Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Sarah Palin's Amnesia - Cause for Concern?

Katie Couric's retirement as the anchor of the "CBS Evening News" would spare Sarah Palin encounters like this one:

Here's a memory jogger for Sarah Palin, in an interview conducted a couple of months earlier:

The Supreme Court agreed to hear Exxon's appeal in February 2008:

The federal government indicted Exxon on five criminal charges, with potential penalties totaling $5 billion. The company soon agreed to plead guilty to three counts, with a fine of $25 million, plus $900 million more in civil fines to be paid over a 10-year period to the government. In addition, the company paid $2.1 billion in cleanup costs and several hundred million dollars more to fishermen for their lost summer catch. In all, the company would pay $3.4 billion.

But the fishing industry, plus businesses affected by the spill and the native Alaskans whose very way of life had been ruined, contended that Exxon had not paid enough. At Exxon's request, the federal court in Alaska certified 32,000 individuals with potentially valid claims to sue as a single group.

In closing arguments, their lawyer asked for between $5 and $20 billion in punitive damages - that is, damages meant not to compensate but to punish and deter such conduct in the future.

Exxon, in closing arguments, said there should be no punitive damages. The jury awarded $5 billion, which after two appeals was reduced to $2.5 billion, or roughly $75,000 per person. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Exxon's latest appeal, prompting this reaction from Alaska's Republican governor, Sarah Palin.

Governor SARAH PALIN (Republican, Alaska): It was like kind of a kick in Alaska's collective gut here, and it's seeming to be a case now of justice delayed being justice denied.

The Supreme Court announced their decision in June 2008:

In 1994, a jury awarded plaintiffs US$287 million in compensatory damages and US$5 billion in punitive damages. Exxon appealed and the Ninth Circuit court reduced the punitive damages to US$2.5 billion. Exxon then appealed the punitive damages to the Supreme Court which capped the damages to US$507.5 million in June, 2008. On August 27, 2008, Exxon Mobil agreed to pay 75% of the US$507.5 million damages ruling to settle the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska. In June 2009, a federal ruling ordered Exxon to pay an additional US$480 million in interest on their delayed punitive damage awards.

As of 2010 there are approximately 98 cubic metres (3,500 cu ft) or 26,000 gallons) of Valdez crude oil still in Alaska's sand and soil.

In 2009, Sarah Palin wrote this in Going Rogue:

ExxonMobil's litigation compounded the suffering, especially for Cordova and Valdez fishermen. Court challenges stretched for two decades. It took twenty years for Alaska to achieve victory. As governor I directed our attorney general to file an amicus brief on behalf on plaintiffs in the case, and, thanks to Alaska's able attorneys arguing in front of the highest court in the land, in 2008 the U.S. Supreme court ruled in favor of the people. Finally, Alaskans could recover some of their losses.

Not long before the Katie Couric interview, Exxon agreed to pay only 75% of the very much reduced damages and each of the 32,000 plaintiffs would have to be content with a figure shy of $12,000.

Sarah Palin has some very serious memory problems. First she disagreed with a Supreme Court decision that she couldn't remember a few weeks later, then in the space of one year she forgot her disappointment, claiming an insult to the Alaskan fishermen as a victory.

This memory lapse is not an isolated incident. Sarah Palin has a recurring problem recollecting events in her life, what her positions were regarding a number of issues where she later expressed opposite views and appears to be eternally confused...

(H/T) to craftyz)