Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Sarah Palin, the country's foremost energy expert

Sarah Palin's tropical Alaska doesn't need a statewide energy code. She's refusing to take the $28.6 million for energy programs.

"The fact that Alaska does not currently have a state energy code indicates that there has not been a statewide consensus for imposing such a code on local communities and Alaska residents." (e-mail from one of Sarah Palin's many mouthpieces, Sharon Leighow)

"We shouldn't have to change our local laws to accept more of this federal package, as the feds already control much of our young state, thus prohibiting our opportunities to responsibly develop." (e-mail from Sarah Palin herself)

Sarah is the highest authority in the country regarding energy issues. She's also an ace journalist who's not averse to split infinitives. Oh, how to politely put it?

Alaska is an oil producing state, yet Alaskans pay the highest possible fuel prices to heat their homes. In remote communities fuel prices are much higher.

Barrow, June 2008: A gallon of unleaded gasoline: $10. Heating fuel: $9.10 a gallon. Electricity: $1.17 per kilowatt hour — 11 times the national average.

Last year the state was in a position to send $1,200 to every resident to help with heating bills, the much talked about energy rebate: $720 million in total.

If that money had been spent in long term measures, such as making all buildings more energy efficient, Alaskans would have to spend less to heat their homes. They would have been able to save money every winter. Instead they each received some emergency money that's long gone.

Ah, but actually addressing a longstanding problem affecting many thousands of residents of the coldest state in the Union wouldn't make sense to our Sarah. She told Esquire magazine in February:

"My favorite place in Alaska is on a cold winter day in my own house, with fat snowflakes falling. In my nice warm home."

I bet her nice warm home is energy efficient and her heating bills are not as high as those the villagers in the Yukon Delta have to pay, for example. I bet Sarah Palin doesn't have to choose between heating her home and feeding her family.

Our energy expert, instead of using the federal money to make some progress in this area, stomps her little foot in a tantrum: "I won't be told what to do by those nasty feds, I know everything about energy, so there!"

Sarah Palin had to refuse at least some of the nasty, dirty, strings attached stimulus money, otherwise she wouldn't be able to show her fan club in the Lower 48 what a good little fiscal conservative gal she is...

Too bad she's not the governor of Florida. I think she would have refused federal money for hurricane protection if that had been the case, provided she had a solid cool home...

ADN article


Emily said...

Another great post... once again, Palin demonstrates that she knows little about anything except advancing her own political career. Her rejection of federal money also has some secessionist overtones, although it seems to me that seceding from the union would not be putting "Alaska first" since they need those subsidies.

And just a minor quibble because I'm an armchair linguist-- there is nothing wrong with split infinitives. To vehemently denounce them is to cling onto an archaic rule which was derived from Latin grammar, not English.

regina said...


I'm terrible with split infinitives myself, but I couldn't resist!

SP's trouble is word salad, pure and simple. Split infinitives are the least of her worries...

I think clarity of thought and ability to communicate effectively are more important than grammar, but SP has neither of them, on top of murdering the English language.

You're right, Alaska wouldn't last five minutes without federal subsidies.


Anonymous said...

There are secretaries working in the Dept of Energy in Washington, DC that know far more about energy than Sarah ever will.

John McShame’s claim that Sarah knows more about energy than anyone else in the country was the biggest lie told during the campaign.

Sarah… You turned down money that could have reduced the heating bills for many of the residents of the state. … Sarah ..you are a sick joke.

midnightcajun said...

I am SO tired of seeing her referred to as an "energy expert" over and over again. She has no real expertise or training or experience in energy or gas and oil, except being married to a guy with a blue collar job in the field, and her two year stint on that oil and gas commission. Now, do we really know what that commission did? What Sarah did? Knowing our Sarah, I somehow doubt she did her homework. ("I'm not real clear on this? What exactly does the Vice President do?")

She acts like Alaska is the only oil and gas producing state in the Union, and that their energy resources some how makes her special. She's such an idiot that she doesn't know that the Gulf of Mexico produces more oil than Alaska, while Louisiana has just discovered the WORLD's fourth largest natural gas reserve.

And I got a good chuckle out of the split infinitives line. While I know that they've become accepted, I'll never get over having them circled on my first college term paper (at the, ahem, University of Idaho).

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

SP's "energy expert" meme is one of those things that get repeated by lazy reporters or true believers. Following Karl Rove's remark that "if something is repeated often enough, that MAKES it true," that's how the "energy expert" modifier stuck to GINO.

Similarly, when Condoleeza Rice first attained prominence, one of the memes attached to her was that she was "fluent in Russian." If you Google her name and that phrase, thousands of hits pop up. Yet when she once actually attempted to conduct a press conference in Russia IN Russian, her grasp of the language was so C- Freshman Russian that an interpreter was quietly summoned. (That didn't make the headlines.) Her command of Russian is worse than mine, and I haven't used it in thirty years. Yet that "qualifier" is the kind of thing that sticks to a politician if it's repeated enough, and if their basic knowledge is never questioned in any sort of depth.

palinoscopy said...

I don't believe in the grammarians' injunctions against split infinitives. I also think that reducing criticisms of Palin's speech to "grammar" is to risk seeming like a bunch of petty, scolding schoolmarms. Grammar simply is not her problem. Her problem is that in absence of rational thought she circumlocutes, trying like mad to find the meaning at the center, but at the center is just a gaping void. She's trying to throw a profusion of words out in hopes that it will pass for saying something. In the end she just ends up with a big 'ol undigestible word salad.

Anonymous said...

Am I wrong, doesn't the state collect taxes from the oil companies and place the monies into a fund to be split among fellow Alaskans just so they can turn around and give the money back to the oil companies that are charging outrageous fees?

What a total waste of time, paper and postage, huh?

So, exactly what has the expert GINO done to help fellow Alaskans defray the outrageous fuel costs? Slash monies from the budget for other programs, like Special Olympics and food banks, to increase the fund! Some expert!

Oh, my bad, I forgot about those cookies!

get real said...

How's that gas pipeline working out for you Sarah?

Some energy expert.

womanwithsardinecan said...

We can thank Captain James T Kirk for loosening the rules on split infinitives. Now I boldly go down the path, splitting infinitives right and left. lol. The "new" rule is to not split them unnecessarily.
I love good grammar, but infinitives just beg to be split.

basheert said...

The only thing green around SP is the vomit everyone spews when she speaks.

She will never be mistaken for Ronald Reagan who although I personally believe was not the greatest president, he could give a speech!

She's a moron and an idiot - and Alaska pays for all of her blunders.

But she likes Guns and that is all that matters.

Emily said...

SP's trouble is word salad, pure and simple. Split infinitives are the least of her worries...

I think clarity of thought and ability to communicate effectively are more important than grammar...
I completely agree-- and hence I think it's justifiable to criticize politicians for poor use of language. (Coherent and eloquent speech is something all too often neglected nowadays in the world of politics, which is why Obama has been praised with terms like "Restoring complete sentences to the White House".) As long as we don't focus so much on the form of the speech that we lose sight of the content, but in Palin's case, that too deserves nothing but contempt.

The Dame said...

Great picture of the first and foremost energy knothead!

the problem child said...

I recently (I think it was on Kos) found the following description: "word salad with a fecal dressing". I think it apt, whether she is splitting her infinitives, dangling her modifiers, or just butchering with wild abandon the language I love.

the problem child said...

I of course, meant dangling her infinitves. Although, also, too, her modifiers dangle and teabag.

I am not Star Jones said...

Your posts are informative and heavenly but your photo selection is divine.