Monday, June 23, 2008

It must be somebody... probably not you, of course

David Seaton's News Links
From the NYT:
Obama Camp Closely Linked With Ethanol - NYT When VeraSun Energy inaugurated a new ethanol processing plant last summer in Charles City, Iowa, some of that industry’s most prominent boosters showed up. Leaders of the National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association, for instance, came to help cut the ribbon — and so did Senator Barack Obama. Then running far behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in name recognition and in the polls, Mr. Obama was in the midst of a campaign swing through the state where he would eventually register his first caucus victory. And as befits a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a ringing endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel. Mr. Obama is running as a reformer who is seeking to reduce the influence of special interests. But like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views. And when it comes to domestic ethanol, almost all of which is made from corn, he also has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry at a time when energy policy is a point of sharp contrast between the parties and their presidential candidates. (...) Ethanol is one area in which Mr. Obama strongly disagrees with his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain of Arizona. While both presidential candidates emphasize the need for the United States to achieve “energy security” while also slowing down the carbon emissions that are believed to contribute to global warming, they offer sharply different visions of the role that ethanol, which can be made from a variety of organic materials, should play in those efforts. Mr. McCain advocates eliminating the multibillion-dollar annual government subsidies that domestic ethanol has long enjoyed. As a free trade advocate, he also opposes the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff that the United States slaps on imports of ethanol made from sugar cane, which packs more of an energy punch than corn-based ethanol and is cheaper to produce. “We made a series of mistakes by not adopting a sustainable energy policy, one of which is the subsidies for corn ethanol, which I warned in Iowa were going to destroy the market” and contribute to inflation, Mr. McCain said this month in an interview with a Brazilian newspaper, O Estado de São Paulo. “Besides, it is wrong,” he added, to tax Brazilian-made sugar cane ethanol, “which is much more efficient than corn ethanol.” Mr. Obama, in contrast, favors the subsidies, some of which end up in the hands of the same oil companies he says should be subjected to a windfall profits tax. In the name of helping the United States build “energy independence,” he also supports the tariff, which some economists say may well be illegal under the World Trade Organization’s rules but which his advisers say is not.
I think it must be obvious by now that Obama is bullshitting somebody... but I'm sure you are sure it isn't you.

This is what Frank Rich wrote two years ago (tip of the hat to RC):
The more important issue is not whether Mr. Obama will seek the presidency, but what kind of candidate he would be. If the Democratic Party is to be more than a throw-out-Bush party, it can’t settle for yet again repackaging its well-worn ideas, however worthy, with a new slogan containing the word “New.” It needs a major infusion of steadfast leadership. That’s the one lesson it should learn from George Bush. Call him arrogant or misguided or foolish, this president has been a leader. He had a controversial agenda — enacting big tax cuts, privatizing Social Security, waging “pre-emptive” war, packing the courts with judges who support his elisions of constitutional rights — and he didn’t fudge it. He didn’t care if half the country despised him along the way.(...) The Democrats may well win on Election Day this year. But one of their best hopes for long-term viability in the post-Bush era is that Barack Obama steps up and changes the party before the party of terminal timidity and equivocation changes him.
I guess Rich's question is settled by now. DS


Anonymous said...

I share your profound impulse to debunk the myth of BO... but who out there would have followed the path outlined by Rich... Edwards?? Possibly but his voting record did not support his platform... (cause for concern). The words did not match the music (did they?). Hillary.. I say.. yes.. more so than Obama. Why?? Because of the Clintons' first behavior after the nomination of Bill.. a "teach in" by experts on the USA.. (remember that?) I think she would honored her pledge for universal health care.. the second time around.

I have always been intrigued with the fact that you endorse McSame so whole heartedly (I personally think you are a chauvinist .. remember that word? .. your artist wife not withstanding. )

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Dear Anon,
Rather than choose McCain, with Al Gore out, I have been left with McCain.

I agree with Tony Judt that a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean Bush+Clinton+Bush+Clinton, and that is not a sign of a healthy republic and that Barack Obama has no qualifications for the job, so that leaves nobody but McCain.

If Hillary had thrown Bill out and had been running as plain Hillary Rodham, I would have had no problem supporting her because of her health plan. I think it is high time that the USA had a woman president.