the taxes offered as a subsidy to energy producers who produce energy without carbon (let the market decide whether it should be wind, solar, tidal, geothermal etc)
* Huge R&D;investment into improved energy transmission and storage (the market seems to be failing here for various reasons)
* Raise the minimum MPG. Raising it a few MPGs for the worst polluters actually saves far far more gas than worrying about turning cars that go 30mpg into ones that go 45mpg. The market will probably solve this on its own, government legislation would speed things up a bit; but the carbon tax should do the important work.

Clean coal should not be promoted; if it’s economic with carbon taxes in place it will happen according to market dynamics. The same applies for nuclear - the relevant thing there is more planning permission.

In 10-15 years, energy should be a fraction of the cost it is now; it’s only so expensive now because of massive under investment in alternatives - mainly due to the short sightness of car companies, governments and energy producers around the world. This is why it is painful; but it will only get worse if we don’t work harder now.

To suggest Palin has some coherent energy policy based on her “let’s just drill” is absurd.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 06:25 AM from United States

This is the best the Left can do? Taking separate paragraphs from separate sections of an interview and paste them to make it an inane tangent? I think there are some legal issues with that. I hope they prosecute any organization that is still promoting that as fact.

What a howler, Section8 ...

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 06:27 AM from United Kingdom

You dont really understand the oil speculation market do you Padders? If we aanounced we will be drilling in ANWAR and off the continental shelf tomorrow, oil would drop immediately. Both short and long term futures.

The short term market would barely given the time delays; the long term futures might move a smidgen - but given that the amount of oil being talked about is so negligable, less than 1% of global demand - it would hardly move at all.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 06:28 AM from United Kingdom

I seem to recall that JFK’s kids were quite young when he was president. What a horrible man he was for taking time to be president rather than staying home with the toddlers.

Toddlers != infants.

I never said she was horrible or a bad mother; I am amazed she thinks she will have time to look after an infant with Downe’s and run for VP. But hey, it’s looking more and more like it’s not her kid anyway.

Posted by HARLEY on 08/31/08 at 07:08 AM from United States

I never said she was horrible or a bad mother; I am amazed she thinks she will have time to look after an infant with Downe’s and run for VP. But hey, it’s looking more and more like it’s not her kid anyway.

Yeah, i hear around the liberal blogs that the 17 year old is a lil whore,and got knocked up and mommy is covering for her.

Posted by Ed Kline on 08/31/08 at 08:43 AM from United States

The short term market would barely given the time delays; the long term futures might move a smidgen - but given that the amount of oil being talked about is so negligable, less than 1% of global demand - it would hardly move at all.

You’re obviously not an investor, and its not my job to educate you, but you’re ridiculously wrong.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/31/08 at 08:55 AM from United States

What a howler, Section8 ...

Say what you will, last I checked, Think Progress still did not make a correction, and carries the audio. Are you saying that taking people’s words and mixing them around in edited audio to make it something that it is not is ok? It is a false string of words, and some know it and some groups like Think Progress continue to use it. Perhaps this behavior is ok with you?

Posted by mikeguas on 08/31/08 at 09:20 AM from United States

To suggest Palin has some coherent energy policy based on her “let’s just drill” is absurd.

Hey what happened to that ethanol plan the lefties were pushing a few years ago? How’s that working out for ya? Drilling in Alaska will not solve all. It’s a start.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 09:44 AM from United States

That is not what people are saying, they are saying drilling in Alaska will not affect the price *ever*, it’s a piddling amount of oil that makes only a negligable difference.

This is obviously not true - we are talking about more oil than came out of Prudhoe Bay, which was/is substantial.

I am not saying it shouldn’t be drilled; to be honest I don’t care a huge amount either way; however those who think it is any sort of solution to anything are incredibly naive.

And those that think that just leaving billions of barrels of crude under the ground just because you might spill a drop or disturb a polar bear are idiots.

Energy policy needs some thinking orders of magnitude higher than drilling for a bit more oil - in my mind it envolves about 4 things:

* Nuclear energy

We could do with a lot more nuclear power.  The only reason we don’t is because of lies from the environmental lobby (earth-worshiping hippies)

* Carbon taxes with the taxes offered as a subsidy to energy producers who produce energy without carbon (let the market decide whether it should be wind, solar, tidal, geothermal etc)

This makes absolutely no sense unless you’ve been drinking the “global warming” kool-aid.  It is pointless, expensive, and counter-productive.

* Huge R&D;investment into improved energy transmission and storage (the market seems to be failing here for various reasons)

Not with my tax dollars you don’t.  If the market seems to be failing, then throwing tax dollars after it will just be wasting money.

* Raise the minimum MPG. Raising it a few MPGs for the worst polluters actually saves far far more gas than worrying about turning cars that go 30mpg into ones that go 45mpg. The market will probably solve this on its own, government legislation would speed things up a bit; but the carbon tax should do the important work.

Cars become more efficient because of market forces, not government regulation.

Clean coal should not be promoted; if it’s economic with carbon taxes in place it will happen according to market dynamics. The same applies for nuclear - the relevant thing there is more planning permission.

What the hell is wrong with clean coal.  It’s cheap, it’s clean (hence the name), and we have coal out the ass.  Sounds like an envirotard speaking.

In 10-15 years, energy should be a fraction of the cost it is now; it’s only so expensive now because of massive under investment in alternatives - mainly due to the short sightness of car companies, governments and energy producers around the world. This is why it is painful; but it will only get worse if we don’t work harder now.

Utter bullshit.  This statement is wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin.

To suggest Palin has some coherent energy policy based on her “let’s just drill” is absurd.

To suggest that “let’s just drill” isn’t infinitely better than “let’s just keep doing jacksht” is asinine,

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 10:12 AM from United States

The US produces 8 million of the 20 million barrels a day it uses. Opening ANWR will add 1 million barrels a day to domestic production, and that is a significant reduction in dependence on foreign oil.  Sure, 1 million is a drop in the bucket to the global 80 million barrel a day market.

The genius of the market is 1% here, 1% there, 1% elsewhere, 1% conservation over there, 1% of cars switch to CNG, deployment of VHT Generation IV nuclear reactors ... all combine to solve the energy crunch.

ANWR is an interesting debate because it highlights the spectacular stupidity coming out of the enviroholes.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 10:19 AM from United Kingdom

Hey what happened to that ethanol plan the lefties were pushing a few years ago? How’s that working out for ya? Drilling in Alaska will not solve all. It’s a start.

Ethanol is rediculous; it’s just more agricultural subsidies to big-agro; and certainly something I don’t support. The energy benefits of it are incredibly questionable; some studies suggest more oil is used to make the ethanol than just using oil.

This istn’t to suggest that biofuels don’t have a future, they certainly do - most likely from bio-engineered algae which can be grown far more intensivly and without the fertilizers used for ethanol. There is no need to subsidise this as opposed to any other energy, the market will work out the best solution - the problem is the one renewable energy the Bush administration has supported, ethanol, is just Republicans as usual - corporate welfare. Environmentalists have been saying ethanol is a white elephant for a long time.

This is obviously not true - we are talking about more oil than came out of Prudhoe Bay, which was/is substantial.

Look it up, it’s a tiny tiny fraction of eiter US or world demand, world growth in a year accounts for more than can be extracted annual from the whole of alaska. Is this useful to drill, sure, it gives us anoter 12 months to return to the status quo. Is it a soluton to anything, no - which is why it’s not a coherent energy policy if that is all you have got.

And those that think that just leaving billions of barrels of crude under the ground just because you might spill a drop or disturb a polar bear are idiots.

The environmental concerns are rather more intelligent than that; but of course its easy to argue against an opinion when you belittle it. Rather childish no?

We could do with a lot more nuclear power.  The only reason we don’t is because of lies from the environmental lobby (earth-worshiping hippies)

There are valid concerns to nuclear, both that when things go wrong - they go very wrong. Security issues are rather obvious. The most important question in my mind is if the energy is cost effective. The cost of disposing of nuclear fuel is still not completly known - and generally becomes a problem for governments. Personally I think it is the best of some not great options in the short term - but there are valid arguments against it. You are of course wrong regarding the environmental lobby; some prominent environmentalists are pro-nuclear - include I believe the founder of greenpeace.

This makes absolutely no sense unless you’ve been drinking the “global warming” kool-aid.  It is pointless, expensive, and counter-productive.

I am not going to try and convince you regarding human caused climate change; if you willfully ignore all the evidence I am not going to be able to convince you. However, even if you don’t accept global warming - there is still very arguments around a carbon tax to encourage the development of renewable energy sources (the only way we are going to be able to rapidly expand our energy production and make it cheaper in the long run). We need a level of investment into renwable energy akin to the Apollo or Manhattan project. In my mind it is much better to make dirty, carbon based energy fund this than just through general taxation. The market won’t solve this all of this on its own - it’s too expensive and the payback is too long; and this is coming from someone who works as a venture capitalist with investments in green technologies.

Not with my tax dollars you don’t.  If the market seems to be failing, then throwing tax dollars after it will just be wasting money.

Your tax dollars already support huge amounts of technology r&d;. Market economies massivly underprovide for r&d;research in all sorts of things and for many a reason - reasons any basic economics text book will run you through if you are interested. There is a lot of work finally going on in batteries and other types of energy storage and generation (fuel cells) which is good - but transmission of energy is still a big problem to solve.

Cars become more efficient because of market forces, not government regulation.

Actually it can be because of both. People wear seat belts not because they demanded car manufacturers put them in, but because it was made illegal not to. Not very libertarian that’s for sure - but cars would be more efficient if the government demanded it. You might have a valid argument against doing so; but just to say it won’t work is clearly absurd.

What the hell is wrong with clean coal.  It’s cheap, it’s clean (hence the name), and we have coal out the ass.  Sounds like an envirotard speaking.

There is nothing particularly wrong with clean coal assuming it is actually clean. I simply said it didn’t need subsidies as are being proposed in some quarters - if it pays back itself on parity to other green technologies based on a carbon tax then all is fine. I even have stocks in a UK coal company expecting that to happen over here as well.

Utter bullshit.  This statement is wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin.

If you can’t find anything wrong with it, I’ll just have to assume you have nothing intelligent to say that suggests otherwise.

To suggest that “let’s just drill” isn’t infinitely better than “let’s just keep doing jacksht” is asinine,

Who is saying that?

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 10:22 AM from United Kingdom

The US produces 8 million of the 20 million barrels a day it uses. Opening ANWR will add 1 million barrels a day to domestic production, and that is a significant reduction in dependence on foreign oil.  Sure, 1 million is a drop in the bucket to the global 80 million barrel a day market

By the time you can get 1 million days from ANWR (if you ever can, that’s towards the high end of projections) US demand will have increased by over 1 million barrels. This is the issue, ANWR does nothing to solve the problem - it might help it getting much worse than it is now; but a solution - it is not.

If you think Palin is motivated to open up ANWR to solve energy issues across the US and not because of local politics for her state and possibly a few friends in the oil industry - well, I think that’s naive.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/31/08 at 10:34 AM from United States

Ethanol is rediculous; it’s just more agricultural subsidies to big-agro; and certainly something I don’t support. The energy benefits of it are incredibly questionable; some studies suggest more oil is used to make the ethanol than just using oil.

This istn’t to suggest that biofuels don’t have a future, they certainly do - most likely from bio-engineered algae which can be grown far more intensivly and without the fertilizers used for ethanol. There is no need to subsidise this as opposed to any other energy, the market will work out the best solution - the problem is the one renewable energy the Bush administration has supported, ethanol, is just Republicans as usual - corporate welfare. Environmentalists have been saying ethanol is a white elephant for a long time.

See, this is the issue. Big agra. Yes, he pushed in that ridiculous energy source, and I’m with you on corporate welfare, but I have a good memory, and I remember environmentalists all over the place loving ethonal. Once Bush started pushing it they suddenly hated it. I’m sure nearly everyone can remember this. Now what happens when we start throwing money out to solar, coal, and wind, and they become Big Solar, Big coal, and Big wind, Big tidal. God forbid they begin to make a profit. What do you think the reaction from the left will be then?

I’ll tell you what it will be. Too many birds are flying into these wind propellers or some other excuse, the tidal devices are harming fish and interrupting migrating patterns, big coal is choking us. I fricken guarantee there will be some spin on it, and protest, and blame of anyone who pushes it especially if they are on the right, because it’s not about saving shit, it’s about hating profits.

Personally, I’m for the coal. We have plenty. I’m not for subsidizing or any corporate welfare. I just think the government needs to get the hell out of the way. There is plenty of VC money out there, but who will dump into this when they know the government could shut it down at any time, and create so many restrictions to kill any return on investment.

Just wait though, no matter which direction, the next great alternative energy of today will be the hated source tomorrow as soon as a profit is posted. Guaranteed.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 10:51 AM from United States

By the time you can get 1 million days from ANWR (if you ever can, that’s towards the high end of projections) US demand will have increased by over 1 million barrels. This is the issue, ANWR does nothing to solve the problem - it might help it getting much worse than it is now; but a solution - it is not.

So, your thought process is that “if it doesn’t solve the issue 100%, don’t even bother”?  That is just fucking disingenuous.  How about if you add up all those places where it “just isn’t worth it”?

And how, pray tell, is delivering a million barrels a day going to “help it getting it much worse”?

Also, other than, those billions of barrels not being enough to solve the world’s problems, do you actually have a real objection to drilling there?  And please, non of this utter bullshit about “despoiling the pristine wilderness”.  Even a casual examination of the facts leaves that argument completely fucking dead from the start.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 10:51 AM from United Kingdom

Now what happens when we start throwing money out to solar, coal, and wind, and they become Big Solar, Big coal, and Big wind, Big tidal. God forbid they begin to make a profit. What do you think the reaction from the left will be then?

Exactly why we don’t do this. There are two ways to handle this:

1. Carbon tax + Lower general income taxes.

2. Carbon tax + Rebate on green energy (defined as using < X amount of carbon)

2 is a bit more complicated but is fairer on those who use more energy because it should be designed in a way such that total energy bills don’t change much.

Government’s should not pick the winners in this, but they should put the incentives in place to correct the market failure (that neither the cost of pollution or security cost are included in the price of fossil fuels). Once you put that mechanism in place; use of renewables will sky rocket.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 10:57 AM from United Kingdom

So, your thought process is that “if it doesn’t solve the issue 100%, don’t even bother”?  That is just fucking disingenuous.  How about if you add up all those places where it “just isn’t worth it”?

Are you fucking stupid or just acting that way? I have said about three times that I don’t have any massive concern with drilling there - I can’t say I have looked in depth into the environemtnal arguments againt doing so; so am certainly not going to attempt to argue against drilling.

However, so many on the right seem to think that drlling ANWR solves all the problems. These are generally the same idiotic replicans who come out with statements like “leave it to the free market” despite having no clue what they are talking about and not even the basic understanding of economics one should learn when they are about 14 years old. Palin seems to fit into this group; no evidence that she has any idea about energy policy; and given that is where this discussion started - I find her wholly uncredible on this topic.

And how, pray tell, is delivering a million barrels a day going to “help it getting it much worse”?

Because by the time those million barrells are being delivered, US demand will have increased by more than one million barrells. You will thus still need to import the same amount of foreign oil (if not more if other domestic sources drop). So, the situation will not have improved from now - which is why energy policy needs to include a bit more than just drilling in Alaska.

Given Republicans seem to be aghast generally at the idea of energy conversation in general; new supplies of energy are going to be needed; and supplies on a scale that ANWR is not going to provide.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 10:59 AM from United Kingdom

I’ll tell you what it will be. Too many birds are flying into these wind propellers or some other excuse, the tidal devices are harming fish and interrupting migrating patterns, big coal is choking us. I fricken guarantee there will be some spin on it, and protest, and blame of anyone who pushes it especially if they are on the right, because it’s not about saving shit, it’s about hating profits.

There certainly are some people like this; but a tiny minority. I work as a venture capitalist and am particularly interested in profit and getting rich; I can maintain some interest in the environment at the same time :)

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 11:18 AM from United States

Had Clinton not blocked ANWR production when he was president, today we would be producing 9 of 20 million barrels we use per day, not 8 of 20 million barrels. To say this would not be a good or great thing because it wouldn’t have been The Final Solution is absolutely crazy.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/31/08 at 11:32 AM from United States

Al Gore on Ethonol and Big Agra

---

Supports ethanol subsidies & “farm safety net”

Vice President Al Gore maintains that “it’s well known that I’ve always supported ethanol. I have a consistent record of shoring up the farm safety net.” Gore, who as vice president cast a tie-breaking vote in 1994 against a proposal Senator Bill Bradley sponsored to cut tax incentives for ethanol fuel, adds that “I have not ducked when votes for ... agricultural interests were on the floor.”

Source: Sustainable Energy Coalition, media backgrounder #2 Nov 18, 1999

Triple use of biomass, ethanol, plant-based textiles, etc.

“Our administration’s goal is to triple the use of biomass technologies, ethanol, gasoline additives, plant-based textiles and other environmentally friendly products by 2010. This is just one of the exciting ways our efforts to protect the environment will begin to help America’s ailing farming economy.”
Source: Sustainable Energy Coalition, media backgrounder #2 Nov 18, 1999

I agree Padders on the corporate welfare, let’s just not spin this into a Republican as usual idea. That argument only shows up when politically convenient.

Link

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 03:45 PM from United Kingdom

I agree Padders on the corporate welfare, let’s just not spin this into a Republican as usual idea. That argument only shows up when politically convenient.

Corporate welfare is generally a Republican thing - democrats prefere buying their votes from trade unions; however I tend to agree in this case - because agriculture is important in a number of the swing states; both sides give out all sorts of hand outs. I actually think both sides know they shouldn’t - but its a political game.

Unfortunately it does all sorts of damage, not just in energy as in the case of ethanol but even more so in international trade. If the US (and EU who are just as bad) removed all agricultural subsidies it would do far more good for Africa than a good % of international aid combined.

Had Clinton not blocked ANWR production when he was president, today we would be producing 9 of 20 million barrels we use per day, not 8 of 20 million barrels. To say this would not be a good or great thing because it wouldn’t have been The Final Solution is absolutely crazy.

That’s certainly fair enough - but I think the core point here is getting it through to people that we can’t drill ourselves out of this problem. We need a managed transition to energy not passed on oil/gas. If your energy policy istn’t focused around that; then I am not going to give it much time.

Posted by mikeguas on 08/31/08 at 04:15 PM from United States

Corporate welfare is generally a Republican thing - democrats prefere buying their votes from trade unions; however I tend to agree in this case - because agriculture is important in a number of the swing states; both sides give out all sorts of hand outs. I actually think both sides know they shouldn’t - but its a political game.

I think I agree with you on more things than I thought.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 06:05 PM from United States

A million barrels a day, despite how much demand goes up, is still a million barrels a day not being bought on the foreign market.  Drilling the ANWR, as well as everyplace else you can think of, all adds up.  Not drilling is what’s fucking stupid.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 06:24 PM from United States

Because by the time those million barrells are being delivered, US demand will have increased by more than one million barrells. You will thus still need to import the same amount of foreign oil (if not more if other domestic sources drop). So, the situation will not have improved from now - which is why energy policy needs to include a bit more than just drilling in Alaska.

So if demand increased to 22 million a day, do you think it would be better to import 12 million or 13 million of those barrels? 

Put another way, would it be better to “import the same amount of foreign oil” or import more foreign oil? 

One more thing, have you checked out what has happened to oil prices over the summer?  I know in your mind there is probably no connection, but the same day Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling, the price of crude started declining.  Eveyone expects the US to do more drilling in coming years, so the price has been edging down (we’ll see what happens after Gustav blows through).

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 08:21 PM from United States

Why don’t we sit on ANWR for a while? The price of oil is only going to go up and we’ll need fossil fuels for our military at least for a long, long time. Save it for the fighters and tanks.

But the real reason for this comment is to let Hal know that it’s not “beauty queen” that will be the attack line, it’s ”grandmother."

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 08:46 PM from United States

Even though anyone from Wasilla/Palmer/Colony High would agree that you would be lucky to get through high school w/o a preggers girl in home room, a couple of details don’t fit for me:

1) Mat-su Regional is a new, modern facility. Not the backwater hospital this guy claims.

2) I knew a preggers lady once who was seven months with barely a bulge. It was her first one, however.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 08:55 PM from United States

The price of oil is only going to go up and we’ll need fossil fuels for our military at least for a long, long time.

Barack Obama mentioned something like this in his grand speech. His plan is for our use of oil to drop from 20 million bbls per day to 0 bbls per day. All these corny windmills you see marring our natural landscapes today only make up 1% of our electricity needs. Change all that oil use to use electricity, and require electricity generation to increase from 1% to 90% windmill based and… wow. What is that, 10 million acres of windmills?

It is absolutely fascinating how much fantasy Barack Obama is able to get away with.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 08:59 PM from United States

Um, dude. No one is saying we will windmill our way out of fossil fuels. Like others here have said, it’s going to be a collection of multiple approaches.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 09:31 PM from United States

What I heard was an anti-approach. No oil in 10 years. OK, how?

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 09:57 PM from United States

I don’t think “alternative” energy is really ever going to amount to that much for a variety of reasons.

1) Solar, even at 100% efficiency, just isn’t there for much of the planet, and even for the parts that do get a steady sun, nobody is going to want the entire landscape covered in solar panels.  However, it is a smart idea for places like LA and Phoenix to cover everyone’s roof with panels and soak up the free power that is there.

2) Wind power is unreliable, and again insufficient.

3) Tide/wave generators?  Really, you going to foul up the seas with that?

4) Coal and natural gas are plentiful, clean with modern technology, and not dependent on having the proper weather

5) Hydropower is tapped out for acceptable locations to erect dams

6) Nuclear is going to make a comeback once the greens get told to shut the fuck up.  Fusion power is on the horizon according to a guy I know whose work is all classified.

Posted by on 08/31/08 at 10:24 PM from United States

The complaint that solar and wind power are unreliable is invalid. Any utilitiy’s sources of power are diverse, and it is totally easy to run the dams and nuclear at full power when the other sources such as wind and solar are offline. Dams are the ultimate way to “store” energy for nighttime.

We need to build the Auburn Dam in Northern California. It is essential storage of water and energy for when it is actually needed.

Posted by on 09/01/08 at 03:54 PM from United Kingdom

Not to mention that large solar arrays in hot desserts can provide huge amounts of power. Only a couple of % of the Sahara with solar panels covers the world’s energy demand. It’s not going to happen like that of course, and solar efficiency can be improved a lot - but providing 10% of the world’s power via solar is entirley possible.

Wind power is not unreliable in lots of areas, e.g. costal areas like the UK. It is also stronger during the day, exactly when energy peaks. Of course, wind won’t provide base load energy - that is where nuclear comes in.

What’s wrong with tidal/wave in the seas?

Hydropower stations are still being built, one is being built on the Nile in Uganda right now - going to ruin some very fun rafting rapids :(

You also forget bio-fuels, geothermal, biogas etc.

Posted by on 09/01/08 at 05:11 PM from United States

Not to mention that large solar arrays in hot desserts can provide huge amounts of power. Only a couple of % of the Sahara with solar panels covers the world’s energy demand. It’s not going to happen like that of course, and solar efficiency can be improved a lot - but providing 10% of the world’s power via solar is entirley possible.
Wind power is not unreliable in lots of areas, e.g. costal areas like the UK. It is also stronger during the day, exactly when energy peaks. Of course, wind won’t provide base load energy - that is where nuclear comes in.
What’s wrong with tidal/wave in the seas?
Hydropower stations are still being built, one is being built on the Nile in Uganda right now - going to ruin some very fun rafting rapids :(
You also forget bio-fuels, geothermal, biogas etc.

All of these would be great if they actually worked without massive gov’t subsidies.  The fact that they require massive subsidies shows that they are not ready for prime time.  When they are, it won’t require federal funding-the market will fund it.

Posted by on 09/01/08 at 05:12 PM from United States

Why don’t we sit on ANWR for a while? The price of oil is only going to go up and we’ll need fossil fuels for our military at least for a long, long time

Uhhh but the Messiah and Saint Gore are going to deliver us from petrochemical evil in ten years?  Then that oil won’t be worth much.  We should get it above ground and sell it now while we can get some good money for it.

Posted by on 09/01/08 at 05:18 PM from United States

The complaint that solar and wind power are unreliable is invalid.

Which is why utility companies hate them for being unreliable.  Cloud cover and the wind just fucking stopping cause lack of generation.  Not to mention that thing called “night"…

Any utilitiy’s sources of power are diverse, and it is totally easy to run the dams and nuclear at full power when the other sources such as wind and solar are offline.

Most utilities run off a single source of power.  The grid as a whole is diverse, but not individual utilities.  Here in the Pacific NW, for instance, our electricity is 98% hydro.

Dams are the ultimate way to “store” energy for nighttime.

Unless you have one of those droughts that cause everyone to panic like crazy.  And then you get the envirotards that want all dam broken…

We need to build the Auburn Dam in Northern California. It is essential storage of water and energy for when it is actually needed.

I’ll take your word for it.  Personally, I like dams.

Posted by on 09/01/08 at 05:25 PM from United States

Not to mention that large solar arrays in hot desserts can provide huge amounts of power. Only a couple of % of the Sahara with solar panels covers the world’s energy demand.

I’d love to see the math that backs up that statement.

but providing 10% of the world’s power via solar is entirely possible.

Even if true, the worlds demand for power is going to go up.

Wind power is not unreliable in lots of areas, e.g. costal areas like the UK. It is also stronger during the day, exactly when energy peaks. Of course, wind won’t provide base load energy - that is where nuclear comes in.

Wind power is very unreliable - it keeps going offline.  Wind isn’t the constant the everyone thinks it is.

What’s wrong with tidal/wave in the seas?

To start with, they are a fucking hazard to navigation and are going to be a holy mother to maintain.

Hydropower stations are still being built, one is being built on the Nile in Uganda right now - going to ruin some very fun rafting rapids :(

Hydropower is a main target of envirotards that want all rivers to run free.  Also, there are a limited number of places suitable.

You also forget bio-fuels, geothermal, biogas etc.

Bio-fuels are a waste of time, geothermal is only workable in a very small number of locations, and biogas is also extremely limited.  While they all have their place, they are only going to amount for a tiny fraction of the world’s total energy demand.

Posted by HARLEY on 09/01/08 at 07:11 PM from United States

Not to mention that large solar arrays in hot desserts can provide huge amounts of power. Only a couple of % of the Sahara with solar panels covers the world’s energy demand.

I’d love to see the math that backs up that statement.

I’d like to see the maintenance and service plan.
Posted by on 09/01/08 at 08:12 PM from United States

All the pie in the sky enviro-magic energy also misses another point.  Our national energy grid isn’t really national.  The infrastructure to transmit power from sunny Arizona or windy Michigan to other areas no so blessed does not exist and would cost billions to put in place.  Each massive transmition line would doubtless face envirnomental protests. 

What it comes down to is that there is a hard core of enviro-tards that simply don’t want there to be power.  They want us to revert to some anciet technology middle earth dream land where the nasty electricity doesn’t bother us.

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