I think Sarah Palin may be in over her head. Which is a problem, because I think John McCain may be, too. John McCain has said the Governor ‘knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America.’ Yet the Governor told the country that Alaska accounts for 20% of America’s energy production, when the true number, as noted on last night’s NBC Nightly News, is 3.5%.

Shouldn’t the nation’s foremost energy expert be at least fairly close to right about something so basic to her field of expertise? It’s like an astronomer saying the earth is 16 million miles from the sun when it is in fact 93 million miles from the sun. The ratio of inaccuracy is the same. Not something the average person might know – but one Senator McCain looks up to as an expert?

The Palin campaign told us she’s been to Iraq and Ireland. But the Alaska National Guard, which she commands, says no, she never set foot in Iraq (it was Kuwait) – and that her visit to Ireland consisted of touching down to refuel.

Perhaps most telling is her decision to keep repeating the campaign’s McCain-approved lie – it is really hard to call it anything else – that when others favored the Bridge to Nowhere, she shut it down.

In fact, as you can see in the NBC report, this is simply not true.

And before some of my friendly antagonists – whose readership I do appreciate – rush to email me, yet again, that Obama once referred to ’57 states,’ I would remind you, first, that 57 is much closer to 50 than 20% is to 3.5% (and much closer to accurate than going to Iraq is to not going to Iraq, or than stopping a bridge is to not stopping a bridge) . . . and, second, that what Obama was referring to, in the context of the primary campaign, was the 57 entities in whose primary contests he had to compete (except that I think it was actually 56 – the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Democrats Abroad – who cares?).

Remember when the Republicans skewered Al Gore for claiming to have visited a disaster site with FEMA head James Lee Witt when in fact it turned out he had visited 17 disaster sites with Witt but this particular one, with Witt’s deputy? This was supposed to show that Gore wasn’t trustworthy – you should vote instead for the guy promising a humble foreign policy, a balanced budget, and tax cuts skewed to those at the bottom end of the economic ladder. You know: the kinda guy you could trust, and who, unlike Gore, would be on hand with a crack FEMA Administrator like James Lee Witt if disaster struck. NOT!

So now they’re doing it again. You can’t trust Obama – he was President of the Harvard Law Review. That makes him an elitist (raised by a single mother on food stamps). You want John McCain, who’s an average Joe like you (with $520 loafers, too many houses to count, and a private jet).

You can’t trust Joe Biden – he is Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. You want Sarah Palin, the nation’s foremost energy expert, who can see Russia from her house.


Roberta Taussig:You may like Sarah Palin, but I sure don’t. I’ve known women like her in church – always bright smiles and high energy but cold as ice and stubborn as that lipstick-less pitbull and absolutely certain she knows right from wrong on everything from God’s will to how to decorate the pews to how to raise everyone else’s children. She scares the bejesus out of me.’


If you haven’t seen this video, you should.


The government did the right thing. And given that this company once had a market cap of $180 billion, buying 80% of it for $85 billion could, conceivably, not be the worst investment the taxpayers ever made. (Plus it prevented a global meltdown.)


Greg Bandy: ‘This column from your archives late last year seems appropriate.’

☞ Jeez! Why didn’t I read that?


Few things are more obnoxious than a writer quoting himself. (And few writers more fear being thought obnoxious, because of the scar left in the seventh grade after Mr. Theodore had left the room and Danny Shindler – I think it was Danny – led the class in a full bore discussion of how obnoxious I was.) But now that Greg’s got me going, here‘s another, from June 24. It concludes:

And what about even just a plain old vicious cycle of falling housing prices leading to less consumption leading to recession leading to job loss leading to more foreclosures and bigger government deficits leading to even less faith in the dollar leading to inflation leading to higher long-term interest rates leading to higher mortgage rates leading to yet lower home prices leading to . . . a new, youthful Administration, swept into office with a huge mandate to redirect our deficits away from Iraq and tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy, toward rebuilding America’s infrastructure; setting bold goals; and inspiring and empowering our estimable citizenry to rise to the very real challenges we face.

It is a uniquely American mantra: Yes, we can.


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