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So yesterday, Governor Palin got to take question from a primarily friendly audience.  She was asked how she would keep oil from new domestic drilling in the U.S. market.  As this video from CNN shows, her answer is, to put it mildly, puzzling:

More below the fold.

Here is her answer

"Oil and coal? Of course, it’s a fungible commodity and they don’t flag, you know, the molecules, where it’s going and where it’s not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first," Palin said. "So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it’s Americans that get stuck to holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It’s got to flow into our domestic markets first."

Think Progress story on Palin's expertise.

What the hell is she saying here?  Anybody? Bueller?

Look, I work in this indutry and I cannot make heads or tails of what she is saying, so this is not a case of her speaking over everyone's head, as may happen from a world-renowned expert in a given field.  Nope this is pure unadulterated NONSENSE.

I am hoping for a Palin to English interpreter to step up to the plate. And here, hilzoy gives it a shot. Not that it helps any.

I'm not sure I fully grasp that, though I am relieved to know that they, whoever they are, don't have to sit around flagging individual molecules all day long. I think, despite her saying that Congress is "not going to allow the export bans", that she is actually recommending such a ban. At any rate, what she says makes a lot more sense on the assumption that either the 'not' or the 'bans' was a slip than it does on the assumption that she thought that lifting nonexistent export bans would keep our oil here at home.

Hilzoy then goes on to point out how we export our oil to Mexico, Canada and...that's it.  Meanwhile, they send us eight and a half times more oil than we send them.  How would they react to us not sending them any oil?  Who knows, but then again who knows if that is even what she meant in the first place.  The answer makes no sense.

In the clip Wolf then asks the reporter what exactly iks the basis of the claim of Palin being a world-class energy expert.  Good for Wolf, because, while his voice is not dripping with derision, their is clearly a tone of extreme skepticism.  And the reporter doesn't let her off the hook, describing

Well, Wolf, they base it on the fact that Alaska is a major contributor to the U.S.'s oil supply. But I have to point that Sarah Palin has had a few bloopers even on that point. On her two interviews....she has overstated Alaska's contibution to the US's energy supply. The bottom line is that Alaska is a leading producer of crude oil but very little natural gas and  almost no coal or nuclear power comes from here.

McCain continually comes back to her energy expertise, famously saying she is the greatest energy expert on the planet.  He cites it as a vital component of her foreign policy credentials.  Yet, here she is, she cannot elaborate a simple policy position, she doesn't know facts which even the most cynical progressive would have assumed she would have known about her home state.

And she is running for the VICE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES!!

Shame on John McCain for foisting us with this option! Shame on John McCain for putting ambition before country with his right-wing pandering choice for Vice President!!

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!

UPDATE: FreeStateDem's comment inspired me to add this video for a bit of, err, contrast...

Originally posted to Gangster Octopus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:38 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips (28+ / 0-)

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

    by Gangster Octopus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:38:37 AM PDT

    •  Well (5+ / 0-)

      after all, she does believe those molecules are only 4,000 years old. How many of them could there be?

    •  Sarah Palin, brilliant physicist (9+ / 0-)

      they don’t flag, you know, the molecules, where it’s going and where it’s not.

      Sarah is of course referring to well-known resolution of the Gibbs paradox in statistical thermdynamics: molecules can't be "flagged" so the mixture of two samples of identical molecules results in no increase in entropy. As I explain to my students when teaching stat mech, this is ultimately the result of the Heisenberg principle. You can't flag a molecule because the uncertainty in its position and momentum means you can never be sure which molecule you've actually flagged. From there, it's a short step to quantum field theory in which particles lose all individual identity altogether.

      What a great candidate! To the low-info voter she seems like a hockey mom, but we cultural elitists can see that behind the creationist facade she's actually on top of the deepest questions in quantum physics.  

      The end of fear is the beginning of wisdom -- Bertrand Russell

      by entropos on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:03:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That should read (0+ / 0-)
      "Flag my f'n molecules, Kos!"

      When "stupidity" suffices, why search for any other reason?

      by wozzle on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:44:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  expert on corn (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carolkay, 73rd virgin, geejay, psilocynic

    I'm from Indiana so I guess our governor is not only an expert on corn but also ethanol.  The GOP practices pretzel logic.

  •  Sarah Palin = Alaska's biggest oil expert (6+ / 0-)

    since Joseph Hazelwood captained the Exxon Valdez.

    Both she and Hazelwood flag the molecules after a few shots of moose vodka.*

    * That's a Russian import, btw.

    The Book of Revelation is not a foreign policy manual.

    by Dont Just Stand There on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:45:28 AM PDT

  •  I asked her to take an energy quiz.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    73rd virgin, Gangster Octopus

    and she blew me off.

    If there were an Olympics for hypocrisy, the Republican Party would have more gold medals than Michael Phelps.

    by mojave mike on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:45:50 AM PDT

  •  Fungible Molecule Ban! (5+ / 0-)

    With a very, very hungry Congress holding the bag!

    LOL Anyone who votes for John McCain after hearing him refer to Sarah Palinocchio as "the greatest energy expert probably in the US" is not putting country first, but PARTY FIRST.

    It's disgusting, and McCain's continued viability as a candidate demonstrates the woeful ignorance and authoritarian cupidity of the red-state "no-information" voters.

  •  I understand that she can see BOTH (6+ / 0-)

    an electrical outlet AND a gasoline engine from her kitchen window.

  •  asdf (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carolkay, 73rd virgin, geejay, lilsky, lookit

    "Oil and coal? Of course, it’s a fungible commodity and they don’t flag

    was about as far as I got, I read it about 8 times before my brain informed me that it wasn't just me being dense.

    •  yeah I kept getting kicked out the loop (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevej

      at the word "fungible" because I know Governor Caribou has never used that word before in her life. You could practically see consultants puppeteering her. If you got her to be "down to earth" why are you making her talk like that?

      "To paraphrase Kipling, if you can keep your message discipline when all others are losing theirs...." Al Giordano

      by geejay on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:03:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Im From Vermont and am the World's Leading Expert (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carolkay, 73rd virgin, lilsky, hn, KroneckerD

    on trees.  yup, we have lots of those too. Also an expert on:  Mountains, maple syrup and milk.  How do we keep these here in the Good ole USA?  
    We will keep it here because the sense of the Congress transposes the export bans which we will change and kick out the lobby who doesnt want this and we wont blink at all when we do this because it can never be said that we will give in to terrorits POW USA.

  •  I live in Memphis, Tennessee (5+ / 0-)

    and I can see Arkansas and Mississippi from my house. That makes me an expert on stupid.

    This is stupid. She reminds me of someone who thinks using big words improperly is OK because no one else knows what it means either, and people assume you know what you are saying. The biggest words make you the smartest.

    Absolutely non-sensical, and it bodes ill for McCain if this is her best area.

  •  WTF??? (4+ / 0-)

    Oil and coal? Of course, it’s a fungible commodity and they don’t flag, you know, the molecules, where it’s going and where it’s not.

    Seriously, WTF??

  •  From the first introduction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    73rd virgin

    McCain's claim she was such an "energy" expert struck me as a fantastical exaggeration of her record.  "Oil" expert I might not dispute (well, I probably would, but not as vehemently), but what a lie to call someone an energy expert with no background with wind, solar, nuclear, biomass, or anything BUT oil.

    I also wonder how a journalism B.S. prepares one as an expert in energy issues.... wouldn't physics, geology, engineering, or hell, even business, be a bit more useful?

  •  Delivery Triangulation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    73rd virgin, Anarchofascist

    Meanwhile, they said us eight and a half times more oil than we send them.  How would they react to a us not sending them any oil?

    it is common practice this is what happens

    1. US east coast supplier have  a contract for delivery in CA
    1. Mexican supplier in pacific coast (Pemex) have a contract for delivery in gulf coast of Mexico.
    1. US east coast supplier delivers to Mexican customer in the gulf
    1. Mexican supplier delivers to CA
    1. Both save a bundle in transportation cost and time, everyone is happy

    Or straight sale, customer purchase from whoever is closer either US, MX or CA

    How a Canadian and/or Mexican oil supplier will react to a US stop of oil exports, they'll charge more to their out of the way customers, after all they are net exporters, their countries don't need imports of crude (gas and other derivatives yes)

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by IamTheJudge on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:52:56 AM PDT

    •  And it makes sense, too. (0+ / 0-)

      The market has generally put the oil on the market in the most efficient and lowest cost way.  It's one of the positive results of the international oil market.

      Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia. And it's going Democratic.

      by Anarchofascist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:03:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am here to help (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    73rd virgin, geejay


    So I believe
    that
    what Congress is going to do
    also
    is not to allow the export bans to such a degree
    that
    it’s Americans
    that
    without the energy source
    that
    is produced here

    pumped here.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

    by Gangster Octopus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:53:37 AM PDT

  •  I thought much Alaskan oil goes to Japan? (0+ / 0-)

    I was under the impression that much of the oil pumped in Alaska goes to Japan.

    I also read that the US and Canada have an agreement that Canada will share in any shortages of oil with the US.  In other words, if Canada and the US start to run low on supplies, Canada will make sure the US is no more disrupted from Canadian sources than Canada's consumers. Canada won't suddenly decide to keep all of their oil for themselves.  Some officials in Canada have threatened to revoke that commitment if the US tries to adversely renegotiate trade treaties with Canada.

    JPZenger was a newspaper publisher whose jury trial in the 1730s for seditious libel helped establish the freedom to criticize top government officials.

    by JPZenger on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:54:22 AM PDT

    •  I don't think it is oil (0+ / 0-)

      I think I read something about Natural Gas exports from Alaska being increased to Japan.

    •  I was wrong - here's snopes.com (0+ / 0-)

      Lesson learned - read www.snopes.com before I post.

      Since 2000, Alaskan oil has been prohibited from being shipped to other countries.  If these regulations would not be in place, the private market would send it to Asia.

      http://www.snopes.com/...

      JPZenger was a newspaper publisher whose jury trial in the 1730s for seditious libel helped establish the freedom to criticize top government officials.

      by JPZenger on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:59:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it is LNG (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JPZenger

        The U.S. Department of Energy today approved an application for the continued export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Kenai, Alaska LNG export terminal for a period of two years.  The application, submitted jointly by ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corporation and Marathon Oil Company, requested authority to export up to 99 trillion British Thermal Units of LNG - the equivalent of 98.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas - to Japan and/or one or more countries on either side of the Pacific Rim over a two-year period commencing April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2011.

        DOE press release

        Sen. Wyden in Oregon is opposing it.
        Sen Wyden (D) Oregon

        Why does a democrat have to do this if she is such an energy expert?

  •  She's wearing her hair down. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geejay

    Could she be hiding an earpiece and getting a lot of interference or something?

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:55:35 AM PDT

    •  I like the cut of your Tinfoil hat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highfive

      sign me up to the "she will be wearing an earpiece during the debates" club

      "To paraphrase Kipling, if you can keep your message discipline when all others are losing theirs...." Al Giordano

      by geejay on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:07:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I saw this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geejay

    it sounded to me just like the beauty pageant contestant that tried to sound smart by talking about "US Americans". She's just throwing out catch phrases to make her sound smart, but it doesn't link together because there's no real understanding of the issues there.

  •  Her sentence structure is just weird to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tolerant

    I'm curious - how much of it is 'Alaska Speak'. Did the voters in Alaska find her to be articulate?

  •  great write up of this (0+ / 0-)

    thanks, I was hoping someone would give it the dkos treatment?

    And yeah, WTF was that babble? the only person I saw that was able to make it less mind-bleedingly bad was the snarky commenter to that formatted her answer into stanzas. Perhaps someone could set it music and then it won't have to make sense.

    "To paraphrase Kipling, if you can keep your message discipline when all others are losing theirs...." Al Giordano

    by geejay on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:59:33 AM PDT

  •  I liked it so much, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tolerant, geejay

    I made it my sig line.

    "Oil and coal? Of course, it's a fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules, where it's going and where it's not. - Sarah Palin

    by Groucho Marxist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:59:49 AM PDT

  •  What she meant to say: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karenc13, tolerant, geejay

    Oil, of course, is a fungible economy -- there's no telling where it comes from once it's on the market, and prices are set by international trading.  Of course, export bans have never been effective means of protecting domestic industries and tariffs are now of questionable legality internationally.  Therefore the only real way to encourage domestic production is subsidies.  That's why Alaska is the country's greatest welfare state and why we get so much pork and other federal spending -- it's not just our powerful congressional delegation but also the powerful oil company lobby.  The only people who suffer are consumers and taxpayers, though, so it's OK.

    Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia. And it's going Democratic.

    by Anarchofascist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:02:06 AM PDT

    •  Too much for republicans in the middle of the US (0+ / 0-)

      to understand, you need to make no sense for them to understand (aka just buying into her smile and how well they "connect").

      Why do you think they all say they cant understand obama when he talks pretty damn clear! maybe they are race baiting that you cant understand the black guy talk even if its clearer than you can do it (lol jk i know its because hes elite and uses big words to sum up a string of 10 nonsensical ones)

  •  Somebody with more technical skill than me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lilsky

    Should create a single video with Palin's answer next to Miss South Caorlina's answer.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

    by Gangster Octopus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:06:38 AM PDT

    •  Compare the transripts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aesop

      Miss South Caorlina:

      I personally believe, that U.S. Americans,are unable to do so, because, some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps. and...I believe that our education like such as in South Africa, and the Iraq, everywhere like such as...and, I believe they should, our education over here,in the U.S. should help the U.S.
      or should help South Africa,and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us

      Miss Republican Vice Presidential Candidate:

      Oil and coal? Of course, it’s a fungible commodity and they don’t flag, you know, the molecules, where it’s going and where it’s not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it’s Americans that get stuck to holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It’s got to flow into our domestic markets first.

      They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

      by Gangster Octopus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:12:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a family friend used to say (0+ / 0-)

    "An ex is a has-been and a spert is a squirt under pressure."

    houyhnhnm aka Halter Grasshopper Palin

    by houyhnhnm on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:12:51 AM PDT

  •  One of my cats is a sewage expert. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sabershadow

    He poops a lot.  My other cat is an structural engineering expert.  She can knock box tops off of things we place them over.

  •  It's quite simple. Alaska First (0+ / 0-)

    When she says that oil is fungible she means that oil is oil wherever it goes. She is willing to take oil from Alaska and put it on the world market which would reduce our net import of foreign oil. Right now oil and natural gas is being shipped to Asia primarily because of a lack of west coast refining capacity. It’s cheaper to ship it to China and Japan than to ship it all of the way to the Gulf of Mexico refineries.

    More oil from Alaska means more revenue to Alaska and more oil for ASIA not America. (It’s fungible – an American drop of oil is equally exchangeable for a Saudi drop of oil)

    Wake up. This is a plan that benefits the oil companies and Alaska first.

  •  I don't know about you all... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but I can't wait to hear what else she has to say!

    ...there's a rose in the fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove - Stephen Stills

    by NuttyProf on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:38:00 AM PDT

  •  Fed this through an online translator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aisling, tolerant

    English to Spanish to Russian to Portuguese and back to English. See if that helps:

    The fat and coal?  It to you say, merchandise and, those that I go able it to you exchange plows not, be where where without designating to the molecule will go the purpose that you who plows know I am.  Today' s assembly of recognition with, they wa in other words very against the fat require very empty stomach of home market Will go the purpose that I think like this, that that similarly, the assembly makes i made without being and having to/the failure the market with energy source in the where it was moved here (here which prohibition American of the exportation it to you the degree like that it stops it to you hold) it should flow with our first home market.

    OK, it makes no sense whatsoever. But can we honestly say it makes less sense than the original?

  •  Bottom Line: US oil NEVER stays in the US (0+ / 0-)

     
    Ever!

    Our oil is light, Saudi oil is not. Our oil is sold, or more accurately traded, for cheaper, heavier oil. The oil company makes a fortune in this way.

    Read this for more info: http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The short of it:

    Colmes - ..we have oil in Alaska that we ship out and sell to Japan. Why do we do that?

    Giuliani - Well, be..be..because we're making more money that way. The reality is..

    Colmes - But why not use it domestically?

    Giuliani - ..the reality is..the reality is if you increase the supply you will reduce the..the pressure on cost.

    Colmes - But..

    Giuliani - There is tremendous significant possibilities of oil off-shore we should take advantage of that then we would have a real increase in supply.

    Colmes - Why not stop the oil companies from being allowed to take US domestic oil..

    Giuliani - You don't..

    Colmes - ..they find in Alaska and selling it to..Asia?

    Giuliani - It's something known as being a private economy. You know, they're private property, private economy. You let companies make decisions based on what is more profitable for their shareholders. That what it's really..

    Colmes - So it's all about money and the government..

    Giuliani - no no..

    Colmes - ..should support them..

    Giuliani - no no....no no it's all about..it's all about..

    Colmes - ..let them make as much money as they want and forget about the domestic need for oil?

    Giuliani - ..it's all about a free economy and the free economy has worked for us for a very very long time.

    It's a dirty business, that's why McCain loves it.
     

    John McCain makes George W. Bush look prudent - Andrew Sullivan

    by DiegoUK on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:11:53 PM PDT

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