Saturday, November 29, 2008

Samantha Power back in Obama's good graces

Phew. I don't know why Samantha Power called Senator Clinton a monster. But, I was distressed to see her dropped from the campaign. Now, she's back, working for Mrs. Clinton herself. That's got to be a little awkward, but Hillary Clinton was running in some part on her thick-skinned-ness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

5 days left in Hurricane Season

And then we'll no longer be hearing things like
Not because it won't be happening, but because there'll be noone staffing the National Hurricane Center.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One problem solved

One big confusion I've had with the Bush Administration was the secrecy of presidential papers. I remember this as being the first hugely damaging thing the Bush Administration did to my optimism and positivity regarding our 43rd president, and the Caribou scandal the last, destroying it completely. But, they seemed to be in different orders. The opening of this Washington Monthly article sets me straight.
Ronald Reagan was the first chief executive to whom the Presidential Records Act applied, and his papers were due to be turned over to Carlin at the beginning of Bush’s term.

Gonzales wanted Carlin to delay the release until June. His letter didn’t say why, but Carlin agreed. Then in June, Carlin got another memo from Gonzales—Bush’s attorney now wanted until the end of August. Carlin agreed again. The extensions continued until November, when Bush issued an executive order: effective immediately, the release of presidential records would require the approval of both the sitting president and the president whose records were in question, rather than just the former.
So, that's that.

Update: I guess some of you may not have given up on the Bush Administration until later than I did, maybe not even until the second half of 2001 -- maybe when he was AWOL for three days after 9/11? That was good for Rudy Giuliani, but maybe not so much for the country. Anyway, here's a link to a story on my aforementioned last straw, the Caribou scandal:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am the stone the the builder refused

What came to mind? Psalm 118, or the Boondocks Television show?

I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize The Boondocks had a second season. This, I guess, is the downside of not having a TV -- you miss all the good shows. Anyway, it did. And it's now at the top of my NetFlix queue.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yo! I’m a recycling bin

Before I was an MIT graduate, I was a RUCCAS graduate. And I think I've mentioned enough MIT research that I should give a shout out to the Alma Mater.
Sean Duffy, an assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers–Camden... notes. “We began noticing a pattern: regardless of the receptacle’s label, recycling bins with little holes in the lids contained recyclables and almost nothing else, while those that lacked such holes were basically used as trash cans, even though they were recycling bins.”

The heroic hole in question measures about 6 inches in circumference, large enough for bottles made of glass or plastic. In the research team’s one-month study they observed 10 waste stations in a five-story academic building. Each station consisted of three container types: commingled glass, plastic, and aluminum; trash; and paper. Not only did the little hole increase recycling rates, but it lowered the amount of contaminants entering the recycling stream by 95%.

WayLay finally speaks to me

I'm not a huge Carol Lay fan, but today's is pretty good. I guess today's blogs are about managed insanity. On top of my mild PTSD, I have the occasional suspicion that I only think I'm still in the reality I know.

Once you admit the possibility of alternate universes -- the stoner's view of quantum physics -- you have to ask the question, "How do I know I'm still in mine?" And it's super hard to tell.

Long time readers will recall what is now my second* most popular article ever on, Evidence found for dimensional annealling. And the idea there was, that these universes tend to come back together. You could probably make an energy minimization argument for it -- every time you branch, you add a universe's worth of energy. Nature being what it is, there'd probably be some process to undo that. So, they cleave. And maybe they don't anneal perfectly, but just swap elements. Like you, or the brothiness of chile relleno.

But, you've got to be in the mood. When someone nearby notices something off kilter, and tries to get you to validate that stuff's not normally like that, it can be really annoying. Try to keep in mind that everybody's a little worried they'll become dimensionally unstuck.

* -- That last one was really well received. Kick John McCain while he's down! It's hard to imagine that my writing has gotten better -- I'm using 'super' as an adverb! And I've got to say I'm a big fan of Dick Cheney is in your apartment now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You can't just release the Guantanamo inmates

To some extent this is probably because I haven't looked for the answer at his campaign web site or, but I'm not sure what the President Elect means when he says he is going to close Guantanamo Bay. However, we can look at these five gentlemen ordered released today for some clues as to what to do.

It's easy to feel that the vast majority of inmates fall into this camp, but they're not even combatants, much less enemy ones.
President George W. Bush said in 2002 the six men had been planning a bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. But Justice Department attorneys said last month they no longer would rely on those accusations to justify the continued detention of the six men.

However they argued the Algerians should be held because they planned to go to Afghanistan in late 2001 to fight U.S. forces.

In ordering the release of the five men, Leon said the allegation was based on only one unnamed source and he did not have enough information to judge the source's reliability or credibility.

He ruled the government did provide enough evidence that one of the detainees, Belkacem Bensayah, supported al Qaeda and planned to fight against the United States in Afghanistan.
One guy planned to go fight, and he's still in the clink. You know what the military term is for people who plan to go fight? Civilians.

Like any good liberal, I believe that nearly all the inmates in Guantanamo are this innocent. But, you can't just let them go.
When we last saw Saber in November, he was in his sixth month of solitary confinement. Since August, he has seen us, his legal team, twice and a psychiatrist on three brief occasions. For a few minutes each day, he sees the camp guards who bring his meals. He has had no other human contact. The glaring lights in his cell are on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When we left the cell, we could hear Saber shouting -- brief, truncated cries. We could not understand what he was saying.
They have gone crazy. The Rumsfeld Process was to unload every mind-breaking interrogation technique the CIA had studied on these guys. But, they didn't have anything to say. It's not like they're all criminal masterminds who knew what was on Al Qaeda's schedule for 2009. I think they were mostly just resisting the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq -- they're POWs from wars we declared won. These guys weren't even that. And, now we've driven them crazy.

If you know anyone who's been in therapy, they probably don't plan on coming out soon. Once you've gone crazy, I think you just manage it. I think I'm suffering a little PTSD from sky-diving, and I don't know how I'd uncrazy that. So, we've driven these guys crazy, and we have to give them the tools to manage their craziness before we wash our hands of them. They're going back to their wives and families. We have enough experience with our own combat vets coming back and doing damage, and these guys have been through a lot more.

I'm not sure what the answer is -- Illegally Detained American Prisoner Recuperation Centers throughout the Middle East? -- but I'd like to hear the question addressed. It's too bad the people who caused the problem aren't tasked with solving it, but they were incompetent anyway.

Lost Again

An actor? Seriously? I'm less sexy than an actor? What kind of topsy-turvy dreamworld are we living in?
Oh, well. Next year.


Turns out to be well-correlated with not watching TV. I guess I could have guessed that, but, again, it's nice to have data.

As long as I'm passing on New York Times' tidbits, I like, but given my strict regimen of only buying things on deep clearance, I've found them a little frustrating. They've had like one style of shoes that I liked deeply discounted enough for me. It's never made sense. Well! The Times outed them today. They have a whole separate discount site! I'll see if I can't get by with some Lumiani 3554s.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Deposit Rates and Inflation

So, the Wall Street Journal goes on an on about how great CD rates are.
The average rate of 2.61% on a one-year certificate of deposit as of Wednesday is up from 2% in early May, according to, a North Palm Beach, Fla., financial-data provider. The jump comes despite Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts that have reduced the fed-funds rate to 1%. Such cuts usually lead to lower deposit rates.
Unlike previous periods of turbulence, the Fed's rate-chopping campaign isn't relieving the pressure this time. In the past, reductions in the federal funds rate have helped level off interest rates on CDs and savings accounts, according to Market Rates Insight Inc., which tracks pricing trends for financial institutions. "This time around, it's much more fierce," says Dan Geller, executive vice president of the San Anselmo, Calif., firm.
So, the poor little banks are getting squeezed by having to offer competitive interest rates -- they can't pay for it with bailout funds, because those are all going to pay dividends to their investors. We therefore get super-high interest rates on our savings. Like 3.93 %. Inflation in September was 4.94 %. I don't want to get all tied up in fancy Economic theory, but that's more.

Really? If you put away $100 today, next year you can buy $99 of goods with your savings. Incited?

Brazen acts of courtesy

Now, never mind why, but I was reviewing the Centered Writing Practice web site, and saw that Oprah Winfrey had invited a gentleman who'd come up with 25 rules of considerate conduct on her television program. The author's selling it as a book, so given that I have started blogging about civil behavior more, I wondered, "how can I get these rules for free?"

Well... The CIVITAS Initiative at Western Wyoming Community College also has 25 rules of considerate conduct, which they considerately post for free (pdf). There's some overlap. Is this really acknowledging others (both lists #2), respecting others' opinions (both lists' #10) or respecting others' time(both lists are exactly the same, it turns out. This is #14)?

I'm going to think the best (#3,) but this is the state that elected Richard Bruce Cheney to the House of Representatives. And it seems to have stolen the name 'CIVITAS Initiative' as well -- there's apparently no other reference to a 'CIVITAS Initiative' on any web site related to the great state of Wyoming, so I can't tell if they mean it to mean 'CIty-VITAlity-Sustainability,' which you'd think would be CiVitaS, anyway.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Online Procrastination Quiz

I was signing up for free online marriage counseling, and they offer a procrastination quiz. I can just imagine these guys reviewing the aggregate data and scratching their heads. "What are we doing wrong? Clearly, if our results were correct, the country couldn't function. Maybe we're somehow selecting for pathological procrastinators? How can we design an online procrastinations quiz that doesn't... Ohhhhh."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's hard to reclaim a mansion

I often look at houses converted into apartments and wonder how hard it would be to convert them back. Turns out? Really hard.
Each tenant will receive $75,000, with the exception of one elderly tenant, who will receive $175,000.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How rational is your exuberance?

So, stocks were definitely overvalued on December 5, 1996, when NEWCAG called us out for irrational exuberance.

That was a 6,381.94 close. We'd have to lose another 26 % to get back there. If we all work together, we can do it.

Monday, November 10, 2008


While Congress was distracted by the bailout, Treasury Secretary Paulson changed a rule giving a lot of tax money to his industry.
"Did the Treasury Department have the authority to do this? I think almost every tax expert would agree that the answer is no," said George K. Yin, the former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan congressional authority on taxes.
Section 382 of the tax code was created by Congress in 1986 to end what it considered an abuse of the tax system: companies sheltering their profits from taxation by acquiring shell companies whose only real value was the losses on their books. The firms would then use the acquired company's losses to offset their gains and avoid paying taxes.
The Jones Day law firm... released a widely circulated commentary that concluded that the change could cost taxpayers about $140 billion. Robert L. Willens, a prominent corporate tax expert in New York City, said the price is more likely to be $105 billion to $110 billion.
Lee A. Sheppard, a tax attorney who is a contributing editor at the trade publication Tax Analysts[, said] "We're left now with congressional Democrats that have spines like overcooked spaghetti. So who is going to stop the Treasury secretary from doing whatever he wants?"

I really feel that the time for removing George W. Bush from the Presidency has passed. It'd be hard to get it done in the two months remaining in his term. But, if he retains the power of the pardon in January, how will these people end up in prison?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Every so often, I'm reminded the idea that the world makes sense is an enforced delusion

Professional clogs? In what sort of a profession can you wear clogs?

On October 10, Connecticut became the third fair marriage state. They're actually now the second, but that's beside the point. Two weeks later, on October 24, I got engaged. And now, two weeks more hence, I'm browsing REI online to fill out my gift registry. And it's offering me professional clogs.

On the one hand, I feel like I'm having trouble embracing my yuppiness when I wonder what's so special about $15 running socks. I mean, sure you get two (one for each foot,) but c'mon. Other the other hand, I'm wondering where that $1200 stroller from The Office is. I know we should ask for strollers in the baby shower, but the earlier you hit people, the better. I've only got enough invites for family, anyway. And we're Scot-Irish -- as cheap as the Scots, but without the money. We're the race that keeps Appalachia down, recall. This article in Salon suggested our backwardness would give Hillary Clinton the Democratic Nomination. And if you look at a county-by-county result, you'll see we went for McCain.

Wrote a heartwarming Christmas Story

My friend Jeremy Handleman is promoting a production of Alan Ayckbourn's Season's Greetings, November 20 - December 7 at the McGinn/Cazale theater on Broadway. He asked me to contribute my "funniest true story about something that went horribly wrong during a past holiday celebration," so I gave it a shot. Let me know what you think

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

24 days left in hurricane season

Paloma? Have you ever met anyone named Paloma? Wait, let's look on Facebook... Apparently, there was a Chilean girl on Survivor Gabon by that name. Or, is. I don't know if Survivor is still being made, if it's currently in season, or if Gabon is this year. But, that's not germane. The point is, there are people named Paloma. And the people who name hurricanes watch a lot of TV.

Anyway, Paloma is about to crush Cuba under her glittery jackboot heel.

I don't feel good about making predictions about when the hurricanes will actually start coming, as I don't have any model for doing so, and wouldn't put data in it if I had. But, life's not about feeling good. And I feel like we're going to have another late December, early January stormfest.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Some luck at choosing nail biters

I've been watching election results using the TPM widget. Select 'Minnesota/Senate' or 'New York/House of Representatives' and choose Staten Island (NY-14 -- the far left extent of that Long Island shaped thingie at the bottom) for the two races I was interested in.

Staten Island was a blowout. It was just interesting to watch it go Democratic, athough given the particular dynamics of this cycle (by which I don't mean Obamania -- Staten Island has its own drama,) it was pretty clear it would.

Minnesota is still not called. Franken trails by 572 votes. Maybe I choose my nail biters too well. I have go live my post-election life!

Update: Incidentally, I had trouble finding out how Cynthia was doing all night. We garnered 0.1 % nationally, I was one of 140,702 votes.I know it's ironic when we whine about Nader splitting our vote, but we're trying to support local candidates!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

NYC Marathon Pace Between 12 and 14 minutes per mile

there's no link
Except for two segments -- the first 5 KM where I was below 11 minutes/mile, and the 30 - 35 and 35 - 40 -- I was in that range.

OK, I mistitled that left one. But, the point is, if I'd kept running I would eventually have reached a winning pace ;)

Barack Obama Votes, possibly for Cynthia McKinney

Hey, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.

You may've heard about the statutory rape convictee running for State Senate in Vermont. In the first place, I am totally behind letting convicts run for office. Dismissing someone's candidacy because he or she has gone to prison just gives the government another tool for supressing its critics. In the second place?
Pearse Corcoran, 22, of Burlington, who cast his vote last week at Burlington City Hall, said he didn't vote for Forney.

"I had heard about him. I heard it was circumstantial and all that, but I think that's irrelevant. Plus, there's the DUI thing," he said.
Wasn't Dubya supposed to be the Jackie Robinson of drunk drivers?

So glad we don't have e-voting

there's no link
I got to vote today. I even got to take a camera in -- apparently, the guard I spoke with hadn't read the big sign on the wall (once I did, I... well, I let it have run out of batteries.)

I was really relieved to see levers in there. I always panic that New York will switch over without telling me, and I'll end up inadvertently voting for Armeggedon and the Rise of the Antichrist.

Election Day's always painful for the political junkie, as the only thing you want to know -- how the Green Party (or whatever ticket you're following) is doing, district by district -- is not available to you until the late evening. And the campaigns themselves are just hanging out doing not very interesting things.

As a side note, I try not to spend a lot of time condoling public figures. But, you have to imagine that as his Grandmother was his primary care giver when he was a child, Senator Obama turned to her for guidance through his adult life -- I know I go to my mother on questions well outside her areas of expertise. Besides the normal mourning, he loses her on the eve of his being elected president, which he probably feels would have pleased her. In addition, though, he's entering a phase of his life where he's going to need a lot of guidance, and only have interested parties to offer it. That's got to add some to the wistfulness.

So, hard hearted as I am, I do want to express a little compassion for our presumptive president elect.

Rainfall, Autism May Be Linked

So... the higher incidence of autism is due to increased density in the Pacific Northwest?
The finding may have... to do with... the need to stay indoors more.
"I strongly believe it's not the precipitation itself," [Michael Waldman, PhD, the study's lead author and the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y] tells WebMD. "My sense is, if truly there is an environmental trigger, my guess is it is one of the factors related to indoor activity..." such as... TV viewing....

In the past 30 years, the rates of autism have increased from about one in 2,500 children to one in 150.
The findings, he adds, should not be taken as a reason to... ban television viewing.
So, just thought you'd like a note as to what's preventing your children from leading full and emotionally enagaged lives. Please don't act on it. Thanks!

Monday, November 03, 2008


there's no link

I'm just thinking...

First year of first Bush (43) Administration: 9/11
Policy Response: Invade Iraq
Result2002 GOP Sweep, 2004 Reelect
First year of second Bush (43) Administration: Katrina
Policy Response: ... ... ... Keep Occupying Iraq
Result2006 GOP Decimation, 2008 Non-credible GOP Candidate

Apparently, "When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail," is meant to be a warning, not a guideline.

Just Ask Yourself This

Do you want to vote for someone Noam Chomsky is not voting for?
In private emails with campaign supporters this week, the respected social critic noted that he had voted Green in 2004, and would be voting for the party ticket next Tuesday, as well.
Although... that doesn't really sound like it was for attribution.

A particularly fatal marathon

After finishing the New York Marathon yesterday, I had a forty-five minute walk to 81st Street. It was less than a mile, but West Drive was choked with tens of thousands of other people who had just run a marathon*. I survived this ordeal. Two people didn't.
There were two fatalities among the 37,899 finishers of Sunday’s New York City Marathon, according to the New York Road Runners, the organizer of the event. 

One was a 58-year-old man who was pronounced dead at Lenox Hill Hospital after completing the race on Sunday afternoon. The Road Runners did not release any details on the other death besides the fact that he died on site after reaching the finish line.

There were also two heart attacks en route.
There were two other heart attacks reported by the Fire Department on Sunday. It said that a 59-year-old man was treated by emergency medical services after collapsing on the Queensboro Bridge before 1 p.m. He was revived to a steady pulse with a defibrillator and rushed to Weill Cornell Medical Center.

A 41-year-old man also had a heart attack at 107th Street and Fifth Avenue at about 3 p.m. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

The race director Mary Wittenberg said that both were still alive Monday morning.
I saw the guy at 107th Street getting a heart massage. This is not something that particularly picks you up when you have 3 1/2 miles left to go. It's too late to say that he's OK
The following day, the 50-year-old research scientist Matthew P. Hardy suffered a coronary artery blockage and died at home having completed his 12th New York City Marathonp[in 2007]
but it's good to hear he's alive.

* --the left side of the road was all UPS trucks with baggage we were picking up. We finished, got a bag of food and drink, a finisher's mylar blanket, and then began the slow march past the baggage trucks before being released at 81st Street, at which point we had to walk back downtown a little to get our chips removed.

Ralph Nader is running under Natural Law

The link is to the 'Vote Hemp' voters' guide. And, you'll see that, from this perspective at least, Cynthia McKinney outstrips Barack Obama.

But, the interesting thing is that Ralph Nader is running in the Natural Law Party. Like everyone else, I haven't been paying attention to Ralph Nader at all this cycle. Having his presidential candidacy as a standard was salutary in 1996 and 2000. When he broke away in 2004, we ran party activist David Cobb. This did not turn out as well, although in 2004 we also suffered from scape-goating by the 2000 Gore Campaign.

In any case, Nader's initial success and later abandonment left us feeling like we should have a celebrity presidential candidate, and without having one.

And, now we have Cynthia McKinney. She has much better name recognition than Peter Cobb, but is far more controversial than Ralph Nader. Everybody loves Ralph Nader, except for Scapegoating 2000 Gore Campaigners and retired GM executives. But, since leaving the Green Party, his presidential campaigns have been ludicrous. And now Natural Law?

Natural Law is the transcendental meditation party. I thought about voting Natural Law in 1992, before I decided that Bill Clinton's promise to institute a BTU tax made him good enough for me to go ahead and vote for the winner, with all the attendant culpability. NL was the only candidate running a physicist for president.

But, I do not believe that Ralph Nader bounces when he meditates. It doesn't seem like a natural fit. I don't even understand why he keeps running. I don't know of anyone who does. Ach, Ralph.

Green Party Rising

A lot of what I do on this blog is, I come up with an idea, wait for some more accountable figure in the media to say it, and then link to him or her.

As I expect to be right, and the correct way of thinking is bound to occur to somebody eventually*, this works out pretty well. And so, we have today's Krugman.
[T]he G.O.P.’s long transformation into the party of the unreasonable right, a haven for racists and reactionaries, seems likely to accelerate as a result of the impending defeat.
However, American really likes being a two-party nation. And, so I expect that there'll be huge internal struggle between the corporatist Clintonista democrats and the progressives. And since the Republican party won't be welcoming to the Rightist Democrats, the Leftist ones will be the ones to leave. And they'll need somewhere to flee to.

Our task is to be ready to absorb them.

* -- This can take a while. But, the actual future is always consistent with that subset of known facts that happens to be true, so careful thinkers frequently happen upon it.

Obama Against Luggage Surcharges

It looks like you can safely vote Green, as there's no chance that McCain will pull it out. And, this is not just in New York -- there are states like Arizona where it's still possible the GOP could upset, but it's pretty safe to say that
(1) Either Barack Obama will win the presidency, or
(2) Widespread electronic vote fraud will bring down the government.

We'll hope it's (1). Cynthia's competitive nowhere. The WSJ poll not only lumps third party voters together, but then lumps those in with 'undecided.' I've decided!

However, as we did when Shrub was installed, we have to look for a silver lining. Some way that an Obama Presidency is a good thing. And, here's one:
It was 1988, and Mary Andersen was at the Miami airport checking in for a long flight to Norway to be with her husband when the airline representative informed her....

-You’ll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway , the man behind the counter said.

Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway , and she had no one else to call.
As tears streamed down her face, she heard a “gentle and friendly voice” behind her saying, “That’s okay, I’ll pay for her.”
Who was the man?

Barack Obama.
All of which is to suggest that a President Obama would be a little more opposed to luggage surcharges. Luggage surcharges are a necessary and wonderful thing, but it would be nice to have a president senstive to their possible excesses.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Roubini: Global Stagflation in sight

there's no link
Greetings from RGE Monitor!

The financial wildfire has turned around the stagflationary trends seen earlier this year into a vicious cycle of global deflation in debt, assets, wages, and goods. Headline consumer inflation has peaked in most of the developed and emerging world, except in places where food/fuel subsidies were recently rolled back or post-Q3 data are still unavailable. According to the IMF’s October World Economic Outlook, the world’s average consumer prices have increased 6.2% y/y Q2 2008. JPMorgan expects world CPI inflation to slow to 2.6% y/y Q2 2009. Lower commodity prices subdued headline inflation and are expected to continue doing so on slackening global demand. Core inflation has yet to show a significant decline but a feedback loop of debt deflation, asset deflation, commodity deflation, wage deflation, and slower global growth will likely lead to flat or lower headline and core consumer and producer prices in Q4 2008 through 2009. But in the short- to medium-term, stag-deflation seems the most likely scenario for the world economy.
I just like the "Greetings! You're running headlong to your own doom!" format.

Why is Sarah Palin conisdered an expert on energy?

So, normally, when I hear someone in the media say something more than once, I assume it's a lie. That might be cynical, but it's worked well. And John McCain's called Sarah Palin an expert on energy more than once. It's nice to validate one's heuristics every now and then, so I decided to look for evidence that Governor Palin was an expert on energy. On her bio page at Senator McCain's campaign web site, I found
She created Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to oversee and maintain oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure, and the Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.
Governor Palin took on the oil companies and began a competitive process to construct a gas pipeline. Because of her leadership, work has begun on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline – the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history – to help lead our country to energy independence.

When oil and gas prices went up dramatically and the state revenues rose, Governor Palin sent a large share of that revenue directly back to the people of Alaska. She also suspended the state's fuel tax.
As Governor, Palin is chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multi-state government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. She also serves as chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which is charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management.
She also served as chair and ethics commissioner of the Alaska Conservation Commission, which regulates Alaska's most valuable non-renewable resources: oil and gas. When she found corruption there, she fought it and brought the offenders to account, even though they may have been members of her own party.
I expected the least critical possible analysis of Governor Palin's background on the site, so I'm not going to criticize this. But, where's the policy expertise? She has some background in pipeline planning maybe, but energy generally? Isn't Senator McCain supposed to be Mr. Nuke? That doesn't even involve oil and gas pipelines.