Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 3, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

McCAIN IDIOCY WATCH....Early Friday, John McCain said his energy independence plan will eliminate the need for us to go to war in the Middle East:

My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.

So the Iraq war was all about oil after all? Don't be silly. He was talking about the other Iraq war:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) clarified his comments Friday after suggesting the Iraq war was motivated by U.S. reliance on foreign oil. His explanation: He was talking about the 1991 Persian Gulf War, not the current conflict.

...."No, no, I was talking about that we had fought the Gulf War for several reasons," McCain told reporters.

One reason was Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, he said. "But also we didn't want him to have control over the oil, and that part of the world is critical to us because of our dependency on foreign oil, and it's more important than any other part of the world," he said.

But this is just your garden variety gaffe/backpedal. I haven't even gotten to the idiocy yet. Namely this: there isn't an energy expert in the world — not one — who thinks we can "eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East." It's a child's fantasy, but McCain spouts this stuff as if solving our problems really were just that easy. It reminds me of his solution to the fighting in Iraq: "One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, 'Stop the bullshit.'"

Anyway, as John Lennon said, we'd all love to see the plan. Unless it depends on staying in the Middle East for a hundred years until they run out of oil and eliminate our dependency for us, it sounds like McCain is shoveling the bullshit once again.

Kevin Drum 12:12 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (57)

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Comments

"Stop the bullshit," indeed!

Posted by: Raffa on May 3, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about

So we can't criticize his secret plan, er, policy, because he doesn't have one yet. But he will have one, and I'm sure we will be talking about it.

Until then, who are you to speak ill of His Insaneness? I'll bet you've never even been to one of his barbecues.

Posted by: thersites on May 3, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

My friends, I will have an energy policy...

And of course, by friends, he includes the media, because they, you know, they Q with him and stuff. So he will once again not be called on this absurdity.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on May 3, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Namely this: there isn't an energy expert in the world — not one — who thinks we can "eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East."

Robert Zubrin. He wrote a book on it.

Brazil managed the trick. We can too.

Posted by: TallDave on May 3, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Just like Nixon's "secret plan" to end the Vietnam War in '68. Before you laugh, remember folks fell for it then...

Posted by: Frank on May 3, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

we do not have any reason to complain about the mccain idiocy when our own candidates are behaving like idiots running for seventh grade class presidency.

Posted by: gregor on May 3, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love to see the public reaction to any plan that would feasibly get us to energy independence (without going totally-coal, with all the GHG emissions that entails). We'd sooner see kittens skinned and eaten on prime-time television.

Just for example -- cut beef consumption by 75%, use bicycles for trips under 3 miles, deploy windmills in the northeast and plains, solar in the southwest, more nuclear plants generally, string the nation with high voltage DC transmission lines (like the Pacific Intertie). Rejuvenate the railroads, and ship as much as possible in containers so that cargo can cheaply, quickly, and flexibly be transferred from boat to train to truck. In particular, we need to look into some really fast long-haul freight trains. For the nukes, we need to get serious about maintaining THAT fuel supply, too, which probably means some form of breeder reactor.

I think there's something for every one to hate there.

Posted by: dr2chase on May 3, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, once the oil runs out, creative destruction kicks in and we'll shift to other sources of energy. Any 'environmentalist' attempts to reduce oil usage therefore prolongs our dependence on the Middle East and the amount of time terrorists will have power. Once it runs out, they lose their funding, and we can stop worrying about them.

Posted by: Al on May 3, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Keep you doped with religon, sex and T.V.
and you think you're so clever and classless and free,
but you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see...
"
--John Lennon - "Working Class Hero"

Posted by: Quotation Man on May 3, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe this issue of "why we went to war in Iraq" will stay on the media's radar for long enough to make at least a few people wonder...

I would like to see more skepticism regarding who and why we bomb and invade. I fear the only reason the 60% who initially supported the Iraq war have soured on it now is because it wasn't quick and satisfying. Not that there has been any kind of epiphany regarding wars of choice, wars of preemption, or the validity of claims of threats.

Our media cheerleaded us into this war, not applying even a bare minimum of skepticism of politicians' claims. It was obvious that Iraq posed no real threat, Saddam was complying, WMDs were unlikely to be found, and that a fracturing of Iraq along religious factions was very possible. Then the media acted surprised by these revelations.

Then they turned on the war effort, shouting incompetence/lack of planning. This should be largely a non-issue, except so far as it displays that the Admin wasn't serious about the threats from Iraq's weapons or the dangers of a failed state in the region (since they weren't serious about rebuilding Iraq after destroying it).

The media wasn't right when they cheerleaded the war initially, and they aren't really right now that they are against it (for the wrong reasons).

Fuck the media. Fuck the politicians, fuck the US population that supports a war on a whim. Institute a draft, that is triggered when US troops are deployed to foreign soil (under certain conditions) that has an equal chance of calling up every single person in the US between 18 and 45, male and female, no exceptions. Then we'll see some skepticism of claims of dire threats and national interest.

Posted by: flubber on May 3, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "... there isn't an energy expert in the world — not one — who thinks we can 'eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East.'"

That's completely false.

There are numerous energy experts who have put forth detailed plans, not only for eliminating all oil imports but for phasing out all use of fossil fuels -- not only oil but coal and natural gas as well.

For one example, in their book Winning The Oil Endgame, renewable energy expert Amory Lovins et al write:

This independent, peer-reviewed synthesis for American business and military leaders charts a roadmap for getting the United States completely, attractively, and profitably off oil. Our strategy integrates four technological ways to displace oil: using oil twice as efficiently, then substituting biofuels, saved natural gas, and, optionally, hydrogen. Fully applying today's best efficiency technologies in a doubled-GDP 2025 economy would save half the projected U.S. oil use at half its forecast cost per barrel. Non-oil substitutes for the remaining consumption would also cost less than oil. These comparisons conservatively assign zero value to avoiding oil's many "externalized" costs, including the costs incurred by military insecurity, rivalry with developing countries, pollution, and depletion. The vehicle improvements and other savings required needn't be as fast as those achieved after the 1979 oil shock.

The route we suggest for the transition beyond oil will expand customer choice and wealth, and will be led by business for profit. We propose novel public policies to accelerate this transition that are market-oriented without taxes and innovation-driven without mandates. A $180-billion investment over the next decade will yield $130-billion annual savings by 2025; revitalize the automotive, truck, aviation, and hydrocarbon industries; create a million jobs in both industrial and rural areas; rebalance trade; make the United States more secure, prosperous, equitable, and environmentally healthy; encourage other countries to get off oil too; and make the world more developed, fair, and peaceful.

And in an article entitled A Solar Grand Plan in the December 2007 issue of Scientific American, authors Ken Zweibel, James Mason and Vasilis Fthenakis write:

The U.S. needs a bold plan to free itself from fossil fuels. Our analysis convinces us that a massive switch to solar power is the logical answer ...

The technology is ready. On the following pages we present a grand plan that could provide 69 percent of the U.S.’s electricity and 35 percent of its total energy (which includes transportation) with solar power by 2050. We project that this energy could be sold to consumers at rates equivalent to today’s rates for conventional power sources, about five cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). If wind, biomass and geothermal sources were also developed, renewable energy could provide 100 percent of the nation’s electricity and 90 percent of its energy by 2100.

The federal government would have to invest more than $400 billion over the next 40 years to complete the 2050 plan. That investment is substantial, but the payoff is greater. Solar plants consume little or no fuel, saving billions of dollars year after year. The infrastructure would displace 300 large coal-fired power plants and 300 more large natural gas plants and all the fuels they consume. The plan would effectively eliminate all imported oil, fundamentally cutting U.S. trade deficits and easing political tension in the Middle East and elsewhere. Because solar technologies are almost pollution-free, the plan would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 1.7 billion tons a year, and another 1.9 billion tons from gasoline vehicles would be displaced by plug-in hybrids refueled by the solar power grid. In 2050 U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would be 62 percent below 2005 levels, putting a major brake on global warming.

I doubt very much that John McCain will be offering any such plan as these, and would not be surprised if his energy policy turns out to be "idiocy" -- he gives every indication of continuing the energy policy of the Cheney administration, which is in short to enrich his cronies and financial backers in the fossil fuel industry at the expense and to the detriment of the American people (and indeed all of humanity given the reality of anthropogenic global warming).

But if you believe that the USA cannot free itself from its growing dependence on Middle Eastern oil, which can only increase while we continue to have a fossil-fuel dependent society since other conventional oil reserves will be depleted sooner and more rapidly, then you pretty much have to go along with McCain's agenda of a large-scale, decades-long US military occupation of the region to maintain control of those oil supplies.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on May 3, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

So a true environmental policy would have us all drive an M-1 Abrams to work, thereby using up all the oil on the planet that much quicker, and depriving the terrorists (or the Saudis, since they're all the same) of funding and power.

As the Guinness guys would say, Brilliant!

Maybe after that plan works, we could all drive balloons to work to deprive conservatives of desperately needed hot air.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on May 3, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

dr2chase

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Kittens

(drool) mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Posted by: on May 3, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

As long as Israel remains apartheid there will be American kids dying in the Mideast.

Posted by: Buford on May 3, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Very strongly recommended reading on this subject:

The New Geopolitics of Energy
By Michael T. Klare
The Nation
Monday 19 May 2008 Edition

Excerpt:

While the day-to-day focus of US military planning remains Iraq and Afghanistan, American strategists are increasingly looking beyond these two conflicts to envision the global combat environment of the emerging period - and the world they see is one where the struggle over vital resources, rather than ideology or balance-of-power politics, dominates the martial landscape. Believing that the United States must reconfigure its doctrines and forces in order to prevail in such an environment, senior officials have taken steps to enhance strategic planning and combat capabilities ...

... a momentous shift has occurred. At a time when world supplies of oil, natural gas, uranium and key industrial minerals like copper and cobalt are beginning to shrink and the demand for them is exploding, the major industrial powers are becoming more desperate in their drive to gain control over what remains of the planet's untapped reserves. These efforts typically entail intense bidding wars for supplies on international markets - hence the record high prices for all these commodities. But they also take military form, as arms transfers and the deployment of overseas missions and bases. It is to bolster America's advantage - and to counter similar moves by China and other resource competitors - that the Pentagon has placed resource competition at the center of its strategic planning.

[...]

It is essential that America reverse the militarization of its dependence on imported energy and ease geopolitical competition with China and Russia over control of foreign resources. Because this would require greater investment in energy alternatives, it would also lead to an improved energy economy at home (with lower prices in the long run) and a better chance at overcoming global warming.

Any strategy aimed at reducing reliance on imported energy, especially oil, must include a huge increase in spending on alternative fuels, especially renewable sources of energy (solar and wind), second-generation biofuels (those made from nonedible plant matter), coal gasification with carbon capture and burial (so that no carbon dioxide escapes into the atmosphere to heat the planet) and hydrogen fuel cells, along with high-speed rail, public transit and other advanced transportation systems. The science and technology for these advances is already largely in place, but the funding to move them from the lab or pilot-project stage to full-scale development is not. The challenge, then, is to assemble the many billions - even trillions - of dollars that will be needed.

The principal obstacle to this herculean task is the very reason for its necessity in the first place: massive spending on the military dimensions of overseas resource competition. I estimate that it costs approximately $100 billion to $150 billion per year to enforce the Carter Doctrine, not including the war in Iraq. Extending that doctrine to the Caspian Sea basin and Africa will add billions. A new cold war with China, with an accompanying naval arms race, will require trillions in additional military expenditures over the next few decades. This is sheer lunacy: it will not guarantee access to more sources of energy, lower the cost of gasoline at home or discourage China from seeking new energy resources. What it will do is sop up all the money we need to develop alternative energy sources and avert the worst effects of global climate change.

And this leads to a final recommendation: rather than engage in militarized competition with China, we should cooperate with Beijing in developing alternative energy sources and more efficient transportation systems. The arguments in favor of collaboration are overwhelming: together, we are projected to consume 35 percent of the world's oil supply by 2025, most of which will have to be imported from dysfunctional states. If, as is widely predicted, global oil reserves have begun to shrink by then, both of our countries could be locked in a dangerous struggle for dwindling supplies in chronically unstable areas of the world. The costs, in terms of rising military outlays and the inability to invest in more worthwhile social, economic and environmental endeavors, would be staggering. Far better to forswear this sort of competition and work together on the development of advanced petroleum alternatives, super-fuel-efficient vehicles and other energy innovations. Many American and Chinese universities and corporations have already initiated joint ventures of this sort, so it is not hard to envision a much grander regime of cooperation.

As we approach the 2008 elections, two paths lie before us. One leads to greater reliance on imported fuels, increased militarization of our foreign fuel dependency and prolonged struggle with other powers for control over the world's remaining supplies of fossil fuels. The other leads toward diminished reliance on petroleum as a main source of our fuel, the rapid development of energy alternatives, a reduced US military profile abroad and cooperation with China in the development of innovative energy options. Rarely has a policy choice been as stark or as momentous for the future of our country.

This is not the sort of thinking that is likely to be embraced by John McCain, heir to Dick Cheney and George Bush as the candidate of the military-industrial-petroleum complex.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on May 3, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

"So the Iraq war was all about oil after all? Don't be silly. He was talking about the other Iraq war . . . But this is just your garden variety gaffe/backpedal."

Sounds like the old Michael Kinsley definition of a gaffe: When a politician accidentally says something true.

Posted by: nemo on May 3, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The Washington Monthly is just not keeping up with McCain's idiocy. Think progress has more on the topic. Turns out what McCain clearly said (and you would know it if you hadn't removed the context) was via thinkprogress
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/05/03/mccain-stumbles-while-attempting-to-explain-his-iraq-oil-remarks/
via atrios

"if America had energy independence [huge multidaylong snip] we will be dependent, because we won’t be dependent, we will no longer be dependent on foreign oil. That’s what my remarks were.” See now that he explains it, it seems true ... by defnition.

He was just working out the relation between the words "independence" and "dependent." Now if you think this it is a bit odd that a grownup is still trying to figure this out, note that he got it wrong on the first try.

But at least we know he's ready to be President.

Oh and he's a straight talker. We can tell, because he is so bad at lying -- must show he's not used to it. His blatant lies show that he is honest you see.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on May 3, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Another Navy man --- Admiral Hyman Rickover --- predicted all of this in the 50s. A truly visionary speech still worth a read.

http://www.energybulletin.net/23151.html

Posted by: on May 3, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Early Friday, John McCain said his energy independence plan will eliminate the need for us to go to war in the Middle East:

McCain's got all the credibility of the people who told us we were going to have a temporary surge in combat troops deployment to cool things down (which turned out to be a permanent increase in the number of troops).

Voting for this guy is like choosing to brush your teeth with a brush that was just used to clean a toilet.

Posted by: Swan on May 3, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

In order for America, and Americans, to be free of our dependence on all things that cause us pain and suffering, John McSame must be 'elected' president. We need at least another four years of this crazy bullshit to truly awaken us all from the sleep of denial that is our culture and ego.

Having Hillary or Obama "in charge" will only make us feel good temporarily. The malaise that is our history and future will never change until we as a nation have "bottomed out".

We're not there yet.

Posted by: bobbywally on May 3, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

But of course as Secular Animist has tried to show there are ways to end oil import dependence -just not politically palatable ones this is my version concentrating on oil/transportaion fuels:
(1) The biggest thing is to drastically cut demand, which means driving less, more shipping by train, more efficient vehicles, electrification of transport. To this end immediately raise the gas/diesel fuel tax by $5 per gallon.
(2) It can get easier in the mid term, by the following measures:
remove drilling restrictions, ANWR & off coast drilling, maybe we can squeeze a million barels/day this way, given domestic production is 5.1MB/day this is a substantial increment to the allowed domestic consumption cap (i.e. no oil imports period). In roughly the same time frame as the new suplies com online, plug in hybrids will allow us to start getting more miles out of our constrained fuel supply.

So, it can be done, but it takes a heck of a lot more sacrifice than any politician will ask for:

Interesting when GWHB was a congressman he had proposed a law to restrict oil imports to 12% of total consumption. Simply reopen this law, and by legislative fiat our consumption will halve. Martial law can be imposed to prevent the protest from $20/gallon gas from getting out of hand.

Posted by: bigTom on May 3, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Bobbywally.

I love me some Marxist dialectic.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on May 3, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

This is dangerous territory Kevin.

On the one hand McCain is basically saying that he and his party lied to America about the Iraq War. His statements in this context are potentially supporting a criminal indictment of the current administration.

On the other hand he is speaking a truth that is at the core of this country's future, and on which you are sadly totally misguided. Petroleum may never go completely extinct as an energy source, but it will be largely replaced. It is inevitable, and more importantly, it represents the future of this country. The new energy economy could, if we wanted it to, represent a combination of the space program and computer science/internet revolutions of the past century. It will be this century's industrial revolution, and if we aren't at its forefront we will not maintain our position as the world's leader technologically and economically.

How this isn't THE platform for the Democratic party is beyond me. This subject represents this generations space race and great society combined into one. Republicans have owned the petroleum industry and they are synonymous with geopolitical wars fought for oil, and lobbying efforts to downplay environmental issues in part to save the oil industry. Yet all of those chickens are now coming home to roost, and the guilty and the blood-covered are now changing skins and trying on things like ethanol etc..

Yet here you are scoffing at the biggest, most obvious political opportunity in generations while the guilty are happily pulling out from under you.

Posted by: Condor on May 3, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what strikes me: there's a slow admission from people in the administration that the Iraq War is about oil. And that means we're paying more than dollars for fuel - we're spending blood. How do we get that point across to the American people?

How do we get them to turn down the heat or the air conditioner, eschew plastic packaging, and junk their SUVs? How do we get them to change?

Posted by: cmac on May 3, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

I love the Straight Talk Express! The beauty of McCain is that what you see is what you get - nutty, fact-free, thought-free, extremist nonsense. Behind the shallow, blurted statements is a shallow, simple mind. But as long as he prefaces every statement with, "my friends", it will all be good.

Posted by: jrw on May 3, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

bobbywally:...he malaise that is our history and future will never change until we as a nation have "bottomed out".

We're not there yet.

This is making a big assumption that things can be turned around and there is a true bottom from which we can recover. To use a currently fashionable term, there may be political "tipping points" in subjects like income inequality and resource availability that a McCain regime would hasten.

Posted by: natural cynic on May 3, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

The McCain plan to eliminate US dependence on foreign oil will be to impoverish Americans so much that they cannot afford it.

Posted by: Brojo on May 3, 2008 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget Nixon's secret plan to end the Viet Nam war in 1968, which was, how many years before it actually ended?

Maybe McCain's plan involves Rev. Hagee and God.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on May 3, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

As far as I am concerned, I may be a "Conservative", but I am not full of hot air. On the other hand, alot of "Liberals", like Obama, Clinton and those of you who are knocking McCain are full of shit! Maybe you could use your Illegal Alien Mexican friends to push that big assed car around for you. McCain is alot smarter than you give him credit for. He is one of the Senators of our state and he has done a lot of good for the state of Arizona. So, unless you know what you are talking about, keep your mouths shut, it's starting to foul up the air. Also, the "recession" that we are in was created by the Liberal Media (which is the majority of the media outlets today), the same idiots that made this Political statement possible. If idiots spout off that we are going into a recession enough, it sure as Hell will happen, we will go into a recession. It wasn't because of the housing loan problem, it is because everyone is believing the media and therefore holding on to their money, not spending it and creating this idiotic "recession"!!! So what do you think about that, Chicken Little?

Posted by: sahaptan on May 3, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

The 1991 war never ended. We've been bombing Iraq for 17 straight years now, and the "no-fly" zone has also been enforced for the same number of years. Naval forces never left the area after the Gulf War.

So, somehow, we are magically going to remove all troops from this volatile region simply because McCain has an energy policy that will sever our oil dependence?

What is it? Hydrogen powered cars? ANWR drilling?

The same guy who equates a gas tax holiday with energy policy is not to be trusted.

Maybe he thinks we can extract energy from farts, especially old ones like himself!

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on May 3, 2008 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's energy plan involves secret negotiations with the Klingons for an endless supply of dilithium crystals.

Posted by: AJB on May 3, 2008 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

McCain has never served Arizona well. He was a carpetbagger. All he ever did for Arizonans is push Keating's Lincoln Savings & Loan debentures on unsuspecting little old ladies in Sun City, where sahaptan probably spends time regaling tall tales about how McCain single-handedly defeated Uncle Ho.

I have had Mexican immigrants as co-workers, and they are more honest, trustworthy and hard working than McCain could ever be.

Posted by: Brojo on May 3, 2008 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yes indeed, the recession was created by the Librul Media to sink the Republican candidate.

Please, stay in your home, lock your doors, and spend all your money on Ebay. We gotta get this economy rolling again!

Posted by: sahaptan's remaining brain cell on May 3, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

there isn't an energy expert in the world — not one — who thinks we can "eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East." It's a child's fantasy

from Barack Obama:
Obama's plan will reduce oil consumption by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030. This will more than offset the equivalent of the oil we would import from OPEC nations in 2030.
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/energy/

Posted by: Don Bacon on May 3, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

So what do you think about that, Chicken Little?

That you are one of the lemmings that has drunk so much of the kool-aid that you should just be written off as a lost cause, and that you are not even worth wasting time on.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on May 3, 2008 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

everyone is believing the media and therefore holding on to their money

My what?

Jeebus. Even Rush has stopped spouting that the "economy is roaring along."

Posted by: thersites on May 3, 2008 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Just what I suspected. After reviewing the majority of the posts here, it is without a doubt a Liberalists' view point bullshit site. To those of you who criticized my point of view, some could learn how to spell and others, who wasted their time with the Cheating Keating example, should know what they are talking about before spewing drivel from that orifice that they call a mouth. Keating was a Leftist, or Liberal, just like you are. Birds of a feather flock together!

Most of the Liberals that I have known were so stupid, had I a mind to, I could have cheated them out of every dollar they had, just like Keating, but I am above using others for monetary gain. Their brains were so small, that if they were removed from their craniums, then rolled them down the edge of a razorblade, it would be like rolling BBs down a four lane hiway. You are the kind of people who believed everything that you were taught in school to the detriment of your own common sense. You are what you think. Didn't any of you learn to only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear. For example, you believe that Custer was a great man, a fallen hero in your eyes. The truth be known, he was an idiot and forensic scientists have proven that what the Native Americans said was actually the truth, not the lies that they taught you in school. He got what he deserved because he, too, lacked common sense. His brother had been awarded the Medal of Honor and he was bent on outdoing him by killing innocent women and children in a bid to become the President of the United States. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to believing what they taught you in school and what the media wants you to believe. I have witnessed first hand how the media lies and inflates their stories.

The majority of you are probably from California, New York, Arkansas, Mississippi and all the other regions where poor and ignorant people congregate in slums and shacks. You don't mind paying half of your wages to the liars who made promises that your money would be put to good use. Now, they want to to take more and really run us into a "recession". Hell, Hillary and her cronies have already done that to New York, the highest tax state in the Union. Now she figures that we need socialized medical care, so everybody gets treated equal. That's the biggest bunch of bullshit that I've ever heard. It didn't work in Canada, so what makes idiots think that it will work here? Doctors aren't going to work for the government, they didn't in Russia or any other Socialist or Communist country. They won't waste their time giving you good medical care because they won't be able to afford the education and equipment necessary to do just that.

Now then, if you think that I'm full of shit, really learn the true history of America and the world. Read non fiction books, not the crap in school books, but what is written by the people who were there. Take each case in point and study what each person had to say about it. Study more than one version of everything, then deduce from the whole, what parts make the most sense. Like General Patton said, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The Democrats want America to be Socialist. Socialism leads to Communism. Liberalism is the beginning of Socialism. It started with Social Security and Clinton or Obama will create more in the name of "CHANGE"! Don't vote for them by what they say, vote by what they have
done....hence "HISTORY". Check out how they voted on things that affect you or that you are interested in. Don't go blindly into the night, use the truth to light your way. The truth will set you free and keep you free!!!!!!!!

Posted by: sahaptan on May 3, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Is that you, Norman Rogers?

Posted by: sahaptan's sad, wilty penis on May 3, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt if that's Norman. Norman is a much better writer.

Posted by: thersites on May 3, 2008 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's only sad and "wilty" because it's been in your mouth for so long, Can't Use Normal Thought! Put the capital letters together, stupid, that's what you are!

Posted by: sahaptan on May 3, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

No, Norman is an evocative and eloquent maestro; sahaptan is a ham-handed idiot who evokes nothing but pity.

Posted by: has407 on May 3, 2008 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, excuuuse me, I didn't realize that I stumbled upon thinkprogress.

Posted by: Don Bacon on May 3, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Sahaptan:

You are the one who is misinformed. The fact that you could actually seriously accuse us of believing that Custer was right shows how little you understand of liberals and how we think. We question things. That is our nature. We certainly don't believe that everything we were taught in school is true.

And equating liberalism, socialism, communism, shows that you know very little about any of them.

What's wrong with wanting to get off our dependence on foreign oil for energy? And wanting to get off dependence on oil in general, which is a finite resource, to use of renewables and cleaner energy sources? That's what this thread is about, and the fact that McCain has not shown any understanding of how to do this.

Do you not see how increasing expenditures for developing alternative sources of energy can be a boon for capitalism and private enterprise? DUH.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on May 3, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Look up socialism and communism in the dictionary and then go to a Wikipedia to find the root cause of said terms and you will find that I am right and you are not as smart as you thought you were! Republicans are capitalists, Democrats are the hopeful puppets of socialism.

Posted by: sahaptan on May 3, 2008 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Capitalism and fascism cannot compete with socialism. That's why Sweden has a higher standard of living and has been a stable democracy longer than the United States.

Capitalism eats itself - look around you....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 3, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

sahaptan -- Yeah, etymology is the final arbitrator of political discourse. Yet your obviously elitist-academia-socialist argument doesn't fool anyone--and to point people to Wikipedia! That socialist hell-hole! For shame! Your own words denounce you as a fifth-column, an agent provocateur, and a member of the socialist-communist vanguard. And about the most idiotic, stupid and ignorant, poster in recent memory.

Posted by: has407 on May 3, 2008 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

sahaptan:

More like the 9:23 post, please.

Truly that was the "Iron Man" of long, unhinged rants.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on May 3, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know how I could have missed that one guys, you're right. Norman has this hilarious, doltish dementia going on that colors all his posts; this guy is just seemingly some pimply teenager auditioning for an internship with Scaife's Counter Blogging project.

Posted by: sahaptan's pathetic sex fantasies, second only to his political fantasies in their utter haplessness on May 3, 2008 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, sahaptan isn't Norman. Norman is at least occasionally witty in his trolling. Sahaptan is just a moron.

The sad thing about trolls like sahaptan is that they don't know anything about the real art of trolling and don't know the difference between that and garden-variety stupidity. Ah, well ... no loss. At least idiots like that are funny and don't require any real responses. Their posts are so self-evidently stupid that no debunking is required.

Posted by: PaulB on May 4, 2008 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

Namely this: there isn't an energy expert in the world — not one — who thinks we can "eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East."

Not one? Surely there is at least one energy expert who knows how much oil is in Canada, how much coal in the U.S., and that alternative supplies here in the U.S. (biofuels, solar, wind) double every year or 2.

There may be considerable doubt about whether the U.S. will, but there is no good reason to think that we can not work our way out of our dependence on the Middle East. It will take determination and perseverence, labor and investment, but it is certainly possible.

Just two details: all of America's military branches are now pushing plans to make synfuels on existing bases; all now regularly use biofuels. Those are small parts of the total effort already underway in the U.S.

If you don't like my sources (www.energy-daily.com, www.technologyreview.com), go read the sources posted by Secular Animist.

Posted by: on May 4, 2008 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

Don Bacon: Obama's plan will reduce oil consumption by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030. This will more than offset the equivalent of the oil we would import from OPEC nations in 2030.

If present trends continue (and there is no convincing reason why they should not or should so continue), the production of electricity from solar power alone will double 10 times by 2030, even without Obama's plan. More than one company will in just the upcoming year produce sufficient PV cells to generate 1,000 MW of electricity.

Readers here need to catch up on what is already happening.

Posted by: on May 4, 2008 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

oops. the posts at 2am and 2:13am were from me.

Posted by: Matthew R Marler on May 4, 2008 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

According to the US Government, there are around 1300 billion barrels of oil extractable from proven reserves. This is a 42 year supply until we run bone dry. This does not factor in future demand from emerging nations.

None of the candidates have a massive plan to convert to alternate energy in time to avert the collapse of modern society. ANWR, the recently announced Brazilian finds are less than 2% of world reserves.

Agricultural products convert less than 0.5% of the sun's energy into fuel and require substantial processing with additional energy.

There is less than a 75 year supply of Uranium ore concentrated enough not to require more energy to mine than produced by its use. Fossil fuels are used to mine these ores. Storing or reprocessing nuclear wastes will cost $100s of billions.

Coal is dirty. Tar sands are dirtier. Solar electricity is nearly carbon free.

We have less than 45 years of proven oil reserves left.

The sun will shine for eons.

Review this middle school math:

The Sun's Energy at the earth's surface on a clear day is 1000 Watts /square meter.

Solar Thermal efficiency in converting sunlight to electricity is 30% to 37%. The lower figure yields 300 Watts per square meter. This is at least 50 times better than biofuels.

1 Sq kilometer = 1000 meters x 1000 meters = 1 million square meters.

Solar electricity = 300 Megawatts per square kilometer.

Assume an average of 5 Hrs of Sun per day.

This is 1500 Megawatt-Hrs per Sq Kilometer per day.

Or 547,500 Megawatt-Hrs per Sq kilometer per year.

Divide by 1000 to get gigawatt-hours. This is 547.5 Gigawatt-Hours per sq kilometer per year.

Total annual US use of electricity is 3,953,407 gigawatt-hours as of December 31, 2004. Use increases approximately 2% per year.

This requires nearly 7300 Sq kilometers. Because one collector shades another, assume 50% of the area can be covered without having one collector shadow another. This requires around 14600 square kilometers.

This is a square around 121 kilometers ( or 75.5 miles) upon a side.

Now lets double the generating capacity to charge up the batteries on all-electric cars and buses.

This is 29,200 sq kilometers or 171 kilometers per side or 107 miles per side.

Cloudy days and seasonal changes will require a larger area. There are a number of areas that have more than 325 days of sun each year.

So let us say we need the equivalent of a square 150 miles on a side. This is less than 0.5% of the total continental US land area. Of course, the solar fields would be widely distributed in sunny areas.

Storage of excess thermal energy in molten salts or high temperature fluid tanks will span the hours of no sunlight.

Electrical transmission losses over several hundred miles are less than 5%.

Thus, we can have a totally solar to electric society with efficient individual mobility, high speed electric trains and near zero pollution or greenhouse gases that is sustainable using existing technology.

This existing technology is readily exported to all without fear of misuse, or worry about cancer causing radioactive debris. Solar thermal electrical generators raises the standard of living for everyone, thereby reducing conflicts over resources.

For working examples see Solar One Nevada or Solar One Barstow.

Posted by: deejaayss on May 4, 2008 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

Hey! Who says you can't eliminate US dependency upon ME oil?

Just ban driving.

Posted by: SteinL on May 4, 2008 at 7:19 AM | PERMALINK

deejaayss:

Wow, I agree with all of what you say until you divide a Megawatt by a thousand to get a Gigawatt. Back it up from there, fix the math, and start again.

Posted by: peejay on May 5, 2008 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Or, how about I wake up enough to do that right myself. Damn that alarm clock! Preview is thy friend!

Posted by: peejay on May 5, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

peejay:

Thanks for reviewing the math, but . . .

Divide the number of megawatt-hours by 1000 to get gigawatt-hours.

Example: 547,500 megawatt-hours = 547.5 gigawatt-hours. (GW-hrs are the larger unit, so it takes fewer of them.)

Posted by: deejaayss on May 5, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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