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Tilting at Windmills

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December 12, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE VILLAGE IDIOT....So when Mike Huckabee told Katie Couric that we ought to be "free of energy consumption in this country within a decade," what do you think he really meant? There are a couple of possibilities, but I suppose the most likely is "free of energy imports," or perhaps "free of foreign oil."

This, of course, has the benefit of not being literally impossible, but I wonder if anyone will bother to follow up with him about this? After all, ending foreign oil consumption in the next decade is the next best thing to impossible, and in any case, would require federal action of a staggering size and scope — certainly far more staggering than anything Huckabee has ever given the remotest indication of supporting. Basically, he was just randomly shooting his mouth off without the slightest idea of what he was talking about.

So, again: will anyone press him on this? Or will he get the village idiot treatment that Republicans since Ronald Reagan have so often gotten, where they're sort of expected to say harebrained stuff and nobody holds it against them? After all, this has nothing to do with Huckabee's hair, his cleavage, or his middle name, only with the fact that he displays an almost comical, grade-school ignorance of even the bare basics of national energy policy. And who cares about that in a president of the United States?

Kevin Drum 1:43 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

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Huckabee doesn't mean a word of it, just like Bush didn't mean it when he promised to regulate CO2 emissions. His base doesn't care. They're evangelicals, and they love to listen to tough talk against the Saudis and Arabs in general. Huckabee had some quote the other day that he would tell the Saudis to keep their oil, just like they can keep their sand. His base eats that shit up.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on December 12, 2007 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

I think Navy SEALs rock!

:blink:

Posted by: Katie Couric on December 12, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

It means that the end times will come. After which we will be free of energy consumption, and everything else.

Posted by: Wireless Enthusiast on December 12, 2007 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

"This, of course, has the benefit of not being literally impossible"

Um, you're saying this about a group of people who believe in the Rapture. Yeah, ha ha, chuckle chuckle, cute joke, right? Wrong. Recall that Elliot Abrams (the Iran-Contra convict, now Bush's Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy) acted as the White House liaison to Religious Right leaders and specifically tasked with explaining how and why Bush administration policies (e.g. with Israel/Palestine, the Middle East, etc.) will not impede the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Yes, seriously.

To put it in more direct, provincial terms: these people are f*cking insane. They're a danger to themselves and to everyone around them.

Remember too that as governor Huckabee effectively declared open season on raping Clinton family members. Yes, that's exactly what it amounts to when you pardon someone who has raped and assaulted women with deadly weapons simply because one of the victims was related to Clinton. It's what they call a 'narrowcasted' message, like the Bob Jones/South Carolina hit jobs on McCain, e.g. "McCain fathered an illegitimate black child", or "McCain is the Manchurian candidate", etc.

This message is pretty clear to a certain subset of Clinton-haters: it's open season on the Clintons and the powers that be don't care what innocent women are raped or killed before or after (and indeed that was the clearly forseeable outcome of Huckabee's action: at least one other woman was raped and killed).

Facts don't matter to these people. Nor do the lives of average Americans. Or for that matter the fate of the entire planet.

It really makes you wonder what planet these people are from. Because Republicans are actively and knowingly facilitating the destruction of the planet the rest of us call home. This isn't a joke either. Remember, these people literally do not believe that earth is the final stop in their existence - Mormons believe they will get their own planets to populate with spirit babies and Evangelical Christians believe they'll be spending the rest of eternity in paradise... a trip a majority of them believe will happen in the next decade.

So yeah, Huckabee might have simply mispoken. But perhaps the more telling question to ask Huckabee point-blank is whether he believes there is a chance that the Rapture will happen in the next ten years. I bet he won't rule it out.

You can't trust a man to plan for the future (yet alone worry about the long term consequences of his actions) when he isn't even convinced the planet will be here in 10 years.

Posted by: Augustus on December 12, 2007 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

I remember reading that calling for the U.S. to become energy-independent polls very well. I imagine this is because it sounds optimistic and can-do-ish, and because very few people have any idea what it would mean in practice.

Remember that MSM reporters see politics as a nearly contentless sporting event, whose aim is one-upmanship and personal advancement, so any claim or idea is relevant only insofar as it impacts these things. Truth values to statements are of no interest whatsoever unless they involve something personal and concrete ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman").

Huckabee can make vague statements about energy policy as long as he likes without fear of contradiction from reporters, and of course the other members of the GOP field are not at all interested in getting into wonkish energy policy disputes either as their base has no understanding or interest in them.

Posted by: jimBOB on December 12, 2007 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Silly Kevin, you need to read more closely! He didn't say that we should be free of energy consumption within a decade. He said we should "declare" that we will be. Whole different ball'o'wax. Yeesh, this people.

Posted by: Sean on December 12, 2007 at 3:36 AM | PERMALINK

Of course he doesn't have any plan. Republicans live in a make believe world where everything can be solved with free markets, lower taxes, and Jesus. Pressing a simpleton like Huckabee for details would seem cruel to some people, like kicking a retarded puppy.

Posted by: Mark S. on December 12, 2007 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

Dead, then? We should all be dead within a decade?

Elect Huckabee, and I'd say it's a slam dunk...

Posted by: monoglot on December 12, 2007 at 5:18 AM | PERMALINK

Evangelical Christians believe they'll be spending the rest of eternity in paradise... a trip a majority of them believe will happen in the next decade.

It could be arranged.

Posted by: ajay on December 12, 2007 at 5:45 AM | PERMALINK

Under His Worship President Huckabee we'll be free of energy consumption, as well as the godless scourge of homosexuality that so depletes our precious bodily fluids.

Posted by: Anon on December 12, 2007 at 6:20 AM | PERMALINK

No one will hold this against him. You can say absolutely anything as a Republican and no one cares. Actually, Kevin, I have read that if every automobile in the United States got at least 30 mpg, we wouldn't need to import a drop of foreign oil. There are lots of vehicles that get better than 30 mpg, many of which are very stylish and fun to drive. This is really a lifestyle choice issue, wherein people make bad lifestyle decisions that have broader consequences.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 12, 2007 at 6:40 AM | PERMALINK

Huckster: ...we ought to be free of energy consumption in this country within a decade

Drumster: This, of course, has the benefit of not being literally impossible

Godster: Do I have to do that "loaves and fishes" thing again?

Posted by: Econobuzz on December 12, 2007 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

be careful Kevin, a "village idiot" 'won' the last two elections. Americans have penchant for voting for them, in part as a way to spite those who call them, rightly, idiots.

Posted by: jonst on December 12, 2007 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

The good thing about Bill Clinton playing the sax was that there was no opportunity to talk at the same time. But pickers like Huckabee can pluck and talk at the same time - and end up putting his guitar in his mouth.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline on December 12, 2007 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK


kd: So, again: will anyone press him on this?


why?

stupid is america's new black....

Posted by: mr. irony on December 12, 2007 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Augustus points out something that would make an interesting question -- "sir, how does your faith affect your attitude towards long-term care of the planet?"

Getting to zero oil imports would be hard. All the hard work that the auto industry has put into designing giant cars would be pissed away. The oil companies would see gasoline consumption drop by 50%, roughly, which means that profits might drop similarly. Companies in both these industries, as part of their duty to their shareholders, would spend millions of dollars in propaganda to counter the move.

Apart from that, cutting personal gasoline consumption in half (never mind home heating in the northeast) would require some major changes in how people behave, so they would be a receptive audience for that propaganda.

Note, too, that this says nothing about CO2 emissions. If we replaced oil consumption with coal consumption, in the form of electricity used to produce hydrogen, charge electric cars, etc, our greenhouse gas numbers would go through the roof.

Posted by: dr2chase on December 12, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Conservative Deflator: Actually, Kevin, I have read that if every automobile in the United States got at least 30 mpg, we wouldn't need to import a drop of foreign oil.

who cares..

my hummer doesn't get much for m.p.g. but its got a great s.p.t. rating..

s.p.t. = soldiers per tankful

Posted by: red stater on December 12, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

According to the ever reliable David Brooks, Huckabee is da man, the post-war candidate:

(quote)

In a postwar election things are different.... (Voters are looking for)the ability to work well with leaders of other countries; having strong moral and family values; bringing unity to the country. Those are cooperative qualities, not combative ones. They require good listening skills, openness and the ability to compromise....Now Huckabee has emerged as the fresh alternative. Huckabee is socially conservative, but not a partisan culture warrior. He’s a pragmatic gubernatorial Republican, not a rigid creature of the beltway interest groups....
The main point is this: money and organization matter less right now than getting in tune with the zeitgeist shift. In 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill had formidable advantages over Clement Attlee. But when a public turns from a war mentality to a peace mentality, it turns with a vengeance — even though in this case no armistice has been declared.

(end quote)

The perfect candidate for the next Republican administration---willfully delusional.

Posted by: Neal on December 12, 2007 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

will anybody press him on this?

No.

Posted by: jayackroyd on December 12, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee misspoke, which was obviously pretty dumb. But Giuliani and Romney proposed we develop coal resources as a response to global warming. I think that's even dumber because it wasn't a misstatement (and all the candidates talk about becoming independent from foreign oil)

Posted by: Liberal Chris on December 12, 2007 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

It seems to me that this is just a simple restatement of a 150 year old principle explored by Joule. Energy is neither created or destroyed, it's just converted from one form to another.

As such, this is obviously a diatribe against particle physicists and their dangerous cyclotron devices. Energy should never be converted to mass.

Posted by: B on December 12, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Mark S.
Pressing a simpleton like Huckabee for details would seem cruel to some people, like kicking a retarded puppy.

... or like tying it to the roof of your car for a cross-country trip like the OTHER village idiot did.

Posted by: G.Kerby on December 12, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe it is a form of denail. If they elect a stupid man they can pretend that our only problems are expensive haircuts.

Posted by: lilybart on December 12, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Liberal Chris -- the point isn't that Huckabee misspoke, but that there really isn't anything he could have meant to say that makes any sense.

Posted by: SqueakyRat on December 12, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

I hate sounding or looking stupid but somehow I keep trying.

I have been following a replacement for oil as an energy source. The name of it is the “Motionless Electromagnetic Generator.”

http://www.prahlad.org/pub/bearden/scalar_wars.htm

The “MEG” has received a patent in the U.S. so there might be some truth to it. If you don’t like the link above, Google it for many more links.

Is this a hoax? I don’t know, maybe someone can enlighten me.

Posted by: Diane on December 12, 2007 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

will anyone press him on this?

Liberal blogs. No one else.

Or will he get the village idiot treatment that Republicans since Ronald Reagan have so often gotten

Yes, by the MSM.

As to what he meant, he meant he needed to say something about energy but had nothing useful or interesting to say, so he blathered.

Posted by: anandine on December 12, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

A huck of a job, Mike.

Posted by: focus on December 12, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Stupid liberals! Conservation of energy is just a theory, like evolution. If America was devout enough to elect a Mike Huckabee president, Jesus would give us a perpetual motion machine. Problem solved!

Posted by: Jeff S. on December 12, 2007 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK
Liberal Chris -- the point isn't that Huckabee misspoke, but that there really isn't anything he could have meant to say that makes any sense.

He could have, as I mentioned in the prior thread on the issue, meant "zero energy consumption growth" which is a sensible, albeit fairly modest, goal -- confusing a rate of change of a measure with the measure itself is a fairly common general class of error. IMO, that's a lot more likely of a mistake than the two Kevin proposes, as well as being more sane of a goal.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Vote for president Gomer.

Posted by: Gandalf on December 12, 2007 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

If we replaced oil consumption with coal consumption, in the form of electricity used to produce hydrogen, charge electric cars, etc, our greenhouse gas numbers would go through the roof.

In the case of electric vehicles, this is not true. Even using coal to make electricity to charge the batteries, you get a substantial reduction in greenhouse emissions. (Note: study covered plug-in hybrids; pure electric vehicles would get even better results.)

Posted by: jimBOB on December 12, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

yeah, my first thought was, "It's the Rapture, Stupid!"

Posted by: Trypticon on December 12, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

United States got at least 30 mpg, we wouldn't need to import a drop of foreign oil. There are lots of vehicles that get better than 30 mpg, many of which are very stylish and fun to drive. Posted by: The Conservative Deflator

Where'd you read that Highlights? I suppose trains, buses, trucks, airplanes and ships will all run on something other than petroleum based fuel? I suppose we will all just give up plastics? I suppose framers will all decide tomorrow to never use petroleum based fertilizers (which they should be forced to do anyway)?

We have next to no oil reserves in this country. In terms of direct imports, the ME doesn't even figure, which is what makes the Iraq war not only tragic but stupid economically.

Our only hope of prolonging our current lifestyle (which isn't so bad once you cut out the carbon coming out of tail pipes and exhaust stacks), is eliminating petroleum as our primary fuel source. Burning oil and coal are the main sources world-wide for carbon emissions. Having cars that get a measly 30MPG (you'll never get that much mileage wit a dump truck, garbage truck or backhoe) doesn't do shit.

We must get to the point where motorized vehicles run on something else all together, and we probably have no more than a decade to achieve this.

Posted by: JeffII on December 12, 2007 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

JeffII wrote: "In terms of direct imports, the ME doesn't even figure, which is what makes the Iraq war not only tragic but stupid economically."

The Middle East has two-thirds of the world's remaining reserves of conventional oil. Middle Eastern oil is of higher quality and less expensive to extract than most of the world's other oil reserves. And within the Middle East Iraq has the largest, highest quality and cheapest-to-extract reserves of unexploited oil.

Moreover, other large reserves of oil in the world are expected to be depleted, and their production to decline, sooner than the Middle Eastern reserves, so the Middle East will become an increasingly important source of oil for the entire world as time goes on.

Dick Cheney has publicly referred to the Middle East oil reserves as "the prize."

The Iraq war is "stupid economically" if you make the mistake of thinking that it is about ensuring a steady flow of Middle Eastern oil to the US economy. It is not. It is about ensuring that Dick Cheney's ultra-rich cronies and financial backers in the US-based multinational oil corporations control -- and therefore take the majority of the profits from -- the world's last, biggest and best reserves of oil. They don't care who buys the oil. They want to be the ones who profit from selling the oil.

That's why the Cheney/Bush administration's number one non-negotiable "benchmark" for the Iraqi government is passage of the US-written "hydrocarbon law" that hands over Iraq's oil to US corporations.

The Iraq war is all about oil.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 12, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee misspoke, which was obviously pretty dumb. But Giuliani and Romney proposed we develop coal resources as a response to global warming. I think that's even dumber because it wasn't a misstatement (and all the candidates talk about becoming independent from foreign oil)

Developing coal in response to Global Warming is my favorite, "Are We in Hell Yet?" political idea. It's like that scene in "Everything Is Illuminated" where the Russians keep offering Foer stuff like sausage in response to his declaration that he's a vegetarian.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on December 12, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

We need a NASA-style determination to invent a perpetual motion machine and place one under the hood of every American automobile before the next decade is through (and a perpetual money machine for Social Security, as well).

Posted by: AJ on December 12, 2007 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

This also has the added benefit of being more possible with lots of corn-based ethanol, which of course, comes from Iowa.

Posted by: do on December 12, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

AJ said: We need a NASA-style determination to invent a perpetual motion machine and place one under the hood of every American automobile before the next decade is through…

This is what I was referring to up thread. Although the “MEG” doesn’t have motion, it is claimed to output more energy than what is put in. Quite a claim.

If true, it could eliminate the need for oil altogether. What would Exxon do then?

Posted by: Diane on December 12, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Although the “MEG” doesn’t have motion, it is claimed to output more energy than what is put i in

That's nuthin'.

Give me a veto-proof majority, and I'll repeal the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on December 12, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

The Iraq war is all about oil. Posted by: SecularAnimist

Never said it wasn't. However, none of the U.S. or any transnational ("multinational" ceased to be a meaningful designation in the 90s) companies doing business from the U.S. control any ME oil resources, and that includes the pretty much non-functioning Iraqi oil industry. Even if the war went off without a hitch, that wasn't going to be the result.

So, as I said, the Iraq war was stupid economically as well as strategically.

Oil is a world commodity that goes to the highest bidder. Period.

Posted by: JeffII on December 12, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Give me a veto-proof majority, and I'll repeal the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Heh. Thanks for the chuckle.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on December 12, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

if every automobile in the United States got at least 30 mpg, we wouldn't need to import a drop of foreign oil

Volkswagon makes a line of diesel vehicles (5 of them) which get over 80, sometimes up to 110, mpg. If run on biodesiel, carbon emissions/mile would drop to negligible amounts. Can't get them in the US. (In fact, the diesel autos VW was selling in the US are now apparently banned by new EPA standards(!?!).

But to restate, these vehicles emit very low carbon/mile and ought to be approved for US consumers.

Posted by: scudbucket on December 12, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Although the “MEG” doesn’t have motion, it is claimed to output more energy than what is put in. Quite a claim.

Don't invest any money in the stock of this company, Diane.

Posted by: AJ on December 12, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Wtf, I thought. Why would cbs let this gaff go to air in such a staged soundbite setting. Wouldn't they just do another take? So I watched the tape on the cbs evening news website.
As it happens, the Sierra Club's clean energy watch site has an omission in their transcript. Huckabee says we should "...declare that we will be OIL free of energy consumtion..."
This is still not completely within the bounds of practicality, but not as ignorant as you thought. You can criticize him for grammar, though.

Posted by: Don W. on December 12, 2007 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee impresses me more and more. Anyone that can end up making "W" look competent in comparison is doing a heckuva job.

Posted by: ckelly on December 12, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII wrote: "However, none of the U.S. or any transnational ("multinational" ceased to be a meaningful designation in the 90s) companies doing business from the U.S. control any ME oil resources, and that includes the pretty much non-functioning Iraqi oil industry."

The goal of the Cheney / Bush administration is to change that, with the passage of the US-written "Iraq Hydrocarbon Law." You should familiarize yourself with the provisions of this law. It literally gives US corporations control of Iraq's oil -- and through "production sharing agreements" it gives them the overwhelming majority of the profits from Iraq's oil.

JeffII wrote: "Oil is a world commodity that goes to the highest bidder."

So what? What concerns Dick Cheney is not who buys the oil but who profits from selling it.

The purpose of the Iraq war is not to ensure that US consumers can buy Iraq's oil. It is to ensure that whoever buys Iraq's oil, Dick Cheney's cronies and financial backers in the US-based oil corporations will get the profits from selling it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 12, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Diane: The “MEG” has received a patent in the U.S. so there might be some truth to it.

Without judging this particular perpetual motion machine, a device doesn't have to work to get a patent, and you don't have to build one. It just has to be novel, unobvious, and describable. I once saw one that had a step saying something like "here the practitioner uses extra sensory perception." It got a patent because, if the practitioner there used extra sensory perception, it would work.

Posted by: anandine on December 12, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

The goal of the Cheney / Bush administration is to change that, with the passage of the US-written "Iraq Hydrocarbon Law." You should familiarize yourself with the provisions of this law. Posted by: SecularAnimist

You should familiarize yourself with reality. Iraq will dissolve into sectarian chaos once we leave in force. The Iraqi oil industry is currently functioning at a capacity below what it was prior to the invasion, which was already reduced. The day before yesterday, another pipeline was damaged.

Once the ethnic cleansing is finished, it's more than likely that the Iraqi oil industry will be re-nationalized. In short, the agreement isn't worth the paper it is printed on.

Cheney may have had stars in his eyes about what he thought he was doing, but the reality of the situation is different.

Posted by: JeffII on December 12, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

There is a clear link between the posting on the professor's observation about students' perceptions on the role of Iraq in 9/11 and the posting on Huckabee's comment on energy-free economy. Both of these speak of the state of education and its quality in our society. We are losing out on science in the international arena, because our society is moving away from science and the critical role of scientific observation. This can be seen from the sanctioning of Intelligent Design teaching in schools, low math and science scores, 50% plus votes for George W, etc. etc. at.

Posted by: AT on December 12, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

As Don W. points out, Huckabee very clearly says "oil free of energy consumption," which doesn't really make any more sense, but it definitely doesn't give the impression that he wants to raze all power plants.

Posted by: mano negra on December 12, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee did say "oil free of energy consumption" and the rest of the transcript makes it seem as though he probably meant foreign oil.

Yes, "oil free of energy consumption" doesn't make much more sense than just straight up "free of energy consumption.

However the real question and outrage here should be why does CBS get away with asking this question in the first place.

"Is the global warming threat overblown?" I guess its a start that someone is talking about it with the candidates but seriously could CBS and Ms. Couric have picked a more demeaning or belittling way to phrase a question on the issue?

You won't ever hear Ms. Couric ask "Is the threat of Islamic terrorism overblown?" or "Is the threat from illegal immigrants overblown?"

Dave Roberts has more in this vein at Grist.
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/12/11/144557/89

Posted by: hcoppola on December 12, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

We are losing out on science in the international arena, because our society is moving away from science and the critical role of scientific observation. This can be seen from the sanctioning of Intelligent Design teaching in schools, low math and science scores, 50% plus votes for George W, etc. etc. at. Posted by: AT

While we have lots of problems with public secondary education and American society in general, the math and science requirements are more rigorous now, especially for the college bound than they were thirty or even twenty years ago.

And before one puts too much faith in how badly the general student population of the U.S. stacks up on these international tests (which are sort of like Neilson Ratings households - ever seen one, ever meet anyone who has taken one of these comparative tests that many people refer to?), it is a fact that schools in Asia and in much of the EU are two track - those heading for university and those people who will work at the sausage factory or collect your garbage. In Japan, it's actually four tracks, if you will - the best private and public schools, the worst public and private schools.

You could argue that we have done this by default, but if you compare the best and the brightest from the U.S. against the equivalent from abroad, we're doing just fine, though we have the resources to do a lot better for everyone else.

Posted by: JeffII on December 12, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

JimBOB,

In the case of electric vehicles, this is not true. Even using coal to make electricity to charge the batteries, you get a substantial reduction in greenhouse emissions. (Note: study covered plug-in hybrids; pure electric vehicles would get even better results.)

Did you miss the part that said "assuming the coal powered electric plants have carbon sequestration in place."

Well, yeah, if we could burn coal without producing CO2 then using that power to make electricity for an electric car would make sense, too.

Posted by: Tripp on December 12, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Is the global warming threat overblown?" I guess its a start that someone is talking about it with the candidates but seriously could CBS and Ms. Couric have picked a more demeaning or belittling way to phrase a question on the issue? Posted by: hcoppola

Actually, given Huckabee's background, it's a great question. The problem was, is that Couric is about as much a journalist as is Bill O'Reily. Now, if John Stewart, who isn't a journalist, had asked the question, he would have asked for clarification or expansion of the answer. Couric/CBS is either too dumb or just doesn't care.

Cronkite must cringe every time he hears about crap like this.

Posted by: JeffII on December 12, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Diane,

http://www.prahlad.org/pub/bearden/scalar_wars.htm is this a hoax?

Down a page or two and the website claims not only the elimination of our dependence on oil but also the cure of cancer and aids, the existence of unbelievably powerful weapons, and the best one, mind control on a massive scale with the twist of a few dials.

I wonder why they couldn't get that down to a single dial? Must need a little more work.

So without much more investigation this one is pegging my BSometer.

Posted by: Tripp on December 12, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

No energy consumption? If Huckabee is non-reality-based enough to reject evolution, then he is removed enough from reality to reject the First Law of Thermodynamics as well.

Posted by: jonp72 on December 12, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Kevin, Kevin...poor you. Look at the messenger! Huckabee is a looney fundie. He takes EVERY word of the bible as literally (and self-contradictorily) true! I suspect he means that of course we will be energy-consumption free within a decade because, silly, the Rapture will occur within that time and we all know that in heaven there is no energy consumption!

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on December 12, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

It was an obvious misstatement. One could reasonably guess that he meant eliminating imported oil in a decade.

Now, this goal is unobtainable under any realistic scenario- in a decade, or in three. However, on balance, such a statement of goal is no less ridiculous than the goal of cutting carbon emissions by 40-80% by 2030, for example.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on December 12, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you all for steering me in the right direction.

If it sound too good to be true, etc…

Posted by: Diane on December 12, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Without judging this particular perpetual motion machine, a device doesn't have to work to get a patent, and you don't have to build one. It just has to be novel, unobvious, and describable.
Posted by: anandine
New, useful, and unobvious are the criteria for patentabililty. Something that doesn't work is not considered useful.

"free of energy consumption"Easy enough to accomplish. Energy is always conserved (First law of thermodynamics). The problem is that the highly concentrated and useful energy released in the burning of fuels gets dispersed into the environment as random thermal energy which cannot be recovered. The amount of energy doesn't change, but it is dispersed and essentially unrecoverable. Really an entropy problem.

Posted by: Luther on December 12, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK
It was an obvious misstatement. One could reasonably guess that he meant eliminating imported oil in a decade.

Now, this goal is unobtainable under any realistic scenario- in a decade, or in three.

In one decade? Probably. A dedicated policy aimed at eliminating oil imports might perhaps succeed in three, if it was organized around either annexing or forming a super-state with enough oil producing countries so that we wouldn't technically need to import it.

The most obvious place to start would also make the plan a good way to vastly reduce illegal immigration.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Killer George vetoed the kids again, he surely must have his head up his azz. Anything the Congress sends to his desk that does not involve money for his war he will veto so he can say the Congress has not done anything all year long, because the stupid republicans will not allow it, George why dont you grow up and get off of mommies titty.

Posted by: Al on December 12, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently the threshold for a degree in divinity is pretty low.

You just mail in your check for $35 and your degree arrives in a few short days, with a space suitable for your own name, or anyone else's.

Posted by: Repack Rider on December 13, 2007 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

It may be fun to tease the anti-Darwinist Mike Huckabee as a scientific rube, but in this case those criticisms are off the mark. At Tyndall Report, we note Huckabee is taking a hit based on a misquote. Huckabee said "oil-free of energy consumption" and was clearly referring to independence from reliance on energy imports--a thoroughly mainstream Republican position--as can be seen from his clarification in the next sentence on the videostream. Here is Tyndall Report's analysis of Katie Couric's Primary Questions feature on global warming.

It looks like a single misquote on a Sierra Club blog is the origin for all this confusion and needless ridicule. It has now led to Huckabee being mocked at blogs on The Atlantic, Talking Points Memo, Reason, The Carpetbagger Report and here Washington Monthly.

Posted by: Andrew Tyndall on December 17, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with throwing words like idiot around is clear. Bush with a degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard is called an idiot -- something only an idiot could believe. Those who think he is should check the White House site for his reading list--probably he has read more this week than they have in their lifetime. Now, comes an actual blithering moron and people don't know what to say. Carter was a intelligent person (Engineering Degree from Annapolis) with uninformed, crazy ideas. Now, here comes Carter with a I.Q. of 90. God help us.

Posted by: moronpolitics on December 23, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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