Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

June 23, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA vs. McCAIN ON THE ECONOMY....Fortune magazine has parallel interviews about the economy with John McCain and Barack Obama in the current issue, and the PR email they sent me highlights their answers to this question:

What do you see as the gravest long-term threat to the U.S. economy?

Obama: If we don't get a handle on our energy policy, it is possible that the kinds of trends we've seen over the last year will just continue. Demand is clearly outstripping supply. It's not a problem we can drill our way out of. It can be a drag on our economy for a very long time unless we take steps to innovate and invest in the research and development that's required to find alternative fuels. I think it's very important for the federal government to have a role in that process.

McCain: Well, I would think that the absolute gravest threat is the struggle that we're in against Islamic extremism, which can affect, if they prevail, our very existence. Another successful attack on the United States of America could have devastating consequences.

It's as if McCain is trying to become a parody of himself here. Is his answer to every question "Islamic extremism"? And while Fortune's readership undoubtedly skews conservative, does McCain really think they're going to buy this?

Two things are remarkable here. First, that McCain genuinely seems to believe that Islamic extremism poses not just a threat, but a threat to the very existence of the West. This is science fiction territory. Second, that he apparently can't come up with any better answer to Fortune's question about economic threats. Not energy, not high taxes, not runaway entitlement growth, not healthcare, not globalization, not any of a dozen plausible answers that would have gone down fine with his base. Instead, "His eyes are narrowed. Nine seconds of silence, ten seconds, 11." And then he came up with Islamic extremism.

It's been pretty obvious for a while that McCain is going to try and turn the entire election into a referendum on national security, painting Obama as a 21st century Neville Chamberlain. This seems like an early sign of just how far he's planning to take this. Luckily, Obama seems to be ready for it.

Kevin Drum 11:31 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (73)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

But it's true! Don't you see?

A terrorist attack will lead to:
>the election of another Republican administration, which will lead inevitably to:
>the destruction of our economy.

It ain't rocket science, folks.


Posted by: thersites on June 23, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

It's too bad McCain does not talk about runaway government spending. It is the one issue which he can use to simultaneously argue his maverick status while appealing to the conservative voting base. McCain has been a true conservative when it comes to domestic spending. This makes him opposed to Bush, but for conservative reasons.

In addition, a focus on spending would make McCain the change candidate.

Barack Obama, not John McCain, promises more of Bush's liberal economic policies. President Bush increased non-defense domestic spending more than any President since Lyndon Johnson, signing into law Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind, which more than doubled the Department of Education's budget.

It is strange how Bush increased non-defense domestic spending more than any other President in the past forty years, and central argument of the Democratic platform is that he did not increase spending enough.

It is even stranger that McCain does not run harder on this issue, which places him to the right of Obama and Bush and proves that he, not Obama, is the true candidate for change.

We can either have more Bush-Obama Big Government liberalism, or we can have change in the form of John McCain.

Posted by: B Lair on June 23, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

If you know nothing about domestic policy and care even less, "Islamic extremism" is a way to change the subject.

And I'm not joking, I really think that is more-or-less what's going on with that answer.

Posted by: riffle on June 23, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

The economic plan is simple: Keep taxes low, cut back on regulation, and reduce gas prices by eliminating the gas tax (currently about 22% of the price of gas). However, you can't benefit from any of those things when you're dead. B. Hussein Obama doesn't have a plan to keep you safe. Heck, given that the Democrat Party favors the death tax, more dead Americans is probably good for the treasury bottom line.

Posted by: Al on June 23, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

it might be science fiction, but it's also accepted dogma on the right.

Posted by: cleek on June 23, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

It's too bad McCain does not talk about runaway government spending

But then, he need, you know, an idea to restrain government spending. Right now, his plan is to (1) cut taxes for the rich, (2) spend more on war, and (3) limit earmarks (which amounts to making piddling reductions in spending on infrastructure). He's less fiscally restrained than Bush, let alone Obama.

But go ahead, support the candidate you want him to be, rather than the one he is--that worked out so well with Bush, didn't it?

Posted by: rea on June 23, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

As a proponent of virtually every piece of Bush Administration economic policy, it is hard for McCain to back away from that ledge. Any discussion of the real challenges facing our economy would only serve to highlight the Bush economic incompetence, and McCain's role in enabling it.

By tracing every threat back to the terror threat...oh, sorry, the Islamic terror threat...McCain can try to prop up the myth that the Bushies, and by extension McCain, are strong on national security. It's the longest of long shots, but it's the only shot he has.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 23, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

McCain has wisely decided to talk about only those issues he know anything about. These consist of increasing our presence in the oil fields and how to have someone else make BBQ.

Posted by: jen flowers on June 23, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

According to Wikipedia, Al, fuel taxes account for 11% of the price of gasoline http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_taxes_in_the_United_States.

Torn between keeping you honest and ignoring you. Now I'm back to ignoring you.

Posted by: blogthemagnificentferret on June 23, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know for certain whether or not "Al" is a computer program, or a psychology student, or something else? An on-running inside joke by some of the regulars? I mean, claiming we need even less regulation is like saying we need to build a fence around the edge of the flat earth so people don't fall off into space. He can't be real.

Posted by: DH Walker on June 23, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

If you've read Our Dumb Century, you probably remember the Onion's summary of the battle of messages in the 1980 campaign:

Carter: "Let's Talk Better Mileage"
Reagan: "Kill the Bastards"

It just continues, doesn't it?

Posted by: Andy James on June 23, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Blogferret: That fails to account for all the taxes paid along the way, including taxes on oil companies, taxes on distributors, taxes on gas stations themselves, etc. If it moves, the government taxes it, then wastes it on things like corn ethanol and third-generation welfare families.

Posted by: Al on June 23, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

McCain: Well, I would think that the absolute gravest threat is the struggle that we're in against Islamic extremism, which can affect, if they prevail, our very existence. Another successful attack on the United States of America could have devastating consequences.

Actually an attack on Iran would probably have an equally disastrous effect on our economy and McBomb seems to fail to realize that. A paper by Clawson and Eisenstadt from the neo-con Institute For Near East Studies, called The Last Resort: Consequences of Preventive Military Action Against Iran, could cause fuel prices to skyrocket and the world economy collapse. Apparently its worth it according to these guys.

Posted by: Jet on June 23, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Is his answer to every question "Islamic extremism"?"

C'mon Kevin. Rudy is his wingman now. Of course this is the only answer other than "9/11."

And in a twisted way it may be true--another attack (or perceived threat of attack) and this country will throw an even more staggering number of $$$$ at phantoms instead of actual threats, driving this country further down into the economic death spiral it is in, maybe even to a point of no return.

Posted by: bubba on June 23, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK


Republicans for Obama!

Posted by: Barry Goldwater on June 23, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Well Al, considering how much we subsidize an auto-based culture: home loans not tied to efficient landuse policy, loads and loads of free parking, subsidies for oil and drilling. Perhaps getting a little bit back in taxes makes sense.

And you better believe I support the tax on inheritance, as did quite a few of our founding fathers (Jefferson believed in a 100% tax on inheritance) in order to prevent the sort of class-based structure that England had and against which we fought a little thing called the American Revolution.

But it's okay, you've proved yourself to be as un-American as all the other Republicans. So I expect nothing less from you.

Posted by: Christopher on June 23, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I dont think, as Thers does, that another terrorist attack would lead to a GOP win, it would show that Bush/Cheney national security policies have failed making all their crowing about how good they are at national security...moot.

Posted by: Jet on June 23, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

It's too bad McCain does not talk about runaway government spending. It is the one issue which he can use to simultaneously argue his maverick status while appealing to the conservative voting base. McCain has been a true conservative when it comes to domestic spending. This makes him opposed to Bush, but for conservative reasons.

The reason McCain can't talk about runaway government spending, B Liar, is because he wants to continue spending $1 billion of American taxpayer money *every single month* from now until, well, perpetuity. Your Tourettic emphasis on "nondefense" spending belies the Achilles heel of this, and every single, Republican administration since Eisenhower. You want to slash spending that benefits American citizens so you can play soldier & blow shit up. The fact that you completely ignore the astronomical bill that Bush & his little neocon cheerleaders have run up in Iraq -- and that McCain wants to continue adding to -- just shows to go what a disingenuous little troll you are.

Posted by: junebug on June 23, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

The Fortune interviewer asked McCain and Obama: "What do you see as the gravest long-term threat to the U.S. economy?"

It is important to realize that the phrase "the U.S. economy" has quite different meanings for McCain and Obama.

For McCain, "the U.S. economy" means the wealth and power of America's Ultra-Rich Ruling Class, Inc. -- a.k.a. "the top one percent", a.k.a. "Bush's base", a.k.a. the military-industrial-petroleum complex.

Continued and ever increasing use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, combined with a more than half-trillion-dollar-per-year military budget aimed at domination of overseas oil and gas supplies, combined with increasing control of the mass media by handful of giant corporations, combined with a huge transfer of taxation from the ultra-rich to everyone else, etc. -- these are the cornerstones of "protecting" and "strengthening" the "U.S. economy" as McCain sees it. Which is to say, protecting and increasing the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful.

For Obama, "the U.S. economy" has a somewhat broader meaning, more in line with what most Americans understand that phrase to mean, and his policy proposals are therefore more oriented to producing more broad-based, sustainable economic well-being for the American people as a whole.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 23, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

B Lair: Barack Obama, not John McCain, promises more of Bush's liberal economic policies.

You're an ass. Clinton's "liberal" economic policies resulted in a strong dollar and a Federal budget surplus. Bush's economic policies, or rather Bush's one and only economic policy - deficits be damned, millionaires need more tax cuts - has resulted in $3.7-trillion in new government debt.

Al: However, you can't benefit from any of those things when you're dead. B. Hussein Obama doesn't have a plan to keep you safe.

You're an ass. After five years of war, McCain can't yet distinguish between the Sunnis of "Al Qaida in Iraq" and the Shiites running Iran. I can, and I'm just a construction worker who reads the newspaper; he's a United States Senator, but he can't. Pitiful. What the Hell does he do all day, play Solitaire? And you think that fool is going to adequately defend you against the dread Islamic Terrists?

Clueless John McCain doesn't have any plan to keep anything safe except the bank accounts of multi-millionaires. And because he is an incompetent, foul-tempered war-monger, McCain is a hundred times more likely than Obama to pursue ignorant, belligerent policies which will drive away what allies we've got left, and which will lead to more terrorism in the U.S.A.

Posted by: W. Kiernan on June 23, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Two things are remarkable here. First, that McCain genuinely seems to believe that Islamic extremism poses not just a threat, but a threat to the very existence of the West.

Actually, since he's changed his position on nearly every important or contentious issue facing the nation, I doubt that McCain really believes in anything other than pandering to get elected.

Islamic terrorism has been a problem for the U.S., potentially, for decades but has resulted in direct attacks only twice in the last 15 years.The threat of further direct or indirect attacks on America remains the major foreign policy issue as long as we give unconditional support to Israel, which McCain is more likely than Obama to continue, and as long as we are tethered to oil and, most important, offer material support to the House of Saud, probably the most hated regime in the ME.

Posted by: Jeff II on June 23, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Christopher

Agreed. It never ceases to amaze me how many conservatives, who supposedly praise and advocate rewarding hard work, innovation, success, and everything else that drives capitalism, also support just handing gobs of money to people who haven't done any of those things. They always complain that liberals hate and want to burden the successful by taxing the rich, but they apply the same arguments to the rich who didn't get that way by being successful.

It's hugely bogus, illogical, and contradictory of their stated pro-capitalism "principles". The only explanation of its inclusion in their ideology is rank gullibility.

Posted by: DH Walker on June 23, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

"McCain genuinely seems to believe that Islamic extremism poses not just a threat, but a threat to the very existence of the West. This is science fiction territory"

I don't know - his opinion seems only one or two degrees of magnitude less stupid as that of Mr. Drum, Yglesias, Marshall, Ezra Klein, 100% of the NYT staff, Washington Post, TNR, (and all the mainstream media) when they advocated invading Iraq.

Wasn't the liberal hawk position that Islamic terrorism was a grave enough threat to the West, that we should overthrow and modernize the autocratic governments of the Middle East (starting with Iraq and hoping for dominoes) in the hopes that democracy and representation would lead to less radicalization in the Middle East, and less terrorism?

Liberal-hawk justification certainly wasn't WMDs, as I remember it. If Islamic terrorism wasn't a grave threat facing the US, how could someone support a war which had as it's most probable outcome the deaths of (at least) tens of thousands of innocent people?

(I have my own theories for how liberal hawks could simultaneously believe that terrorism wasn't a grave threat AND that we should overthrow governments in Muslim countries anyway - but they aren't pretty).

Posted by: flubber on June 23, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

While there's no question that McCain is nothing more than a blathering idiot on this score, it's only fair to point out that Obama's gonna have to do much, much better than this. I'm sorry, but pimping ethanol is not "getting serious about our energy policy." It's is not merely pandering. It's destructive to the environment, and it's running up food costs.

Posted by: junebug e-mail Juba on June 23, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

The continued decline of American living standards will be rationalized as a consequence of preventing the destruction of our very existence. It is a lie. The destruction of American living standards is required to reduce the economic power of the middle class, which threatens the political power of the very rich ruling class much more than Isalmic extremism ever could.

Posted by: Brojo on June 23, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

"change in the form of John McCain" = billions for EADS, instead of billions for Boeing

Posted by: cha cha cha on June 23, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

"It's as if McCain is trying to become a parody of himself here. Is his answer to every question "Islamic extremism"?"

50% Subject+verb+"Islamic extremism"
50% Subject+verb+"I was a p.o.w."

Don't underestimate the fear/pity vote.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on June 23, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is the Manchurian Candidate, brainwashed 40 years ago by the Friends of Jane Fonda for just this nefarious purpose: to so cooperate in the election of an Islamofascist Mole as President, that the Very Existence of Western Civilization will be imperiled from within. Can't you see that!

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on June 23, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell? Don't politicians try to move towards the center after they get nominated? McCain is doing a full-on Giuliani impression with that quote. Did he forget about what happened to the original?

Posted by: Joshua on June 23, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Hey B Lair: Way to go there with the self parody. Yes, conservatism never fails, people fail conservatism. Bush is a failure? Well, then, he must be a liberal, and was never a conservative at all. "Bush-Obama Big Government liberalism" - now there's one for the ages, probably one we're going to hear a lot. Did you make that up yourself or read it somewhere over at Townhall.com?

Posted by: Theron on June 23, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Not just science fiction territory -- BAD scifi territory!!

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on June 23, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

It's too bad McCain does not talk about runaway government spending

Interestingly, McCain proposed a $300 million earmark for next-gen battery development today, to underwrite development.

So, in one proposal, he's:
1) acknowledged Obama's premise that energy is critical,
2) increased government spending la corporate welfare, and
3) created another earmark - which is, of course, a flip-flop from last week.

Posted by: Harry R. Sohl on June 23, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

nine eleven
nine eleven
nine eleven
nine eleven
....

Posted by: An Outhouse on June 23, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Quoth Al:

"and reduce gas prices by eliminating the gas tax (currently about 22% of the price of gas)"

I really really really want to move to where Al lives. The Federal Gas Tax is 18.4 cents per gallon (Source: American Petroleum Institute). If that's 22% of his gas costs, my handy dandy calculator widget tells me that he's paying a bit under $0.84 per gallon when the rest of us are paying upwards of $4.00.

Or perhaps I should be kind to Al and assume he's including State taxes. Of course, the President and Congress can't have any effect on this, so it's amusing for him to suggest that Candidate McCain should base a campaign on that, but amusement is what many conservative economic doctrines are best for. After all, last I checked, the bent mirror funhouses that offer the same level of predictive value are most often found in amusement PARKS, so amusement must be the goal.

So let's assume he lives in the state with the highest state gas tax in the country, Wyoming at 32.1 cents per gallon. (Average is around 20 cents give or take, but, remember, I'm being kind.) Combining state and federal gas taxes, and assuming Al isn't lying so that the gas tax is 22% of his gasoline bill, he's paying $2.29 a gallon. Or a bit more than half of what I'm paying.

There are any number of conservative economic talking points with which reasonable people can disagree. But if one of them is that a gas tax holiday makes sense because it would significantly lower the cost of gasoline for the consumer, one needs to at least live in something like the real world. I'm willing to assume that we don't need the road and infrastructure projects for which the gas tax pays if it will make my libertarian friends happy as a starting point for the discussion. I'm just not willing to assume that facts don't count.

Posted by: Ron on June 23, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK
Is [McCain's] answer to every question "Islamic extremism"?

I think he answers some questions with "We need a holiday from the gasoline tax."

Posted by: cowalker on June 23, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Considering he has done next to nothing to change the situation, I don't think 'runaway government spending' is a great issue for McCain to campaign on. He had one claim to fiscal sanity in recent history, which was voting against Bush's tax cuts. Of course, he has since recanted that vote and, in a full-on pander to GOP anti-tax jihadists, promised to make those same tax cuts permanent.

The problem with the GOP is they don’t have the courage of their stated convictions. They say they want to rein in government spending, but in practice all they do is cut revenue collection and then keep on spending, which they finance with debt. They never follow through with the spending cuts which would make the tax cuts revenue neutral and actually reduce the size of government.

Of course, they don't cut spending because they know it's a sure fire political loser. The GOP is ideologically indisposed to denying the Pentagon anything it wants. That leaves Medicare and Social Security as the only two budget areas in which to make up some serious ground, and those are popular programs.

Posted by: Joe Bob on June 23, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think we might be lucky that Hon. Sen. McCain is not the Manchurian candidate that President* Bush turned out to be. Unlike the President*, Senator McCain trusts his instincts and is mostly immune to handlers and probably believes that he personally has a fairly comprehensive grasp of the issues and the solutions to America's problems.

Posted by: on June 23, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Al - did anybody just add a couple dollars in gas taxes? No, they didn't. Four dollar gas is not the fault of gas taxes. It's the fault of head-in-the-sand, oil-is-infinite, gas-mileage-is-for-sissies, mass-transit-is-Communist, we-ain't-listening-to-no-stinkin'-conservationist, sneering-at-alternative-energy, turn-my-thermostat-to-85-in-the-winter, the-oil-companies-are-God right wing loony politics. It didn't have to be this way, but we had way too many people like Dick "We can't conserve our way to energy independence" Cheney running the show.

Posted by: Theron on June 23, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

I think we might be lucky that Hon. Sen. McCain is not the Manchurian candidate that President* Bush turned out to be. Unlike the President*, Senator McCain trusts his instincts and is mostly immune to handlers and probably believes that he personally has a fairly comprehensive grasp of the issues and the solutions to America's problems.

Posted by: jhm on June 23, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

No need to worry about the "Al's" of America; people who's sole focus is the magical, King Arthur-like ability to 'keep us safe' are physical, moral and intellectual cowards who live in fear. I get the impression that none of them live anywhere near even the most unlikely possible target for a terrorist attack. He's probably too afraid to park his car and get out of it to vote.

Posted by: The Third Policeman on June 23, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Let's follow the 'gas tax holiday' concept to its logical conclusion. We suspend the federal gas tax. That gas tax is dedicated to highway funding. The highway fund then has a revenue shortfall of X billions of dollars. In the not-too-far-off future it seems like we would be burning up what we saved on the gas tax holiday in traffic we might not otherwise have been sitting in.

Meanwhile, this: Via the supremacy clause, congress could forbid state gas taxes., while technically true, is preposterous. Just because you forbid gas taxes doesn't mean the funding need the gas tax fulfills goes away. In my own state, gas taxes are constitutionally dedicated to road funding. Roads and bridges still have to be built and maintained. If the states can't have a gas tax, they still have property and income taxes. The revenue willwill Also, it seems to me that from an anti-tax, conservative point-of-view a gas tax is the least worst kind: a user tax. Don't like the tax? You have legal options for avoiding it!

Posted by: Joe Bob on June 23, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Let me get this right. One side of the Republican Party attack machine wants to paint Obama as Neville Chamberlain. Another side of the Republican Party smear machine is demonizing his wife and then will paint Obama as the noted libertine Wilt Chamberlain....

I wonder whether the gay rumors will soon come out as yet another side of the Republican smear machine paints Obama as Richard Chamberlain.....

Posted by: cybersophist on June 23, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

That gas tax is dedicated to highway funding. The highway fund then has a revenue shortfall of X billions of dollars. In the not-too-far-off future it seems like we would be burning up what we saved on the gas tax holiday in traffic we might not otherwise have been sitting in.

Ah, but you're missing the magic part: because there will be no more money to fund highways, they'll be sold off to private companies (because privatization is always good) that will charge us tolls to use them. So we'll only be paying $2.00 a gallon for gas, but each trip back and forth to work will cost us $50. But it will be okay because it's not a tax, and only taxes are bad. Fees paid to private corporations are good and The American Way.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on June 23, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Privatized highways will become known as Troll Roads.

Posted by: Brojo on June 23, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Obamas answer is also somewhat worrisome. Yes, he gets that peakoil could be a very great threat. But "alternative fuels" is usually interpreted as code for Ethanol. At least McSames battery prize (the fed government sponsoring a huge prize is bizarre) at least acknowledges that electrification of transport is one of the major responses needed.

Posted by: bigTom on June 23, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

If we don't have a gas tax and stop repairing bridges and they all fall down, more people will benefit from repealing the death tax.


You're welcome.

Posted by: Douglas Watts on June 23, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

From the article:

We meet at campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va., in a conference room on the M floor - M for McCain. (M is one above 12. The whole floor was renamed and relabeled by the campaign, right down to the buttons on the elevators. McCain is superstitious, his spokeswoman explained; it's a fighter-pilot thing. But isn't M the 13th letter in the ... ? Never mind.)

Wow.

Posted by: Steve on June 23, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

What is needed is a MUCH HIGHER gasoline tax, not a lower one. The number one thing that the government could do that would actually improve our energy security would be to put a very substantial ($4 - $5 per gallon) federal tax on every gallon of gasoline sold. (The economic impact could be completely offset by changes to social security and EITC). The result would be to increase the incentive for producing every possible alternative to gasoline. This would include not just ethanol, but also diesel fuel, electric cars, biodiesel, hybrids, hydrogen fuel, etc. At the same time, it would encourage telecommuting, shorter commutes, etc. that would reduce demand. It would be a win/win for everybody but the Saudis, and wouldn't cost the government a nickel. Yes, it would have some short term effects on people like me who do long distance commutes, but over the longer term we would have to move closer to our place of work, telecommute more, or change the kind of car we drive. And that's the kind of change that will actually get us off of foreign oil. Although opening the OCS to drilling on a state option basis is a fundamentally good idea, we can't drill our way out of the problem. Other simple ideas that would help: a) stop buying oil for the strategic petroleum reserve, b) raise the CAFE standards, and c) convert the entire federal fleet of cars (over a few years) to hybrids or some other form of power.

Posted by: billinvirginia on June 23, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

The only reason Republicans offer to lower your taxes, is so you don't realize the fact that your wages are going nowhere. They define lower taxes by simply keeping your wages down. With inflation, commodities prices and energy costs, we are making less now than we did 8 years ago! How this country doesn't see these things as a tax is beyond my comprehension!

Posted by: Marie on June 23, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

billinvirginia wrote: "... opening the OCS to drilling on a state option basis is a fundamentally good idea ..."

No, it is a fundamentally BAD idea.

Fundamentally, we need to phase out ALL fossil fuel use as quickly as possible, because the carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are quickly making this planet inhospitable to life, let alone to technologically advanced human civilization. Not only "foreign" oil, ALL oil. And not only oil, but natural gas and -- most importantly -- coal. The LAST thing we need to be doing is bringing new supplies of fossil fuels online, whether they be offshore oil, shale oil, tar sands or whatever.

Having said that, you have the right idea about putting a hefty tax on gasoline. However, the tax should apply to ALL fossil fuels, not just gasoline or oil -- in other words, a carbon tax.

I am glad to see that Obama's answer to the question about the "the gravest long-term threat to the U.S. economy" went directly to the problem of fossil fuel energy supplies. Our reliance on fossil fuels -- which currently supply about 80 percent of the USA's primary energy -- is not only the gravest threat to our economy, but is an existential threat to human civilization.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 23, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Another another terrorist attack? Because we've already had the anthrax attacks, which President Bush called, "a second wave of terrorist attacks upon our country."

Posted by: croatoan on June 23, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

It's shocking how close McCain's real take on the economy is to the Onion's McCain take on the economy:

"Once we win this ideological war on radical Islamic extremism which will rage for thousands of years, then we will concentrate on the economy."

http://www.theonion.com/content/whitehousewar/economy

Posted by: Doug on June 23, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

"50% Subject+verb+"Islamic extremism"
50% Subject+verb+"I was a p.o.w."

Don't underestimate the fear/pity vote."

Posted by: Steve Paradis on June 23, 2008
--------------------------

Subject verb wedge-issue

Sounds like Veep Rudy Giuliani.

Posted by: MarkH on June 23, 2008 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

This reminds me of the episode of "Family Guy" where Lois discovered that she'd get cheered if she'd just answer EVERY question with "Nine Eleven".

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy this argument that "th' terrarists" are THE transcendent, all-knowing threat to the West when I've lived thru the Cold War with thousands of nuclear ICBMs pointed at us every day, with reminders that we could be annihilated in nuclear fire with *maybe* an hour's notice. They *always* say this about whatever "enemy" we're told to fear.

It's the worst sort of fear-mongering- it's propaganda.

Posted by: s117 on June 23, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, I hope McCain keeps it up. Running as a one-trick scaremonger worked out so well for Rudy in the primary, I'd love to see how it goes in the primary.

Posted by: TW Andrews on June 23, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

It is strange how Bush increased non-defense domestic spending more than any other President in the past forty years, and central argument of the Democratic platform is that he did not increase spending enough.

We can either have more Bush-Obama Big Government liberalism, or we can have change in the form of John McCain.

Heh, this is stronger message than anything McCain's put together, and would be consistent with McCain's image (though maybe not history). You should get a job advising his campaign ;-)

Posted by: TW Andrews on June 23, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

This article is mad at the wrong comment. MCCAIN CHIEF ADVISOR: ANOTHER ATTACK ON THE U.S. WOULD
"CERTAINLY" BE A "BIG ADVANTAGE" TO MCCAIN".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/23/mccain-adviser-another-91_n_108671.html

Read those words again. Now try to remember YOUR experience of 9/11, and try to think of what it means for someone to say *that* would be a good thing for their guy. This is literally the advocating of domestic terrorism...against Americans...for political advantage.

Who knows who might be encouraged by this (a sleazy donor, a military corp that sees profit, a weak-minded supporter). These comments are treasonous, and the fact that an exposed (Mccain knows he said this and did not fire him) terrorist sympathizer is Mccain's top advisor clearly illustrates Mccain is not suited for ANY public office.

Posted by: nick on June 23, 2008 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie Black, one of John McCain's most senior campaign advisors, thinks that another successful terrorist attack on this nation "would be a big advantage" for his candidate.
And he thinks that the assasination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, while "unfortunate," definitely "helped us" (meaning the McCain campaign in the New Hampshire primary).
This is despicable.

Posted by: on June 23, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

An army of boxcutter-wielding A-rabs could pretty much cause us to go tits up, Johnny.

Yupper.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 23, 2008 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

steve: McCain is superstitious, his spokeswoman explained; it's a fighter-pilot thing. But isn't M the 13th letter in the ... ? Never mind.


Mr. McCain has dozens of superstitions and rituals, many stemming from his days as a Navy fighter pilot, a notoriously superstitious bunch. He carries a lucky feather, a lucky compass and a lucky penny — not to mention a lucky nickel and a lucky quarter.

- Wash. Times 4/16/08

wow

Posted by: mr. irony on June 24, 2008 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's full of crap. The greatest threat to America is obviously gay marriage. Ask any Repub!!!

Posted by: JohnMcC on June 24, 2008 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

"He carries a lucky feather, a lucky compass and a lucky penny — not to mention a lucky nickel and a lucky quarter."

And unfortunately for him, he's also carrying around a very very very unlucky Bush endorsement that will cancel out all those 'lucky' coins.

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on June 24, 2008 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Good afternoon. There is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry. Help me! Could you help me find sites on the: Anti-allergic. I found only this - [url=http://genericphenergan.info]phenergan dm syrup liquid[/url]. Frames are light yet tough, many with soft touch, non toxic, anti allergic temple tips and nose bridge components for maximum comfort. Phytomedicine, volume issue pages authors-n. :-) Thanks in advance. Lynton from Sweden.

Posted by: Lynton on June 7, 2009 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry. The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it. Help me! Can not find sites on the: Vintage Lesbian. I found only this - free lesbian pictures. Lesbian vampire killers genre - action comedy featured horror. I can wait till there are more dyke movies with this. Thanks for the help :mad:, Jerold from Ireland.

Posted by: Jerold on June 11, 2009 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

ou deserve to be celebrated for the special woman you are and all that you have to offer. Mori Lee bridesmaid dresses are made with the same care as our wedding gowns.

Posted by: alice on September 14, 2009 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

These comments are treasonous, and the fact that an exposed (Mccain knows he said this and did not fire him) terrorist sympathizer is sexy lingerie Mccain's top advisor clearly illustrates Mccain is not suited for ANY public office.

Posted by: Siman on September 29, 2009 at 4:10 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, it's more than a year later and it's interesting to see how things are playing out as far as the global economy, health care and the threat of the Islams...yes, McCain is an idiot for saying the above especially in regards to the economy, but he may not be too crazy to some people...sexy wholesale lingerie

Posted by: NatC123 on December 5, 2009 at 3:46 AM | PERMALINK

When I open your site in your browser, Safari 4 in Mac OS X, some elements of the page and off to the side and the text is broken: ( Please help me How can I remove the problem?

Posted by: Single Russian Girls on December 31, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Hello. Make a decision, even if it's wrong. Help me! Could you help me find sites on the: Student interest loan. I found only this - student loan consolidation interest rates. Student loan, since always, canada has been an lender for lender, running students to profit many organizations in loan with academic taxes. Most college websites will all affect that you help while trying buildings online pilot, but going the graduate to ask generally can suffer you having to help also private when you are not not of credit, student loan. With love :cool:, Deman from Taiwan.

Posted by: Deman on February 12, 2010 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I carefully read your blog,Content is very rich, i learned a lot, thank you

Posted by: charmever on August 18, 2010 at 4:53 AM | PERMALINK

This reminds me of the episode of "Family Guy" where Lois discovered that she'd get cheered if she'd just answer EVERY question with "Nine Eleven".

Posted by: limak lara on October 4, 2010 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

What a suberb article man. Good share. But I am having problems with this feeds. I didn't succeed to subscribe. Is there any person else experiencing similar issue with this rss feed?

Posted by: Altagracia Bednarczyk on November 13, 2010 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

I do believe this is certainly an intresting post and choose to share with you this web site i discovered that sell cheap sex aid

Posted by: Larae Nolle on November 13, 2010 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly