19 June, 2008

Democrats Call for Nationalizing the Oil Industry

Well, it's all over the blogosphere today.  Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) called for nationalizing the oil industry yesterday.  Video at Hot Air.

I'm not as surprised as I should be, especially since Maxine Waters (D-CA) has already threatened this, but I do hope someone out there has the courage to ask Barack Obama (D-IL) what he thinks of this?

If he comes out unequivocally opposed, I guess I'll have to take points away from him on the Marx-o-meter. I really don't see that happening though, for two reasons.

  1. No one's going to ask.
  2. If someone does, he'll hem and haw and say not really answer the question, but will continue to blame the oil companies for everything.

McCain Team Thinks They've Found a Winner

And so do I.

John McCain (R-AZ) spent yesterday campaigning on energy independence. The third straight day he's done so. This time McCain came out swinging at Barack Obama (D-IL) with nuclear reactors (we haven't built one of those in the U.S. since 1978--about the same time we stopped building refineries) calling for 45 new ones to be built in the U.S. in the next 20 years.

McCain has also called for an end to the ban on offshore drilling, a flip-flop from how he felt about it in 2000. The Obama camp ludicrously tried to attack this decision:

John McCain's plan to simply drill our way out of our energy crisis is the same misguided approach backed by President Bush that has failed our families for too long and only serves to benefit the big oil companies

Ummm...pardon me, but wouldn't the "same misguided approach" be to continue doing what we've done for the last 30 years, which is nothing?

Then Obama contradicts himself in the space of two sentences:

[O]pening our coastlines to offshore drilling would take at least a decade to produce any oil at all, and the effect on gasoline prices would be negligible at best since America only has 3% of the world’s oil. It’s another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil. Instead of giving oil executives another way to boost their record profits, I believe we should put in place a windfall profits tax

Ok, so it would take a decade to produce oil, but it's short-term thinking? And a windfall profits tax isn't? Earth to Obama, come in please. You and your fellow Democrats have been following this "same misguided approach" regarding drilling for more than a decade. Bill Clinton wouldn't allow drilling in ANWR because it would take a decade for it to produce. This was in 1995. Well, a decade has now passed. I don't know about you, but I'd certainly like to see some of that oil now. That was short-term thinking then, and it's short-term thinking now.

Can Republicans Go To the September 10th Well Again?

Andrew McCarthy and John McCain (R-AZ) seem to think so.

McCarthy wrote an incredibly scathing article calling Barack Obama (D-IL) the September 10th candidate for wanting to treat terrorists as criminals after Obama came out in support of the SCOTUS decision regarding Guantanamo Bay inmates. He talks about how well this approach has worked in the past:

The fact is that we used the criminal justice system as our principal enforcement approach, the approach Obama intends to reinstate, for eight years — from the bombing of the World Trade Center until the shocking destruction of that complex on 9/11. During that timeframe, while the enemy was growing stronger and attacking more audaciously, we managed to prosecute successfully less than three dozen terrorists (29 to be precise). And with a handful of exceptions, they were the lowest ranking of players.

Hmm...according to Terrorist Death Watch, over 20,000 terrorists have been killed in Iraq in the last 2 1/2 years. It doesn't take a math degree to see that 20,000 in 2 1/2 is a lot better than 29 in 8.

McCain's people have picked up this ball and are running with it (quote from McCain's foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann):

Once again we have seen that Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation of the September 10 mindset,

Jim Woolsey, former CIA director and another McCain surrogate said "This is an extremely dangerous and extremely naive approach toward terrorism."

McCarthy ends with an absolutely crushing line:

Obama would bring us back to September 10th America. And September 10th is sure to be followed by September 11th .

Certainly George W. Bush (R-USA) & Co. used this approach in 2004 with some success, but it failed miserably for Republicans in 2006. While I agree with it to some degree, I think McCain's going to have to come out with something other than this to win.

I'd suggest energy independence.

17 June, 2008

From the "You Have Got To Be Kidding Me" Department

Betanews is reporting the AP's current plan for dealing with excerpting it's content:

Where the group had previously invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and sent cease-and-desist orders to at least one blogger, seeking the removal of excerpted content (in some cases as few as 17 words in length), now the press service has attached an "Excerpt for Web Use" charge for passages as short as five words in length.

The pricing scale for excerpting AP content begins at $12.50 for 5-25 words and goes as high as $100 for 251 words and up. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions enjoy a discounted rate.

Betanews brings up many problems to this "solution".  I'm going to stick with "you have got to be kidding me", but I recommend that you read the whole thing.

Well, if I have to pay to excerpt from an AP story, then I won't excerpt.  And if I can't excerpt then I won't link.  At first, I thought they were over-the-top,but now I think that TechCrunch has it right.

So here’s our new policy on A.P. stories: they don’t exist. We don’t see them, we don’t quote them, we don’t link to them. They’re banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.

UPDATE: Michael Silence says that the AP has earned itself a blogswarm

Actually, in some ways, the AP should be commended.  They have managed to single-handedly unite three very different poles of the blogosphere, the techies, the left, and the right.  Something that even a week ago would've seemed impossible.

Unfortunately for the AP, the blogosphere is united against them.

Newt On Gas Prices

Barack Obama's Hillary Problem

And no, it's not that Hillary Clinton (D-NY) wants the VP slot. She doesn't.

It's that over the course of her campaign, she's said a lot of things that we would expect to hear from the likes of John McCain (R-AZ). And I'm sure that McCain & Co. will be saying some of these things in the months to come.

But McCain won't have to use his own quotes. He'll be able to use Hillary's quotes for him. And they'll be much more damaging coming from someone in the Democratic party.

I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.- Hillary Clinton, March 2008

Hillary is presumably referring to Barack Obama's (D-IL) anti-war speech he delivered in October, 2002 in Chicago.

When McCain and his campaign make these same statements, and use tapes of Hillary to make them it's going to resonate with those former Clinton supporters. It's also going to resonate with independents.

But, it's not just experience where Hillary has hurt Obama. The media has made things worse for him (yes, I said worse).

Look at what Katie Couric has had to say about how Hillary was treated by the media:

However you feel about her politics, I feel that Sen. Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I've ever seen.

And what did Bill say recently?

I've never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully


Most of the media aren't for her.

Terry McCauliffe went even farther:

...every independent study has said that this is the most biased coverage they’ve ever seen in a presidential campaign.

...I have said this - FOX has been one of the most responsible in this presidential campaign.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA)

...some of the other stations are just caught up with Senator Obama, who is a great guy, but Senator Obama can do no wrong, and Senator Clinton can do no right.

Just like the Hillary quote above, these are troublesome statements for Obama because they come from members of his own party. We're used to hearing Republicans complain about media bias, and we will no doubt hear more of that in the coming months from the McCain camp.

And when those statements come from McCain, once again the former Hillary supporters will hear them and think to themselves, "you know, maybe he's right. The media was certainly biased against us." and they're going to wonder what they really know about Obama and think about voting for McCain.

It would actually be good for Obama in the long run if the media would attack him for a while. Then the charges of media bias won't stick later. That doesn't seem likely, however.

UPDATE: I told you so.

McCain Seeks to End Offshore Drilling Ban

All I can say is "Woohoo!"

From today's Washington Post:

Sen. John McCain [(R-AZ)] called yesterday for an end to the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, offering an aggressive response to high gasoline prices and immediately drawing the ire of environmental groups that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has courted for months.

And the response from Barack Obama (D-IL)?

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama joined the criticism, calling the idea of lifting the ban the wrong answer to out-of-control energy prices. "John McCain's plan to simply drill our way out of our energy crisis is the same misguided approach backed by President Bush that has failed our families for too long and only serves to benefit the big oil companies," Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said.

Well, there you have it, folks. One candidate is for energy independence and for lowering the cost of gas. And one isn't.

The choice should now be pretty clear.

Back in 2000, I was ahead of the curve. Energy independence was my #1 issue heading into the 2000 elections. Of course, neither major candidate for President addressed it, so I was left to choose based upon other things.

In 2004, it dropped to my #2 issue behind the War On Terror (as others have noted, the issues are not totally un-related). Once again, neither major candidate addressed it, but at least there were clear differences between the candidates on terrorism.

Now, in 2008, I have moved it back up to #1, with the War On Terror now slipping to #2, taxes #3 and the economy #4 (3 and 4 are not totally unrelated either...hmmm).

McCain also backs building more nuclear power plants. Once again, I say "Woohoo!". Now if he would only stop attacking big business, he might actually become a candidate I can support with some real enthusiasm.

Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. It seems so simple, doesn't it? Why can't our politicians get it?

Well, one man running for President has seen at least a glimmer of the light.

Bush Never Lied to Us About Iraq

Not a headline you expect to see in the LA Times, even in the opinion section, but there it is.

Bush never lied to us about Iraq

The administration simply got bad intelligence. Critics are wrong to assert deception.

By one James Kirchick. Looking at some of Mr. Kirchick's past articles leads me to believe that he's no friend to conservatives, so I don't think he's trying to cover up for George W. Bush (R-USA).

From the article:

In 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved a report acknowledging that it "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments." The following year, the bipartisan Robb-Silberman report similarly found "no indication that the intelligence community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

He goes on to tear apart the more recent Senate "Intelligence" Committee Report issued June 5, which I've commented on previously.

He brings into comparison George Romney and how he felt about Vietnam in the 60s. Romney originally supported the war, and later changing his mind, saying that he'd been "brainwashed" into thinking it a good thing during a trip to Vietnam. A beautiful quote follows:

A journalist who accompanied Romney on his 1965 foray to Vietnam remarked that if the governor had indeed been brainwashed, it was not because of American propaganda but because he had "brought so light a load to the laundromat." Given the similarity between Romney's explanation and the protestations of Democrats 40 years later, one wonders why the news media aren't saying the same thing today.

Before one wonders too long, one should check the party affiliations of Romney (Republican), and the latest people claiming to have been "brainwashed" (Democratic).

I've quoted a good portion of the article here. Fortunately for me, it's not an AP article.

But keep on buying those "Bush Lied, People Died" t-shirts if it makes you sleep easier. They won't be any more true, but I'm sure they're comfy to sleep in.

16 June, 2008

More On "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less."

It appears that Republicans may be getting the message.

Powerline has some info from the office of Republican whip Roy Blunt (R-MO07). You can see the original here. This is a breakdown on expected cost of gas under Republican plans and Democratic plans.

Now, obviously, there's a bit of spin here. The Republican plan is not going to lower your gas prices by $2 today. Some of these things will take years to implement. However, the sooner we get started, the sooner we can finish, and the lowering of the gas prices may be even more important to us then.

It's also worth noting that some of the increase in gas prices is due to speculation, and that instituting plans to drill more in the U.S. would curtail that somewhat, which would drive prices down a bit more in the near future.

Of course, it would help Republicans if they were better about publicizing this sort of thing. I had to do a little digging to find the original PDF. It should be on the RNC's main page, and a topic for all of the Sunday morning shows.