Tag Archives: ANWR

Sarah Palin Puts The Trig Question Back On The Table (Video)

Sarah Palin has now made two very clear public statements in the last day about the legitimacy of questions about the maternity of her son Trig. Here’s the first, transcribed from the interview above:

Would you make [Obama’s long form] birth certificate an issue if you ran?

I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t know if I would have to bother to make it an issue ’cause I think there are enough members of the electorate who still want answers.

Do you think it’s a fair question to be looking at?

I think it’s a fair question, just like I think past associations and past voting record — all of that is fair game. You know, I’ve got to tell you, too: I think our campaign, the McCain/Palin campaign didn’t do a good enough job in that area. We didn’t call out Obama and some of his associates on their records and what their beliefs were and perhaps what their future plans were. And I don’t think that that was fair to voters to not have done our jobs as candidates and as a campaign to bring to light a lot of the things that now we’re seeing made manifest in the administration.

I mean, truly, if your past is fair game and your kids are fair game, certainly Obama’s past should be. I mean, we want to treat men and women equally, right?

Hey, you know, that’s a great point, in that weird conspiracy-theory freaky thing that people talk about that Trig isn’t my real son. And a lot of people say, “Well you need to produce his birth certificate! You need to prove that he’s your kid!” Which we have done. But yeah, so maybe we could reverse that and use the same [unintelligible]-type thinking on them.

And here’s the second, a later Facebook attempt to walk back some of this:

Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I’ve pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask… which they have repeatedly. But at no point – not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews – have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Drill, Baby, Drill: Palin Spends Last Days in Office Twittering about Oil

As the seas of controversy – and climate change – rise around her, Sarah Palin spends her time Tweeting about oil and the ANWR.

As the seas of controversy – and climate change – rise around her, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spends her time Tweeting about oil and the ANWR.

In Sarah Palin’s own mind, she’s a fierce mother bear, acting on a guttural raw instinct to protect and provide for her young – who apparently include not only her own children but all of the “real Americans” out there who share her conservative views. But Palin no longer sees politics as the best way to do this – or so she says. As she leaves office this weekend, her next step remains unclear, but one thing’s for sure: She’s not letting go of her pro-domestic-oil-drilling stance anytime soon.

The embattled soon-to-be-former Governor of Alaska has been implicated in an ethics violation concerning her use of a legal defense fund in the 19th such complaint against her, but she doesn’t appear to be too concerned. Indeed, Palin is spending her last days in office penning half-baked op-eds on climate change legislation and Twittering about the amazing qualities of mother bears, drilling for oil and freedom-related song lyrics.

Palin’s editorial appeared in the July 14th edition of The Washington Post, slamming Obama’s “cap and tax” energy plan without ever mentioning the phrases ‘global warming’, ‘climate change’ or ‘carbon emissions’. The op-ed was eviscerated by climate experts, journalists and Palin’s fellow politicians for being long on oft-repeated falsehoods and short on actual knowledge about climate, with The Huffington Post wondering whether The Washington Post can ever recover from this hit to its reputation.

Congressman Edward Markey, co-author of the energy bill that Palin was attempting to discredit, took to The Daily Beast to clear up a few things in a piece titled “Palin vs. The Planet”. Noting that Palin’s beloved home state is on the front lines of climate change in America, Markey takes the governor to task on her apparent failure to understand what the bill is about.

“The governor does not understand that Waxman-Markey is not a tax bill—as we explicitly rejected the carbon tax option in favor of a smart cap on pollution with price protections for consumers and businesses that will grow our economy and create jobs.

She argues for more drilling as a solution to our energy crisis. But that math doesn’t add up. The United States possesses only three percent of the world’s oil reserves, yet we consume 25 percent of the world’s oil. OPEC, in contrast, controls two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves. Geological reality, not Waxman-Markey, is what is making energy “scarcer and more expensive.”

That is why we need to develop American-made alternatives to our nation’s current foreign dependency. No matter how hard she looks, Gov. Palin is not going to find enough oil in Alaska to feed our country’s insatiable appetite for energy.”

But even as Palin prepares to leave office she continues to talk up a natural gas pipeline in Alaska that may or may not ever be built, as well as the virtues of drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, in strings of semi-connected tweets that sometimes take up to thirty minutes to complete. On July 23rd Palin used her Twitter account to trump one of her final acts as governor – signing a resolution she describes as “pro-ANWR/pro-Alaska/pro-Energy Independence.”

Palin’s scattered, rambling tweets resemble nothing so much as the incoherent ramblings of a certain famous rock widow – which is probably not the effect that one of the nation’s most notorious political figures should be aiming for. Luckily for her, another conservative governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, used Twitter to post a video message in which he talks about the budget crisis while waving around a two-foot knife, making her look a little more balanced.

And what does Palin care, if she truly has no intent to stay in politics? As conservative media figures like Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly have proven, sometimes shrill, fact-challenged rants and incoherent ramblings can translate into big ratings. If the mysterious venture that Palin is about to dive into involves becoming an even bigger conservative celebrity – which seems likely – she’s already primed for stardom.

Stephanie Rogers
Mother Nature Network

Palin’s Alaska Senate Pick Tim Grussendorf On The Issues

Tim Grussendorf is known among longtime Juneau residents for his unsuccessful campaign for the state House of Representatives in 2002 and as the son of former Rep. Ben Grussendorf, D-Sitka, a former House speaker.

While Grussendorf did not win the endorsement of the Juneau Democratic Party, he said his conservative mainstream Democratic views are in the middle of public opinion. Here’s where he stands on several Alaska issues: Continue reading

Alaska Gov. Palin Pushed Exporting U.S. Oil Reserves To Japan

Jim Bowles, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. center, answers questions during a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska, where Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced an agreement between the state of Alaska and the oil industry to extend the federal export license for the LNG plant on the Kenai Peninsula. Steven Hinchmann, senior VP of worldwide production for Marathon Oil Corp., back, left, Tom Irwin Department of Natural Resources commissioner, and Gov. Sarah Palin, right, listen in the back. On the campaign trail, Palin says repeatedly that America must tap its own natural gas and oil reserves to become energy independent. But she has pushed the federal government to allow a liquefied natural gas plant to continue exporting to Asia, the only such plant in the United States that sends the product overseas.

Jim Bowles, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. center, answers questions during a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska, where Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced an agreement between the state of Alaska and the oil industry to extend the federal export license for the LNG plant on the Kenai Peninsula. Steven Hinchmann, senior VP of worldwide production for Marathon Oil Corp., back, left, Tom Irwin Department of Natural Resources commissioner, and Gov. Sarah Palin, right, listen in the back. On the campaign trail, Palin says repeatedly that America must tap its own natural gas and oil reserves to become energy independent. But she has pushed the federal government to allow a liquefied natural gas plant to continue exporting to Asia, the only such plant in the United States that sends the product overseas.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin can’t have it both ways … is she for America’s energy independence, with Alaskan pipelines built to carry natural gas and oil down to the lower 48 states, or does she want to continue EXPORTING natural gas to foreign countries at a time when the United States is IMPORTING natural gas from the Middle East and Africa?

On the campaign trail, Sarah Palin says repeatedly that America must tap its own natural gas and oil reserves to become energy-independent.

But the Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate has pushed the federal government to allow a liquefied natural gas plant to continue exporting to Asia – the only such plant in the United States that sends the product overseas.

Continue reading

Sarah Palin Opposes Gay Marriage; Supports Constitutional Ban in Opposition to John McCain’s Position

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin at a campaign stop

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin at a campaign stop

Once again, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin demonstrates how she can contradict herself as well as fundamentally disagree with the political platform of John McCain, adding to the lack of cohesion in the GOP campaign.  On one hand she is not going to sit in judgment of gays in terms of what they can and cannot do, BUT she wants to impose her narrow, limited views on gays by supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage, thereby passing a federal law which discriminates against an estimated 10% of the American population … approximately 25 million citizens.  In 2004 John McCain clearly denounced the Federal Marriage Amendment as “antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans.”

In an interview with Christian Brodcasting News senior correspondent David Brody, Sarah Palin signaled her support for a constitutional ban on gay marriage, a position that John McCain once described as “antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans.”

“I am, in my own, state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that’s where we would go because I don’t support gay marriage,” Palin said.

“I’m not going to be out there judging individuals, sitting in a seat of judgment telling what they can and can’t do, should and should not do, but I certainly can express my own opinion here and take actions that I believe would be best for traditional marriage and that’s casting my votes and speaking up for traditional marriage that, that instrument that it’s the foundation of our society is that strong family and that’s based on that traditional definition of marriage, so I do support that.”

When the federal marriage amendment was being debated in 2004, John McCain broke from his party’s leadership and took to the Senate floor to denounce it in notably stark language.

“The constitutional amendment we’re debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans,” McCain said. “It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them.”

Gay marriage isn’t the only issue on which Palin and McCain have expressed differences of opinion. They have also diverged on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, global warming, cross-border raids into Pakistan, and whether abortion should be permitted in cases of rape and incest.

In a joint interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric, McCain portrayed their differences of opinion on ANWR in a positive light.

Did you expect two mavericks to agree on-to agree on everything?” he asked.

Palin Breaks With McCain On Gay Marriage Ban

Sarah Palin: The View from Alaska – Amid Troopergate and Other Government Scandals, including Killing Wolf Pups, the Palin Phenomenon Rings Hollow in Alaska

The beauty of nature ... an aurora display near Fairbanks, Alaska

Amid “Troopergate” and other government scandals, including killing wolf pups, Alaskan writer Nick Jans explains why the Palin phenomenon rings hollow in his home state.

I sat on the bank of the Kobuk River in northwest arctic Alaska on a mid-September morning. Upstream somewhere, wolves were howling – their chorus filling the silence, close enough that I could hear the aspiration at the end of each wavering call. Behind me, the slate-gray heave of the Brooks Range spilled off toward the north, the shapes of some peaks so familiar I’ve seen them in my sleep. The nearest highway lay 250 miles away. This is the Alaska where I spent half my life, and the only place that’s ever felt like home – the land of Eskimo villages, waves of migrating caribou and seemingly limitless space.

Though I was beyond the reach of the Internet and cellphones, and life was filled with rutting bull moose, incandescent autumn light and fresh grizzly tracks, I knew that thousands of miles to the south, the rest of the country was getting a crash course on our governor, Sarah Palin – someone who believes that climate change isn’t our fault; is dead set against a woman’s right to choose; has supported creationism in the schools; and was prayed over by a visiting minister at her church to shield her against witchcraft.

How was I to explain to all my lower 48 friends and writing colleagues how such a person could have been elected to lead our state – let alone been chosen to possibly become vice-president? Truth be told, I was as startled as anyone when I heard the news. At first I thought the McCain campaign’s announcement was some sort of bad joke.

In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. Alaska is too large and culturally diverse (it’s only a bit smaller than the entire lower 48 east of the Mississippi, and once was divided into four time zones) to be summed up by some abstract, romanticized notion. And even if it could be, it sure wouldn’t be symbolized by Palin. “The typical Alaskan? She couldn’t be farther from it,” says Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kertulla.

Still, Palin is a genuine Alaskan – of a kind. The kind that flowed north in the wake of the ’70s oil boom, Bible Belt politics and attitudes under arm, and transformed this state from a free-thinking, independent bastion of genuine libertarianism and individuality into a reactionary fundamentalist enclave with dollar signs in its eyes and an all-for-me mentality.

Palin’s Alaska is embodied in Wasilla, a blue-collar, sharp-elbowed town of burgeoning big box stores, suburban subdivisions, evangelical pocket churches and car dealerships morphing across the landscape, outward from Anchorage, the state’s urban epicenter. She has lived in Wasilla practically all her life, and even now resides there, the first Alaska executive to eschew the white-pillared mansion in Juneau, down on the Southeast Panhandle.

Folks in the Mat-Su Valley, as the area is known, overwhelmingly support their favorite daughter’s policies – including a state-sanctioned program where private pilots chase down and kill wolves from small aircraft, and another that favors oil drilling offshore in the arctic sea ice and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These same voters forage at McDonald’s and Safeway in their hunter camouflage, and make regular wilderness forays up and down the state’s limited highway grid with ATVs, snowmobiles and airboats in tow behind their oversize trucks. Sometimes I imagine I can hear the roar echoing across the state, all the way to the upper Kobuk, where easements for the highways of tomorrow are already staked out across the tundra.

Like many Alaskans, I resent Palin’s claims that she speaks for all of us, and cringe when she tosses off her stump speech line, “Well, up in Alaska, we….” Not only did I not vote for her, she represents the antithesis of the Alaska I love. As mayor, she helped shape Wasilla into the chaotic, poorly planned strip mall that it is; as governor, she’s promoted that same headlong drive toward development and despoilment on a grand scale, while paying lip service to her love of the place.

As for that frontierswoman shtick, take another look at that hairpiece-augmented beehive and those stiletto heels. Coming from a college-educated family, living in a half-million-dollar view home, basking in a net worth of $1.25 million, and having owned 40-some registered motorized vehicles in the past two decades (including 17 snowmobiles and a plane) hardly qualifies Palin and her clan as the quintessential Joe Six-Pack family unit – though the adulation from that quarter shows the Palins must be fulfilling some sort of role-model fantasy.

Palin can claim to know Alaska; the fact is, she’s seen only a minuscule fraction of it – and that doesn’t include Little Diomede Island, the one place in Alaska where you actually can see Russia. So she can ride an ATV and shoot guns. Set her down in the bush on her own and I bet we’d discover she’s about as adept at butchering a moose and building a fire at 40 below zero as she is at discussing Supreme Court decisions. And that mountain-woman act is only the tip of a hollow iceberg.

Palin, and by extension, the McCain campaign, has hijacked our state for political purposes, much to the chagrin of the tens of thousands of Alaskans who loathe what she stands for. Her much-touted popularity among residents has eroded over the past six weeks to somewhere in the mid-60s – not exactly what you’d expect in support of a home girl making a White House run.

There are no doubt a variety of reasons for this decline, but many Alaskans are embarrassed – not just by her, but for our state and for ourselves. What’s with the smug posturing, recently adopted fake Minnesota accent, and that gosh-darn-it hockey mom pitch? Maybe it plays well in Peoria (and presumably Duluth), but it’s all an act. “She’s definitely put on a new persona since she’s been a vice-presidential candidate,” says Kertulla, who has worked closely with Palin for the past 18 months. “I don’t even recognize her.”

Affectations aside, there’s plenty about Palin we Alaskans do recognize, and all too well. She’s already proven to us that her promises of transparent government, attendant to the will of the people, are bear pucky. We know about her private e-mail accounts and her systematic obstruction of the Alaska Legislature’s investigation of the so-called Troopergate scandal. But let’s turn to her environmental record, where a similar pattern of obfuscation continues.

Alaskan wolf pup outside of den.

Alaskan wolf pup outside of den.

First, Palin pushed hard, along with sport hunting and guiding interests, to help defeat a ballot initiative that would have stopped the state’s current aerial wolf control program, which had been criticized by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council for flawed science. Now her administration has pointedly refused to respond to repeated public information requests (I’m one of the petitioners, and a potential litigant), regarding the apparently illegal killing of 14 wolf pups at their dens on the Alaska Peninsula this spring by state personnel, including two high-level Department of Fish and Game administrators. A biologist at the scene admitted to an independent wolf scientist that the 6-week-old pups were held down and shot in the head, one by one. This inhumane practice, known as “denning,” has been illegal for 40 years. But a simple request for information on the details of this operation, including to what extent the governor was involved in the decision, has resulted in a typical Palinesque roadblock and a string of untruths.

Our I-love-Alaska governor was also instrumental in defeating a ballot initiative to stop development of a gargantuan open-pit mine incongruously known as Pebble near the headwaters of the most productive salmon watershed in the state, Bristol Bay. The current mine design calls for building the world’s largest earthen dam to hold back an enormous lake of toxic waste – this in a known earthquake zone. Crazy stuff, yet Palin openly opposed the initiative, in lock step with international mining corporations that invested millions of dollars in a misinformation campaign.

But Palin’s certified anti-environmental whopper is her lawsuit against the Bush administration (of all outfits) for listing polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. She claimed Alaska’s own experts had completed a review of the federal data and concluded that the listing was uncalled for. The truth was, state biologists had come to the opposite conclusion. But that report was never released, and her researchers had a gag clamped on them. Palin simply didn’t want anything to get in the way of offshore oil drilling in moving pack ice – where there is no way to contain, let alone clean up, catastrophic spills.

Whenever science or rules get in Palin’s way, she blows them off. Says homesteader Mark Richards, co-founder of the Alaska Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (a moderate conservation group), “Palin, like Governor Murkowski before her, is part and parcel of the good-ol-boy network that says, ‘Alaska is open for business.'”

Want to talk to Sarah? As governor, she has been accessible only on her carefully chosen terms, a trend we’re now witnessing on the national stage. And how about those Katie Couric moments when she drifts just a skosh off a well-rehearsed script? Are those a recent phenomenon, brought on by all this new information, pressure and the liberal-gotcha media? Nah. She’s been spouting “political gibberish” (to quote gubernatorial opponent Andrew Halcro) since she arrived on the Alaska scene. Yet somehow she continues to get away with it.

In the end, Palin’s attempt to cash in on the Eau d’Alaska mystique as she supports its destruction sickens those of us who do love this land, not for what it will be some day, after the roads and mines and pipelines and cities and malls are all in, but for what it is now. What we see before us is the soul of an ambitious, ruthless, Parks Highway hillbilly – a woman who represents the Alaska you probably never want to meet, and the one we wish never existed. That said, we’re all too willing to take her back. The alternative is just too damn frightening.

Writer and photographer Nick Jans has lived in Alaska for 30 years. He is the author of “The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell’s Fatal Obsession with Alaskan Bears,” a member of USA Today’s board of editorial contributors and a contributing editor of Alaska Magazine.

Sarah Palin: The View from Alaska

Charlie Rose: Governor Sarah Palin Chats in the Green Room

On October 12, 2007, PBS Host Charlie Rose conducted an interview with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.   Below is additional footage of Palin’s chat in the Green Room with Rose’s staffer(s) in which she outlines her ‘world views.’

Alaska Sarah Palin at Charlie Rose interview

Alaska Sarah Palin at Charlie Rose interview on October 12, 2007