"Like Any Other Politician"


Mr. Obama is running as a reformer who is seeking to reduce the influence of special interests. But like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views. And when it comes to domestic ethanol, almost all of which is made from corn, he also has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry at a time when energy policy is a point of sharp contrast between the parties and their presidential candidates.

I do not write this as a rebuke, but as a reality check. Pols are pols and do what they do.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    When monied supporters support Obama (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:45:29 AM EST
    they cease being special interests and morph into agents of change. All you have to do is change the definition. 1.5 million people financing a campaign becomes the moral equivalent of 100 million taxpayers doing the same.

    I think the blinders are coming off slowly but surely. Not sure if that helps or hurts his electoral chances.

    HIding behind the 1.5 million donors (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Yotin on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:07:15 AM EST
    Among the 1.5 million donors are some of the largest contributors, bundlers and special interests. What is so bad about it is the contributors of the small donors in effect are helping better the chances of the candidate of the special interests.

    can anyone help me with Obama's claims (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:31:18 AM EST
    about the number of "SMALL DONORS" his campaign has?

    What is the definition of small donor that he is using?  All I hear his campaign talk about is the average size of a donation being under $100.  But, I never se any stats about how many of his small donors make TOTAL donations of under $100 versus making MULTIPLE donations of under $100 each.

    A donor who sends in $75 per donation, but donates multiple times is NOT someone i would consider to be a small donor.  But, I bet Obama counts them that way based on his claims ofthe avg donation being under $100.


    Someone here posted a link to the bundlers (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by Aqua Blue on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:46:41 AM EST
    ...don't recall who...but the bundler list shocked me...corporate, corporate, corporate...some of worst re corruption and rip-off companies.  (exp. Carlyle Group, United Health Insurance, Citigroup)

    I wish that I had saved the link.


    opensecrets.org (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by waldenpond on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:59:19 AM EST
    opensecrets.  Donors  $5.9 mill.

    Not just where he gets his money, who is he seeking money for.  Obama requested... 4 million for corn ethanol projects.

    I questioned his committment to leaving Iraq once I reviewed the military earmarks he has requested.  Someone else could categorize, but to me it looks like 67 mill.  (everything from alternate energy Humvees, airburst system, cybersecurity, 20 m is for the Rock Arsenal facility)  Of course the Repubs can't use that one against him.


    It was funny watching (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:55:28 AM EST
    Richardson and Biden try to rattle off those numbers yesterday on the Sunday shows. I don't think they both said the same thing, and I'm not sure either one got it right.  Richardson eventually settled on an $86 per donor number that he seemd to pull from....midair.

    Over at Huffington Post (5.00 / 5) (#118)
    by talex on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:00:31 AM EST
    the other day there was a link to a MSM article that said that Obama, besides his small donors, has also amassed the largest stable of Big Donors in the history of the primaries.

    So once again we get happy talk from Obama. Half the story. More BS.

    He hides from his ditching of public Financing under cover and the BS that it is his small donors who are 'public financing'. What a hoot! And then yet he never mentions his huge corporate type contributors. He never mentions that the owners of those corps who max out at $2300 can give through other people or employees or through other organizations. No we are too dumb to know about that.

    Thankfully 'some' bloggers called him on his BS excuse for ditching public financing. Even the MSM called him on it. They said it was laughable. They pointed out how Obama has a long history of pushing for public financing and how he pledged to go that route this election. Of course that was ONLY BECAUSE he thought he would not be able to raise much. And then by accident he was able to and in typical Obama fashion threw Public Financing under the bus just like he throws any inconvenience under the bus.


    This link plus (none / 0) (#182)
    by suisser on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:30:00 AM EST
    Open Secrets is all I've got on Obama and $$

    This is the truth: (4.50 / 8) (#95)
    by talex on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:48:06 AM EST
    "the blinders are coming off slowly but surely"

    Yes but they are coming off more slowly for some than others.

    On Saturday over at (Not So)OpenLeft.com,  Mimikatz wrote one of the most apologetic Obama front page posts one has ever read. Of course being a true blue Obamabot she blamed everything on everyone else - not on Obama. Nothing like emulating your hero.

    Fortunately even the most ardent Obama supporters attacked her on it and called her explanations of the post BS. Some even swearing off Obama if he didn't change course on FISA immunity.

    Here at Talkleft who swore allegiance to Obama we are getting a steady diet of this:

    "Pols are pols and do what they do."

    That is not a defense. Nor is it a rebuke. We are told it is a reality check. A reality check! Whose reality?

    If you apply that to EVERY pol we have then are you not just throwing up your arms and giving up on accountability? Aren't you just saying they do what they do - So Be It.

    Aren't you just saying in this case it is Obama who I refuse to criticize so therefore I will use one of his own excuses for him:

    "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself."

    And then backing that up with - "Good for him".

    One cannot hold any other Pol accountable for anything if they are going to let Obama slide on everything he does. That does not wash.

    I give Jeralyn credit for the other day when she said, and I paraphrase, that she doesn't want a centrist president, and that she wants someone who will pull us to the Left. She was showing some accountability with her post. I think anyone on the fence tip toeing around should follow her lead.


    hey (4.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:53:58 AM EST
    I gotta stand up for BTD here. BTD has been of the thought all along that Obama was just a pol. He never idolized him and even came to realize that he has huge electoral problems towards the end of the primary. This blog is one of the few that believes in holding Obama somewhat accountable for his past statements.

    IMO saying (none / 0) (#137)
    by talex on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:08:43 AM EST
    "Pols are pols and do what they do."

    is weak tea.

    Yeah we all know pols are pols - some better than others. But the rest of us still criticize them and try to hold them accountable. BTD hasn't crossed that threshold with Obama.

    To not idolize is not a substitute for holding their feet to the fire. Case in point: When Obama backed peddled on 'immunity' where was the outrage around here? Only in the comments section (other than Jeralyn if I recall).

    Some are quick to point out what others write about and don't write about. Heh.


    I disagree with you here (none / 0) (#115)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:59:46 AM EST
    That is not a defense. Nor is it a rebuke. We are told it is a reality check. A reality check! Whose reality?

    If you apply that to EVERY pol we have then are you not just throwing up your arms and giving up on accountability? Aren't you just saying they do what they do - So Be It.

    I think it is the opposite.  Being aware of the reality is the only way we can hold them accountable. Blindly assuming they are always acting in our interests is just wrong. Even the best of them have to be watched continuously, as Obama proved last week.


    Oh come on! (none / 0) (#148)
    by talex on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:14:36 AM EST
    "Blindly assuming they are always acting in our interests is just wrong."

    I never said that nor did I even come close to saying that.

    I am saying the opposite if you read my post again. I am agreeing with the last sentence of your post, and do so with almost every post I make around here in regards to Obama. I'd just like others to do the same and not hide behind - 'He is our nominee'.


    You're right. I'm sorry to imply (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:48:54 AM EST
    you said that.  It was a general statement about what I have read elsewhere. Sloppy of me.



    Oh how the mighty have fallen! (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by angie on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:47:37 AM EST
    IMO, when the only defense left of THE ONE is that he is "like any other politician" the wolves are at the door.  

    Excuse me (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:48:45 AM EST
    this is not a defense. This is a reality check. One I have employed for many years.

    No excuse me (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by angie on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:53:48 AM EST
    I wasn't accusing you of defending him, but the NYT.

    He was voted into his position... (5.00 / 8) (#189)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:34:38 AM EST
    based on being a "different" kind of politician. Everybody knew that he was inexperienced and had some judgement issues, but the majority of people who came out and voted for him, who dug and gave him money, did so because HE said that he was not going to pander, not going to play by Washington rules. He was new and different. Cynics like me noticed that he was running a very old style campaign - the kind that was run during the heyday of the Chicago machine. No holds barred. We also noticed that he was saying whatever needed to be said to attract the most votes. If an issue was controversial, he firmly came down on neither side. But the media played along, refusing to highlight the negativity of his campaign, the vagueness of his message. They attacked Clinton for her supposed negativity while ignoring the fact that much of the negativity of her campaign was being spun into negativity by his.

    The reality check should have come months ago. It's too late now. I knew this would happen, nobody can keep up the illusion of being all things to all people for very long. But I thought it would happen later, after he was in office. You have been more reasonable than most, in that you have not pretended he was a "change" man, but even you didn't point out the pure hypocrisy of many of his attacks on Clinton or the media's complicity in making those attacks. I would say "But it was Clinton, this could have been expected", but the media were also responsible for filtering out other qualified candidates by encouraging this battle between a woman and a black man.

    We have been manipulated into this position by the media, and I have no idea how we can even avoid it next time. They choose out candidates, not by some overarching plot, but by the simple expediency of what makes the best story, what sells the most airtime or newpaper or gets the most hits. I have never been more discouraged about the prospects of America. If the media don't find it in their best interests to tell the truth, if they choose to slant news to get more viewers/readers, then how can people get enough information to make an informed decision?


    Sounds (none / 0) (#176)
    by talex on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:26:43 AM EST
    to Chris Bowerish. Too 'Boys Will Be Boys' when Johnny, or Barack in this case, misbehaves.

    Speaking for me only.


    Awesome (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:49:26 AM EST
    Another "How horrible is Obama?  Let me count the ways" thread.  

    He's not horrible (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:53:27 AM EST
    He's a politician. To the extent that he supports policies I agree with, I will support hime.  I just don't want to be the target of false advertising.

    Or rather the (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:55:49 AM EST
    willing consumer of false advertising.  I can't avoid being the target of such.

    We get the politicians (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:04:52 AM EST
    we deserve.

    People deride politicians because they lie or they are cowards.  

    But they ignore that the reason they lie is because the voters encourage lying and discourage telling the truth.   The reason that politicians don't take risky positions is because we punish them for doing so.  

    How many Liberals want to hear the truth about free trade?  How many Conservatives want to hear the truth about our brutal foreign policy?

    Politicians are trained to never say things that will upset the voters, even if the voters need to hear it.

    It's a fundamental problem with Republics.


    Ah, Yes But By His Own Words Obama Told Us (5.00 / 14) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:18:31 AM EST
    he would be different. IIRC he said that he would tell us what we NEEDED to hear and not what we WANTED to hear.

    We get the politicians that we deserve because too many people jump on political bandwagons without receiving any real commitment on the issues that they care about and then rationalize and excuse complete absence of commitment by saying at least a Dem is a lesser evil than a Republican. On the other side, Republicans do the very same thing and that is why both parties get away with being running the country for the benefit of  Big Business rather than for real people.  


    He Said He Would Be Different (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by daring grace on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:41:38 AM EST
    So he employed one of the boilerplate political messages.

    W. also said he would be different.

    So did Bill Clinton.

    So did Reagan.

    So did Carter.

    It can be a winning argument when the administration in power is seen as played out and is unpopular.

    So even claiming to be something new is typical "pols will be pols" behavior.


    You choose to believe what you wnat to believe (none / 0) (#63)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:26:37 AM EST
    And generally speaking people believe that they are too smart to fall for pandering but thinking everyone who doesn't agree with them has been suckered by it.

    The country is run for the benefit of Big Business because Big Business employs voters.  


    Big Business Without Restriction Also Contributes (5.00 / 5) (#84)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:41:08 AM EST
    to the state of the uninsured and underinsured in our country. Needed cancer medicine costing hundreds of dollars per pill and new chemo treatments costing over $10,000 per month. The mortgage crisis that is harming millions of Americans across the country is the result of unrestricted greed by the bankers and the mortgage company. Our constitutional rights are being bartered away wholesale to protect pols and the telecom companies. And the fiasco in Iraq was IMO to gain control of their oil reserves and both McCain and Obama will maintain whatever troops are necessary to protect the oil company investments even to the point of neglecting the needs of ordinary citizens here or even to the point of bankrupting the country.    

    Oh...that it is not too late...the pillage, (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Aqua Blue on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:00:45 AM EST
    the rape of the middle and working classes.   The economy is in peril, and the ultra rich are grabbing the spoils.  

    When all the US wealth is stolen, when the dollar is totally trashed, when the debt is beyond repayment,  when the oil is fully exploited, when the industrial complex can no longer make fortunes off the military...
    the ultra rich will defect to some other country and live comfortably enjoying their immense wealth.    

    Paraquay has already been set up for BushCo. and Paraquay does not have extradition.

    As for savior Obama...the "wizard's" curtain has been pulled.  


    That's not always true (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:36:26 AM EST
    I want to believe that we can have a President who really is a combination of JFK, Lincoln, and FDR. I'm just too cnyical to allow myself to believe that, so I believe what I need to believe, that we need to choose the best candidate at our disposal.

    Obama nor Obamedia hoodwinked me (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:20:14 AM EST
    Of course, all advertising (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:56:08 AM EST
    is, to a degree, false.

    that's right (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:00:00 AM EST
    There is an old saying in advertising - 'it only works on half the people, we just don't know what half'.

    I'm in the half whose hackles rise when I am being 'sold'.


    hilarious (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:04:38 AM EST
    You call it horrible. I call it being a politician.

    apparently reality bites for you.


    flyerhawk- sorry,but if you are expecting (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by kenosharick on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:21:07 AM EST
    Obama worship then you are in the wrong place. Unlike kos,americablog, ect. most people here realize Barack does not walk on water and actually deserves scrutiny and even a bit of criticism when he is (God forbid!) wrong.

    LOL (2.33 / 3) (#68)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:30:18 AM EST
    Let me assure that I most certainly do NOT expect Obama worship here.  

    Every day brings a whole new batch of "Obama is wrong because of... " diaries with accompanying posts going even further in their condemnation of Obama.

    The actions of people on other blogs have no bearing on the actions of people here. Using other blogs as an excuse to be irrational towards Obama does not in any way diminish the fact that people here are irrational about Obama.


    How about the possibility (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by frankly0 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:18:05 AM EST
    that there really is something wrong with Obama? Not everything, of course, but plenty enough that he would turn out terribly for the Democratic Party, just as Jimmy Carter and George McGovern did, each in his separate way?

    Why is it wrong to focus on those things in a politician that will turn out very badly, if that is the very likely overall result of their achieving office?

    If Jimmy Carter, for example, lost the WH because of he was perceived as a pompous scold, and was an ineffectual, unlikable political leader, why would it be important to "balance" observations to that effect with discussion of whatever positives he might bring to the position? Given that the critical thing beforehand would have been to stop his candidacy before it came to be, isn't the sensible thing to point out how much damage such a politician might wreak? It is, after all, the negatives that dominate in a case like Carter's: no one will care about his virtues when he has damaged his own Presidency as well as the Democratic brand.


    Because (none / 0) (#193)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:37:18 AM EST
    that is nothing more than wild speculation.

    Jimmy Carter's legacy was destroyed on April 11th 1980.  

    The fact that you are willing to compare Obama to both Jimmy Carter AND George McGovern betrays your own bias.   Jimmy Carter was a RESPONSE to George McGovern, a Southern pro-military Democrat.  

    I have seen these comparisons made but they invariably fail because they are rationalizations to achieve a goal, the disparagement of Obama.

    Barack Obama is NOT George McGovern.  Not in any way shape or form.  He is a centrist that generally follows standard center-left Democratic dogma.  He is not Jimmy Carter, someone who allowed himself to be drowned in a sea of minutiae and let a single event destroy his Presidency.


    the fact that people here are irrational about... (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by northeast73 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:20:14 AM EST

    Excuse me?

    Maybe you and the true blue Obots are the ones who are irrational about him.

    Do you EVER critisize him?  Ever?  Or do each and every person who does critisize him become demonized by you and O-nation?


    General tip (3.00 / 2) (#196)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:39:52 AM EST
    When trying to appear to be the voice of reason you should probably refrain from using terms such as "Obots".   While it might win some applause from the crowd it certainly does not suggest any level of impartiality on your part.

    I don't spend my time criticizing my Party's candidate because my primary concern is defeating a FAR worse choice in November.  

    I will worry about criticizing him once he has won the election.


    Please, flyerhawk, tell me why (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:47:12 AM EST
    you are voting for Obama (not the dem. party, but specifically for him)please. Many of us ("how horrible is Obama")have told you why we do not "believe" in his candidacy, so please tell us why you do.

    To be clear (none / 0) (#5)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:49:55 AM EST
    I don't believe that is BTD's intent but that will certainly be the result.

    Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:59:19 AM EST
    An open thread on George Carlin's death would become an opportunity for some to post how bad Obama is. It has become that bad.

    RIP George.


    it has "become" (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:11:36 AM EST
    exactly what he made it

    So much for personal responsibility (3.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:15:10 AM EST
    guilt doesnt work on me (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:17:19 AM EST
    sorry.  its what he made it.  get used to the idea.

    LOL Capt (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:21:09 AM EST
    If guilt doesn't work, maybe sanctimonious lectures to get with the program will? No? Jeez, you're a tough one!

    dont mean to be (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:23:24 AM EST
    but I loath whining.

    You are the only talking about guilt (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:21:18 AM EST
    ability to see more than one side of a conflict requires an open mind. I stand by my comment.

    lets see, hmmm (5.00 / 8) (#65)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:28:56 AM EST
    both sides.
    you mean like Obama licking up to ethanol and spreading crap about how much "speculators" are driving up oil prices while McCain says stuff like this:
    The presumed Republican nominee is proposing a $300 million government prize to whoever can develop an automobile battery that far surpasses existing technology.
    The Arizona senator is also proposing stiffer fines for automakers who skirt existing fuel-efficiency standards. . .would provide U.S. automakers with a $5,000 tax credit for every zero-carbon emissions car they develop and sell.
    like that?
    or maybe the fact that Obama is considering one of the most famous political homophobes in the country for VP and McCain is considering a gay guy?
    is that what you mean?

    If only that is what you were doing (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:31:50 AM EST
    unfortunately it is not.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:36:02 AM EST
    I'm sure that McCain will bring the Republican Party into a much more Pro-gay stance

    Perhaps you can talk about how McCain secretly is pro-choice while Obama is a crypto-fascist when it comes to women's rights?  I always get a kick out of that argument.

    John McCain, modern day Liberal.


    Frankly, as a gay man, (4.50 / 8) (#101)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:52:38 AM EST
    I'd rather be dealing with someone who has a consistent position of saying that gay marriage should be decided on the state level (even if he personally opposes gay marriage), then someone who says warm and fuzzy things while gay-baiting to win primaries, insinuating that gay men "proselytize," and making yuck yuck jokes about insisting he took an AIDS test with his wife so that no one got the "wrong" impression of the circumstances upon which he took the test.

    None of that is to say I'm voting for McCain, but I'm sure as heck not going to be blackmailed into voting for Obama because of this issue.


    Gore endorsed Obama ... and praised McCain (5.00 / 4) (#201)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:45:07 AM EST
    For his positions on global warming. Talk about a different kind of politician. A right winger who fights for the environment - except that isn't different. Teddy Roosevelt created our National Park system and many corporate regulations that continued to break up the power of the robber barons.

    And no, I'm not suggesting that McCain is another Roosevelt. Just that students of history remember a time, not so long ago, when "right wing" was not synonomous with "neoconservative". McCain has rejected that attitude and would almost certainly move the Republican Party to the left, which is why so many right wingers are reluctant to vote for him.

    Damn... I'm sounding like I'm endorsing McCain, and that is not my intention at all. What is going on here?


    Personal responsibility (5.00 / 5) (#117)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:00:13 AM EST
    You know, it's possible that it could be a better use of your time to write to Obama encouraging HIM to take personal responsibility for all of his, shall we say, 'less than truthful' promises during the primary rather than lecturing blog commenters about their criticisms of Obama.

    Maybe he would be a better progressive candidate if 'progressive' voters would actually push him that way.


    Just because some so-called (5.00 / 6) (#135)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:07:14 AM EST
    progressives (and some real progressives) voted for Obama does not mean that Obama is a progressive candidate.

    This is part of the reality check that BTD is talking about, I believe.  Obama is not a progressive candidate.  Never has been, never will be.  The homophobia that Obama evidenced in these examples is not going away. The man is almost 50 years old.  He has used it as a weapon when it was convenient for him.

    I understand that many people will draw up lists in their mind of how they think Obama will go on certain issues vs. how McCain will, and decide that Obama is closer to them on more issues than McCain is.  I get that (though I also think trying to reclaim the democratic party from its current corrupt leadership, and thinking long-term about saving the democratic brand are also factors to consider).  But trying to make Obama progressive when he isn't progressive would be the biggest waste of time of all.


    thank you (5.00 / 4) (#180)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:29:20 AM EST
    I would also point out that as far as I am concerned there is more at stake here than one election.  I can not for the life of me understand why some people who call themselves "progressive" seem bent on purging the party of the real democrats and replacing them with republican lite dinos.
    they will have no help from me.

    Maybe... (5.00 / 5) (#172)
    by santarita on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:25:57 AM EST
    Obama would be a more progressive candidate if the so-called progressive movement hadn't throw their support to him so early.  Maybe he'd be more progressive if he realized that he had to earn their votes.

    Unfortunately I will have to live (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:42:42 AM EST
    here in the US if McCain wins and on the whole it is quite clear, living under McCain would be worse than living under Obama. You don't think Obama is progressive enough? I got news, I have yet to any Democratic nominee since I have been voting as progressive enough.

    I don't lecture, I point out the inconsistencies and the foolishness.

    Dr. Molly, no physician should advocate chopping the nose off merely to spite the face.


    I figured Jeralyn (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:08:28 AM EST
    would have more profound thoughts on Carlin than I do. I was never as big fan of his.

    a certain age I guess (none / 0) (#38)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:14:36 AM EST
    When it was fresh, it was shocking and funny.

    The sad thing is the libertarian  types appropriated his name and attributed a lot of jokes to him that he denied being his. You could usually tell, Carlin was a leftist anti-government, not a right wing libertarian anti-government. I once had to explain this to an associate 20 years my junior when he sent me a "Carlin" joke and I told him, I doubted George said that and I turned out to be correct.


    Now I gotta know, (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by NJDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:29:13 AM EST
    what was the joke?

    Back to the topic:  I've never been under the delusion that politician are somehow above politics.  In fact, what I always liked about the Clintons was that they never acted like they were somehow 'above it' all.  I feel that they sincerely want to serve, but understood the 'game' element, which had to be balanced by their principles.  There was/is not that self-righteousness that I personally find unappealing about Obama.  

    To me self-riteousness = hypocracy (see Spitzer as a prime example).  It also explains why I believe:

    "A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy."
                         ---Benjamin Disraeli


    It was over 3 years ago (none / 0) (#74)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:33:24 AM EST
    I would gladly share it with you. I honestly don't remember.

    Obama is only "horrible" if you find (none / 0) (#10)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:55:52 AM EST
    politicians "horrible."  He is a politician, nothing more.  Labeling him as such serves to awaken people's sensibilities to the fact.  

    You've done a very poor job (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:02:22 AM EST
    Of speaking out against the first wrong.

    I am dissappointed in those efforts of yours.

    Like politicians, newspapers. . . (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:04:24 AM EST
    also do what they always do -- and that seems to include writing attack articles about Democrats.

    Does the Times have an entire "vet Obama" bureau going?  Feh.

    They've disengaged the (5.00 / 14) (#22)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:05:57 AM EST
    "analyze Hillary's pants suit" bureau, so they have the resources now.

    It would have been nice (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:08:03 AM EST
    if they had done that, no?  Shouldn't newspapers do journalist-y things like research the candidates' positions and their ties to various moneyed interests?  Or might that have endangered Obama's path to the nomination, and we couldn't have that, right?

    I'm sure every other candidate's ties would (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:14:24 AM EST
    have been just as alarming.  That is the point.  We need to see who they are conencted to and weigh their judgements accordingly.  Pretending they have no connections is just willful ignorance.

    I was snarking. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:17:39 AM EST
    My point is that the willful ignorance of the NYT on down is what helped get us into this mess of having Obama as the nominee.

    As long as there is a vet McCain bureau (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:10:00 AM EST
    I am fine with it.

    When you spot it. . . (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:23:46 AM EST
    be sure to let us all know.

    IMO the newspapers are doing their job (none / 0) (#214)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:29:49 AM EST
    They are reviewing every candidate. However TL chooses to focus mostly on articles that arguably show Obama in some negative light, creating an echo chamber effect within this forum. Example: A very important storywas published in the Los Angeles Times regarding McCain. The issue that was discussed has policy implications, it just seems that TL chose to ignore this story because it would not interest the majority of people who post here.
    The NYT article does a poor job of highlighting problems that can arise if the United States starts importing massive quantities of sugarcane based ethanol from countries like Brazil or other developing countries in tropical climates. Large tracks of rain forests in Brazil are already being cleared to grow sugarcane for sugarcane based ethanol production. Decimation of rain forests will have a very adverse effect on the global environment in the future. To support production of sugarcane based ethanol, farmers in tropical developing countries will have to reduce farming food crops and grow sugarcane. That will have a devastating effect on global health and economy.

    Us Illinois environmental voters (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:08:34 AM EST
    have known about Obama's ethanol industry love for a very long time. NY Times is catching up I guess.

    They should have focused (5.00 / 7) (#40)
    by g8grl on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:15:20 AM EST
    on bursting this bubble from the beginning.  Any reporter with a smidgen of objectiveness would have been digging into Obama's claim to not be like any other pol.  Even his Rev. came out and said Obama will say what a pol has to say.  Yet no one wanted to burst the hopium bubble until now, when it's too late for Clinton.  It makes me sick.

    May of us predicted this (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:20:26 AM EST
    The first goal of media was to get Clinton out of the race.
    The second goal of media, now, is to get Obama out of the race.

    you think so? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:42:37 AM EST
    I think the media will continue promoting Obama and concealing or rationalizing damaging info about him.
    We'll still get some Truth from the press but it'll rarely be heard in the MSM - except perhaps on Fox.

    Well, they are going to need 4 years of newsy (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:22:20 AM EST
    Let's face it, if the next President was going to be perfect, and we know that doesn't exist, then what would the news programs talk about? They have a lot of air time to fill and look forward to destroying what they built. If Obama wins, I do not expect a pass for 4 years. I expect daily criticism with lots of Republican guests.

    But wait a second, (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:15:54 AM EST
    that will.i.am video didn't say anything about him being just like any other politician.  You and the NYT must be mistaken.

    For some it doesn't matter (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:18:07 AM EST
    I visited an old friend this weekend and she had an Obama sign on her lawn. We discussed Obama for a long time: me with factual info on his lack of accomplishments and recent FISA statement and turn to the right, and his aggressive campaigning and the sexism in his campaign.

    She did not disagree but she had seen him speak - and said his charisma was real and the hope he engendered was the most powerful she had ever heard. So even though she could acknowledge his weaknesses she still thought he has greatness.

    I believe there are many who are in that space.

    Talent =/= good policies. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Fabian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:42:37 AM EST
    Reminds me of mom.  She grew up with Frank Sinatra, loved his musical talents.  Once she found out about his less admirable side, she never bought another recording.

    It's possible to admire the talent in an obviously  talented individual, yet not support the person.  Obama may be very good at public speaker and very inspiring, but that doesn't mean he's as good at policy and politics as he is at making people feel good.  


    Son SuperVegan (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:27:30 AM EST
    was supporting Obama for fear of McCain on GLBT issues.  Now he hits a roadblock: people are starving because corn is headed for the fuel industry and has become scarce and expensive.  Not sure whether I shall inform him or not if he misses this (which I expect he will, not being as excessively tied to the news industry as I am.  (I did tell him not to count on our leaving Iraq promptly.)

    Well, given that Obama (5.00 / 5) (#73)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:32:44 AM EST
    has been the only major candidate of either party to openly gay-bait to win votes so far, I think Obama's cred on gay rights is about zero.

    Yes, I could not believe (5.00 / 7) (#82)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:38:43 AM EST
    when exit poll after exit poll said those who consider the environment to be their number one issue, voted for Obama.  Here's a guy that pandered above and beyond to corn ethanol, and submitted legislation note even a year ago for coal to liquid legislation.  Corn ethanol takes more oil to produce than ethanol output.  Not to mention it's the reason food prices are raging and leaving the poor starving.  I think they thought because he was younger he must be better on the environment.

    I don't want him at all. (5.00 / 6) (#128)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:04:29 AM EST
    I don't support either remaining candidate.

    Kerry lost Ohio and he knew it (none / 0) (#131)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:04:59 AM EST
    Well (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:44:00 AM EST
    I knew Obama was lying about most of the things he said in the primary. You had to look no further than his voting record in IL and the US senate to see that. My beef is that anytime another candidate brought up anything like this they were screamed down and called racists or some other name. Now, here we sit, with the weakest candidate we could put forward for the general election. It seems that the press will be doing a very good job towards helping McCain win the presidency and Obama will be helping him with his inept attempts at "party unity." Feh.

    Clinton (5.00 / 6) (#98)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:50:31 AM EST
    never made the same kind of claim obama did.  She ran on her experience.  Obama ran on being different.   Change you can believe in.

    I think Hillary is great (none / 0) (#134)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:07:03 AM EST
    I just don't see the differences (both in quality and experience) that you do.  I do choose to believe in change.   Regardless of who the nominee was or is this case is, they will change things only if we (progressives, liberals) demand it.  This, regardless of Obama's intent is the best thing about his campaign.  He was awakened a LOT of people (both for and against him), that will be demanding the change he talked about.  I think this is the case more for him than other candidates that ran on change (e.g. Bill CLinton).

    His supporters (5.00 / 3) (#141)
    by americanincanada on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:12:17 AM EST
    are not going to demand anything of him. you can forget that. We see already that they will excuse everything he does claiming it atcually IS change.

    I will (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:16:13 AM EST
    I am a supporter and I will demand something.  Why make such a blanket claim.  You don't appreciate it when other's make those claims about your candidate.  Neither is true.

    Hopefully with a strong president, a strong senator and a lot of mobilized common folk, we can change this country again.  Read "Partying the waters", not that any of the players in this debate are equal to the people in that fight, butit does allow one to feel like change is possible.


    the primary is over (none / 0) (#150)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:15:45 AM EST
    bottom line:  if one believes "pols are pols" doesnt apply to obama there are many more dissappointments that lay in store.

    I do think that's what obama was selling.


    What politican gets elected off of that message? (none / 0) (#158)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:19:17 AM EST
    Again, I trully believe that it is up to us to make sure it happens.  For example,  he tries to get rid of "don't ask don't tell," it will be up to us to make ourselves as loud as the other side, so that he and other's can get behind it.  

    DADT (5.00 / 3) (#194)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:38:30 AM EST
    Isn't the best example for Obama. Yes he wants to eliminate, but he then stated that he would leave the decision up to the military. That actually puts the situation back to the 70's again. And with Nunn as a possible running mate and adviser it really trashes that argument. He was the loudest critic of gays in the military around.

    I see little if any hope for advances in gay issues from Obama. He would not want to upset the coalition that he's trying to put together.


    That Is A Super Smart Answer (none / 0) (#208)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:49:39 AM EST
    Politically for Obama. The military is all for eliminating the stupid rule. Why? Because they know it is BS and they cannot afford to lose good soldiers to idiotic nonsense.

    Now something curious is happening. As correspondent Lesley Stahl reports, discharges of gay soldiers are dropping, dramatically: from over 1,200 a year in 2001 to barely 600. With the military struggling to fight two wars, there are growing calls to repeal the policy and growing evidence that some commanders could care less about sexual orientation.

    Soldiers are going up to their commanders not only swearing that they are gay but they are providing photographic evidence.

    "Wait a minute. You've given them photographs of you and A.J.," Stahl remarks.

    "Yes, and then they're like, 'Go back to work. You're not gay," Manzella says.



    good luck (none / 0) (#170)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:24:07 AM EST
    pols are pols.  All they care about is your vote and my assumption is obama already has that as far as you're concerned.

    What's interesting is Hill went to South Dakota (5.00 / 9) (#105)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:54:10 AM EST
    and said corn ethanol really wasn't the best we could do(something she has long maintained), and that SD paper praised her for it despite having a huge foothold in the corn ethanol industry.  They told their readers we could be part of the experimentation for new, better alternative energies(of course they could, like obviously wind).  Anyway, Obama went there as Mr. Corn Ethanol.  Hill said not our best choice, and she won the state by 12 points.  Democrats needn't pander to corn ethanol, despite the Iowa caucus.

    Solar and wind... (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by Aqua Blue on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:14:13 AM EST
    recently heard professors who teach energy engineering at GaTech and Standford.   They gave a 3 hour presentation endorsing solar and wind as the ultimate solution.  

    The problem...these sources don't line corporate pockets like gas, coal, etc.

    Obama seems generally (5.00 / 3) (#153)
    by brodie on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:16:24 AM EST
    in the mainstream among Dems wrt corn ethanol, perhaps a little more gung ho about it because of a few of his top energy advisors are corn ethanolics, especially Daschle.  

    Not an ideal posture for our nominee, for sure, but it could be worse.  He could be advocating building dozens of new nuke plants, like McCain proposes.  That would be not only costly but very risky, apart from the fact these things take yrs to be built.

    Meanwhile, am I the only one who thinks it's kinda crude, short-sighted and stupid that we're sitting here in the 21st C with all our nifty wireless electronic gadgets and fancy high-powered computers and Internets and yet we're still focused on burning stuff whether found below ground or grown above ground in order to provide energy?

    We definitely need to put together and fund a team of brilliant scientists and engineers in an urgent crash program à la Apollo who can come up with a 21st C solution to the energy crisis -- and I mean some revolutionary thinking, along the lines of what happened in the late 19th C with the invention of A/C power, radio and wireless remote control (Tesla) and early 20th C breakthroughs like television (Farnsworth).  

    Or don't they make geniuses like that any more?

    One of the problems here is (5.00 / 5) (#167)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:22:20 AM EST
    that he is doing what "he" wants, not what the "people" want..a certain problem. If we cannot hold his feet to the fire before he's elected (or even actually nominated)how do you expect to do so after (should that happen!). I don't believe he can be trusted w/anything. He seems to take all sides and holds no particular values.

    All this was known (5.00 / 3) (#203)
    by mkevinf on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:45:53 AM EST
    prior to the primaries, as the opening part of the NY Times article indicates.  We knew, or should've known, that Obama voted for the awful farm bill.  Defenders will state he represents a farm state, and that's all well and good.
    But my problem is with the media that, to my knowledge, did not see any of this as worth reporting during the primaries.
    As usual, it was the horse race that was front and center.

    There's simply no excuse -- he's a fraud (3.66 / 3) (#50)
    by Yotin on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:19:26 AM EST
    Obama pledged to use public financing if he was the nominee before he started mining the web. He garnered millions of votes in the primary, in no small measure because of that pledge.

    And one has to wonder why he even made the pledge since every candidate has used public financing since Nixon. It's obvious that he wanted to smell like a rose among those who were unaware of that fact. And they number in the millions.

    The man is a fraud. He has been presenting himself for what he's not. VOTERS BEWARE.

    he made that pledge (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:34:54 AM EST
    at the time because Clinton DIDN'T make that pledge.

    And going back on his word probably won't cost him one little bit.  When he first started backing away from the pledge during the primary, Clinton hammered him for it.  But, it didn't stick.

    The Obamabots don't care about the breaking if the pledge as long as he wins....


    Who (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:50:59 AM EST
    cares about the Obots? It's abundantly clear that Obama could break their legs and they would come back and ask him to break their arms too.

    The thing that always interests me is how this kind of stuff plays out with other voters.


    well his supporteres like Biden (none / 0) (#119)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:00:33 AM EST
    are already out there making the case that he made the PLEDGE to get big dondors and special interests out of the equation.  And Biden is making the case that Obama's small donor base (which I think is a crock) effectively accomplishes the same thing.

    I still want to see stats about how many "small donors" Obama really has with the defintion of small donor being someone who gave less than $100 in TOTAL, no less than $100 PER CONTRIBUTION.

    YOu aren't a small donor if you gave Obama $90 per donation and donated 5 times.


    And now he is the first since Nixon... (none / 0) (#85)
    by ineedalife on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:41:53 AM EST
    to use private financing.

    Once the media uses that phrasing you know he is toast. Since it is so easy, and they haven't drawn the comparison, I think they still have a little Obama-love in the tank.


    They will draw the comparison (none / 0) (#123)
    by americanincanada on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:02:01 AM EST
    loudly and often once Obama goes from being the presumptive nominee to THE nominee.

    Just wait...


    Surprise! (3.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:16:34 AM EST
    Obama's a politician. That thought may be a difficult concept for some ponybabies to wrap their heads around. Your occasional reality checks may eventually come to their awareness BTD, but I'm sure they'll find a way to shrug it off. Or they'll just go away disenfranchised by reality.

    I'm reminded of when (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:55:29 AM EST
    I thought Cheney had cut all his ties to Halliburton and would make decisions that he thought was right, not so much just to reward his cronies.

    But pols are pols.  And they do what they do.

    perhaps (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:04:07 AM EST
    but while O is cuddling up to the ethanol industry Johnnie is doing this:

    Sen. McCain offers $300 million prize for new auto battery


    You thought that? (none / 0) (#21)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:04:58 AM EST
    Like bridges?  I got one.

    It took me a long time to realize (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:06:54 AM EST
    pols are pols.

    How much do you want for it? (none / 0) (#29)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:08:28 AM EST
    Free quarters of a million pounds. . . (none / 0) (#58)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:22:59 AM EST
    Anybody else see the CNN special on Brazil's (none / 0) (#23)
    by kempis on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:06:23 AM EST
    sugarcane ethanol and how most of the cars in Brazil run on it? The Brazilians were smart and put their money on the best ethanol--and did it about thirty years ago. If we had done the same, think of how much better off we'd be.

    Corn ethanol is not the solution--not for anyone other than the corn growers and the politicians they purchase.

    But thanks to the graft and corruption that we accept in this country as SOP--and confuse with "freedom" and "democracy"--we're headed toward disaster unless someone with real integrity or at least considerable foresight grabs hold of the wheel. Several somebodies, actually. I'm afraid our new Democratic Congress is going to prove to be just as lacking in foresight and integrity as the GOP one that preceded it.

    As long as Iowa gets to monopolize (5.00 / 7) (#34)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:10:59 AM EST
    the first caucus position, we're never going to drop our sugar tariffs.

    You don't think the Florida sugar kings (none / 0) (#44)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:16:51 AM EST
    have some influence on the sugar tariffs?

    Yup, they're the other half (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:19:20 AM EST
    of the equation. Florida in general makes it impossible to have a realistic discussion about the sugar market.

    Cellulosic ethanol (5.00 / 3) (#132)
    by americanincanada on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:05:45 AM EST
    This is what Hillary was talking about. She explained it and why she wanted to pursue it more aggrssively on Mad Money. You should really look it up.

    Cellulosic ethanol is chemically identical to ethanol from other sources, such as corn starch or sugar, but has the advantage that the lignocellulose raw material is highly abundant and diverse. It is produced from produced from wood, grasses, or the non-edible parts of plants. It needs more processing but research might be able to cut that down.

    Hillary had a wonderful white paper about it early on in the primary.


    Cellulosics>Electtric (none / 0) (#156)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:18:24 AM EST
    makes more sense, there's inherent losses in any process for turniung low-density biomass to a liquid. I've been watching the field for 20 years, from my interest in agricultural hemp. In 1993, I was hearing cellulosics to ethanol was "right around the corner." The researchers were mostly State funded, couldn't get much support from the Clinton Administration.

    the one that excites me the most (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by americanincanada on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:22:05 AM EST
    these days is algae to fuel. There are some exciting things happening in the field right now, especially in Seattle.

    Not to mention an algae-for-fuel prject is about to get a trail run in Holland.



    I don't know that much about Sugar Cane (none / 0) (#33)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:10:53 AM EST
    but I'm not sure most states have the climate to grow it. I'd imagine that Florida and maybe parts of California (which would raise drout issues) would be the only places it could grow.

    Cuba tried to follow Brazil's Sugar Cane lead and it failed badly.


    sugarcane grows throughout the south (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:30:57 AM EST
    Obama owned by corn-based Ethanol industry -

    NYT - 6/23

    Mr. McCain advocates eliminating the multibillion-dollar annual government subsidies that domestic ethanol has long enjoyed. As a free trade advocate, he also opposes the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff that the United States slaps on imports of ethanol made from sugar cane, which packs more of an energy punch than corn-based ethanol and is cheaper to produce.


    I agree with McCain on this. (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:44:26 AM EST
    Sugar ethanol is a much better product to corn ethanol.  

    We don't need to grow it. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:45:28 AM EST
    We can import it.

    Unless (none / 0) (#94)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:48:02 AM EST
    You are trying to get off foreign energy sources.  You have a lot more control over foreign policy when you don't rely on other countries for basic necessities.  See Saudi Arabia.  Of course, I'd rather be importing sugar from our neighbors to the south than oil from overseas, but in principal it would be great to have our own.

    It's Brazil, and it's temproary as we (none / 0) (#97)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:49:59 AM EST
    move on with other sources of ebergy.  It's way the hell better than more corn ethanol.

    Maybe if we could somehow (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:12:33 AM EST
    end the distortion in the American sugar market. . .

    Doesn't have to be sugar cane (none / 0) (#42)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:16:04 AM EST
    Switchgrass is a great alternative to corn.  And it grows all over the midwest.

    Argh. (none / 0) (#67)
    by Fabian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:29:52 AM EST
    Let me make this simple.

    Carbs are what yeast convert to alcohol.  More carbs => more -OH.  IOW, higher energy crops => higher energy fuels.

    Switch grass is not an energy dense crop, especially compared to sugar cane or corn.  Maybe sugar beets?

    We may get to cellulosic ethanol eventually, but right now our ethanol production is based on simple carbohydrates.

    I'm actually a big switch grass fan.  There are some wonderful cultivars if you want a nice ornamental grass and have space for it.


    Except (none / 0) (#83)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:40:20 AM EST
    It has lower energy yields than corn, but no one goes hungry and it is much more "sustainably" grown, and there is a lot more of it.  And when we do get to cellulosic ethanol, it will have much higher yield than corn, and we will have the infrastructure in place to use it well.

    in theory. n/t (none / 0) (#89)
    by Fabian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:43:33 AM EST
    FL grows it (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:19:41 AM EST
    Unfortunately they had to drain the Everglades to get the land. I expect sugar cane expansion here would run up against environmental concerns regarding restoring the Everglades, even as limited as that restoration is.

    FL history is replete with Sugar Cane barons buying off politicians.  Certainly could happen again.


    Most of the Obamablogs (none / 0) (#27)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:07:58 AM EST
    have moved on at least of the ones that I read.

    I don't read Orange.

    Same as it ever was (none / 0) (#57)
    by Kefa on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:22:44 AM EST

    How does one go about reducing (none / 0) (#62)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:25:30 AM EST
    the influence of special interests?  Can you level the playing field?  How do you bring reform to the process when special interest dollars are the lifeblood of political campaigns?

    How does Obama answer those who cannot seem to reconcile his message of reform and change with the roster of advisors who represent the special interests?  

    We get that for every issue, and for every side of every issue, there is someone who represents the corporate elements of that issue, but growing corporate influence means that the interests of the people are diminished; when you have lobbyists more or less writing legislation, that's a problem.

    I think maybe it's time we stopped calling them "poli"ticians, and started calling them "puppet" icians.

    Public financing of elections. (5.00 / 4) (#96)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:49:23 AM EST

    No kidding - and how ironic. (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:58:15 AM EST
    I am absolutely convinced that public financing is the only way to go.  At a minimum, it would ensure that the people we elect can spend more time actually doing the jobs they were elected to do, and less time shilling and begging for money.  

    Out of all the disappointments... (none / 0) (#126)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:03:34 AM EST
    this one hurts the worst, IMO.

    Don't forget Exelon AxleRove (none / 0) (#77)
    by OxyCon on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:35:45 AM EST
    Obama: Nuclear power worth considering, not panacea Fri Jun 20, 12:23 PM ET

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Friday nuclear power was "not a panacea" for U.S. energy woes but it is worth investigating its further development.

     During a meeting with U.S. governors, Obama noted that nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases and therefore the United States should consider investing research dollars into whether nuclear waste can be stored safely for its reuse.

    But he said, "I don't think that nuclear power is a panacea."

    He's 100% correct (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:37:56 AM EST
    nuclear power should be something that we expand but it most certainly will not solve our energy woes.  Well it won't unless somebody invents a safe nuclear power car.

    There is nzero reason to expand nuclear energy. (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:42:53 AM EST
    What we need is a national grid, and wind farm in the Dakota's.  There is enough energy there to power the continental US, with no nuclear waste to worry about.

    Oh (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:52:53 AM EST
    I hadn't realized that our energy problem was so simple to correct.  

    I'm sure getting eletricity from the Dakotas to New York City should be pretty easy.  It's not like there is any loss of power over long distances.


    A national grid. (none / 0) (#107)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:55:31 AM EST
    I didn't say easy, but don't let politicians fool you into thinking it's more difficult than it is.  

    It has absolutely nothing to do with politicians (none / 0) (#130)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:04:39 AM EST
    It has to do with basic science.

    To move massive amounts of energy from a remote location such as the Dakotas to where most people live, on the coasts, would require a MASSIVE infrastrcuture build as well accepting a major loss in energy due to transmission of energy over long distances.  

    And that is assuming that we would be able to unbelievably large wind farms in the Dakotas.  

    Until someone invents a real superconductor solar and wind energy will always be supplementary and not primary energy sources.


    You connect the grid. (none / 0) (#136)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:07:34 AM EST
    Simple answers to complex questions (none / 0) (#139)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:11:25 AM EST
    are rarely accurate.

    "connection the grid" doesn't eliminate impedance.


    Actually, the wind farms outside of Scranton (none / 0) (#209)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:51:58 AM EST
    They are owned by a Florida company and the energy does not go for Penna. I know it goes far but unfortunately, I can not remember which state gets it.

    Of course there's a reason: (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:55:52 AM EST
    To stop using coal. Nuclear is far superior to coal IMO.

    Ok, how are you going to (none / 0) (#112)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:58:36 AM EST
    get rid of the waste?  Would you mind if we stored it in your back yard?  We can do what we can with nuclear with a national grid, wind, solar, and geothermal.

    Ideally, put it in Nevada (none / 0) (#114)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:59:39 AM EST
    Political concerns prevent this, but it's a good option.

    That's not ideal in the long term. (none / 0) (#121)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:01:06 AM EST
    Well, I'm not afraid of Nuclear (none / 0) (#127)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:04:18 AM EST
    and getting rid of coal entirely would present a direct and rapid benefit to everyone through an improvement in air quality. In my opinion, nuclear is a good option.

    Politically, I know it's a non-starter.


    It's not a non-stater. (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:06:52 AM EST
    The two remaining candidates for President are pro-nuclear energy.  

    I'm with Al Gore on this one.  It's a bad idea.  We still have no way to eliminate the waste.  It's expensive.  There are far better ways to achieve coal-free energy, like solar, wind and geothermal.


    Solar and wind can't replace (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:09:51 AM EST
    coal in full, Nuclear can. The waste is a potential problem that can be contained, while soot from coal is a problem that is actually with us every day.

    I refuse to be told that low air quality is acceptable because some extra-sensitive people are really scared about the three-headed fish they saw on TV.


    That's not true. (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:13:21 AM EST
    I don't think Al Gore is "extra-sensitive".  I think he realizes we can get off carbon based energy with wind, solar and geothermal.  

    What? (5.00 / 3) (#159)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:19:32 AM EST
    I refuse to be told that low air quality is acceptable because some extra-sensitive people are really scared about the three-headed fish they saw on TV.

    Um, isn't this incredibly insulting and trivializing  to those concerned about nuclear waste? Say this to people living near the waste. Extra-sensitive? Bizarre.


    Well (none / 0) (#175)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:26:31 AM EST
    isn't this incredibly insulting and trivializing  to those concerned about nuclear waste
    Hi, I'm andgarden! ;-)

    Yeah, I get that, unfortunately. (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:30:05 AM EST
    Now it would be nice if you actually gave some ideas about getting rid of nuclear waste and preventing its harmful effects when it leaks into the groundwater.

    Or you could just make fun of people who are concerned about it.


    I like the yucca mountain option (none / 0) (#186)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:32:12 AM EST
    and I hope that the next President bypasses the naysayers and opens it up.

    You might be afraid of nuclear power (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by OxyCon on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:13:43 AM EST
    if you lived near Three Mile Island, or read the many current articles on all of the nuclear plants that are leaking radioactively contaminated water into the environment.
    Coal does hurt the environment and cause lung problems, but cancer is a much more deadly disease.

    AHHHHH, 3 Mile Island!!!!! (1.00 / 1) (#154)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:17:00 AM EST
    Be Afriad!!!!!! Be VERY afraid!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You think maybe coal soot contributes to lung cancer?


    You seem to think the only choice is coal or (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:22:07 AM EST
    nuclear.  This is just false.

    Raising the specter of 3 mile island (1.00 / 2) (#171)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:25:34 AM EST
    is like raising 9/11. The former doesn't mean that we should abandon nuclear and the latter doesn't mean that we should abandon cities.

    The willingness to raise the ancient (1.00 / 1) (#199)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:43:40 AM EST
    technology of 3 mile island speaks to the inanity of the original comment.

    No, I would ask the French for help on the (none / 0) (#125)
    by Radix on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:03:25 AM EST
    waste issue.

    agreed, masslib (none / 0) (#160)
    by stxabuela on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:19:41 AM EST
    Texas is currently the top wind farm state in the nation, probably due to lack of regulations (our lege never met a big business it didn't like.)

    Unfortunately, IIRC, Texas is on its own little power grid.  Not much help for the rest of the country.    


    It's the Dakotas. There is a tremendous (none / 0) (#168)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:23:11 AM EST
    underutilized source of wind energy there.  

    Curious (none / 0) (#179)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:29:01 AM EST
    How do you feel about Cape Wind?  I am really annoyed at Ted Kennedy on this one.  Seems hypocritical of him.  Then again, I think wind mills are "pretty" so the aesthetic argument fails for me.  I know there is an argument about bird safety but is there any proof this is a real problem?

    Obviously the Cape is no Dakota, but being from mass I was wondering where you stood on this one (I am from Boston - spend a decent amount of time on the cape).


    I love Cape Wind. (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:31:03 AM EST
    Ted Kennedy was completely typical of the elite who don't want their views ruined.  I happen to think those windmills are lovely.  We are of course, also moving on to hydro-wind farms further off shore, as well.  The potential is great.  

    Every current study I've seen (5.00 / 2) (#213)
    by tree on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:00:25 AM EST
    shows that there is no significant bird kill problem associated with wind turbines. Here's a wrap up of the results of studies comparing wind turbine collisions with other man-made object collisions:

    The NWCC reports that: "Based on current estimates, windplant related avian collision fatalities probably represent from 0.01% to 0.02% (i.e., 1 out of every 5,000 to 10,000) of the annual avian collision fatalities in the United States."15  That is, commercial wind turbines cause the direct deaths of only 0.01% to 0.02% of all of the birds killed by collisions with man-made structures and activities in the U.S.

    The Left has always been Anti-Nuclear Power (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by OxyCon on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:57:36 AM EST
    But I'm sure that if Obama says it is good, there will be millions of lemmings running around spouting how wonderful nuclear power is. I've seen this movie before (for the past eight years).

    It's already happening. (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:59:33 AM EST
    Gore doesn't think that's the direction we should go in.  I'm with him.

    The left? (none / 0) (#129)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:04:37 AM EST
    See France.  They have used nuclear power to a large degree and as a country I would consider them way farther to the "left" than any of our democrats.  There are a lot of problems with this approach (they get more than 50% of their energy from nuclear sources) and it hasn't always been smooth.  They have had contamination problems.  Although the U.S. is set  up a lot better for nuclear than France, since it is much more densely populated there.  I am not a huge fan of nuclear, but I am not ready to write it off entirely either.  I don't think it's a left vs. right argument though.

    OK, But (none / 0) (#143)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:12:20 AM EST
    I am not a huge fan of nuclear, but I am not ready to write it off entirely either.

    France is one of the most anti-environmental countries in the developed world. So maybe it is smart not to write of Nuke power, but France may be to the left, but they suck on the environment.


    I live in America (none / 0) (#149)
    by OxyCon on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:15:43 AM EST
    I'm not French and we're discussing American politics here, so it kinda makes sense to keep the discussion about American politics, no?

    Huh (none / 0) (#165)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:22:17 AM EST
    So we can't talk about anything other countries do, where we might learn something new????  America isn't the only place on earth.  Sometimes it helps to learn from others.

    We are talking nuclear power and France uses it for a greater portion of their energy consumption than any other country.  I thought that was relevant.

    Also Squeeky, that may be true, but not compared to the U.S.  I am not saying we should follow France's lead on this though.  If anything, they've showed how NOT to do nuclear power.


    You Beat Me To It (none / 0) (#174)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:26:15 AM EST
    Sounds like a cave man argument, or a Bushism.

    Sounds like (none / 0) (#184)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:30:47 AM EST
    An argument for "freedom fries"

    Agree (none / 0) (#192)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:37:06 AM EST
    BushCo has set us back, environmentally in every meaning of the word.

    Is our regulatory culture (none / 0) (#177)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:27:12 AM EST
    as mature as the French?

    I don't oppose nuclear on principle, but I'm not convinced our system can yet guarantee corners won't be cut.


    How much research has Obama put into (none / 0) (#100)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:51:53 AM EST
    forming his opinion on Nuclear power? During a campaign stop he was completely unaware of the Hanford (Hanaford) site which is a prime example of the downsides of nuclear power.

    Hanford is the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States[7][8] and is the focus of the nation's largest environmental cleanup.
    [2] While most of the current activity at the site is related to the cleanup project, Hanford also hosts a commercial nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station, and various centers for scientific research and development, such as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the LIGO Hanford Ob

    If Exelon wants more nuclear power plants (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by OxyCon on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:59:57 AM EST
    Then you can bet the house that Obama will grant their wishes, because he is in bed with Exelon.

    Uh, well, obviously they do. (none / 0) (#122)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:01:41 AM EST
    As a side point (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:14:19 AM EST
    I saw a story on TV news yesterday.  Apparently Washington State has the highest per capita incidence of breast cancer in the nation.  The reasons given:

    1.  We drink more red wine and red wine increases risk. (LOL!)
    2.  We use more hormone replacement here than elsewhere. (LOL, yeah right)

    There was nothing said about Hanford. Nothing.  I have relatives in the Hanford area.  The propaganda is that "everything's fine," "no problems!"

    I'm all for nuclear energy, but only "clean," well-regulated, well PROTECTED, nuclear energy.  And I'm not sure how to ensure the "clean" part.

    And I don't trust Obama(D-Axelrod/Exelon) on the subject either.  And BTW, Obama claimed to be unfamiliar with Hanford.  I believe him on that.  


    I really don't know (none / 0) (#109)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:56:27 AM EST
    how much Obama knows about Hanford.  

    Not sure how this is relevant either.  I think most people are aware that nuclear power plants create radioactive waste.  So do fossil plants, and quite a bit more I might add.


    I would be curious to hear (none / 0) (#79)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:37:31 AM EST
    Obama's answer to a question about this obvious conflict between message and man.  Politicans do as much as they can get away with.  If papers could ask better questions, that tendency might not be so problematic.

    The problem wasn't the article it was the headline (none / 0) (#81)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:38:34 AM EST
    The article was fair.  It discussed the connections that powerful people have with each other.  Powerful people are powerful people because their friends aren't us.  The headline was a little sensationalist

    Did you say "Clinton?" (none / 0) (#140)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:12:08 AM EST
    You know he wants to "Paint the White House Black?"

    Please explain. (none / 0) (#204)
    by mrjerbub on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:47:11 AM EST
    Are you saying that one of the Clintons actually said this?
    "Paint the White House Black?"
    Do you have a link?

    Another Obama flip/flop (none / 0) (#151)
    by stefystef on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:15:48 AM EST
    The Washington Post, The Trail website says that Obama will go along with the FISA bill.

    Looks like Wright was right... Obama is just a politician.

    Government by the people for the people? (none / 0) (#178)
    by fctchekr on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:27:25 AM EST
    This is a perfect indication, par for the course, deceptive politics at its best, and Obama supporters have gone whole hog for an ideal that's obviously false. Biofuels not only degrade the soil, they are not environmentally efficacious. But building more nuke plants without knowing how we're going to safey dispose of the waste is tantamount to World War 3. But all of the above are a testament to the reality that Election 2008 is not about change, not about getting rid of what Americans detest: this is not politics for the people, by the people; it's politics at the hands of industry..

    Corn>ethanol isn't inherently evil, (none / 0) (#187)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:33:25 AM EST
    it's a question of scale.

    As a pure energy play it makes no sense, but there's a high protien byproduct called distillers grains, fed to hogs and chickens, so you don't lose all the food value. (Downdside, concentration of feed makes it shippable, enabling factory farming of livestock.) Conclusion: don't demobilize existing ethanol plants, but stop building new capacity full tilt.

    All of this environmental talk (none / 0) (#207)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:49:17 AM EST
    Reminds me of the words of our dear-departed George Carlin, who said (in sum):

    "The planet is fine.  The people, however, are (screwed)."

    Here's the You-Tube:

    And the transcript, with a smaller piece of the video:

    TeresaInSnow2 at 10:14:19 AM (none / 0) (#210)
    by NJDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:57:55 AM EST
    you may find this interesting:

    July 25, 2007

    Senator Clinton Announces Bill to Step Up Federal Commitment to Environmental Justice

    Leads First-Ever Senate Hearing on Environmental Justice....

    That is why I do not support Obama (none / 0) (#215)
    by Saul on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 12:04:09 PM EST
    even if he is the only democrat we have running.
    He hoodwinked and bamboozled his way into this nomination.  He is a con artist and not to be trusted.  He fooled a lot of voters on who he really is.  This is how he planned it from the get go.  Knowing what we know now about him today many voters would not have voted for him if we had all this information in Dec of 07.  I know the goal was to get A democrat into the White House in 09 but getting there in the way Obama is doing it is no better to me than the president we have now.  What price do we have to pay just so we can have a democrat as president in 09.  God help us.

    This is the problem (none / 0) (#216)
    by glennmcgahee on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 01:56:34 PM EST
    I didn't read the comments before me since I want to stay on topic. I have a big problem with this energy policy. McCain blew me away when I thought I might support him and then heard him talk of drilling for oil along our coasts. Obama says he's all for new energy things but then we hear about his ties to Ethanol.I remember hearing about his links to the Nuclear Company located in Illinois, then I heard about him voting FOR Cheney's Energy Bill. Its all prtectionism for the corn growers in his state I'm sure. But, for the nation, it is the cause of our food prices skyrocketing before the gas prices went through the roof. Ethanol is a sham. It takes as much gas/oil to produce as it makes. And it not only takes grain out of our food supply, it hits fellow farmers hard. Now we see how vulnerable our food supply is because of the recent floods. Just WHAT is Obama's energy policy exactly. He already backtracked on FISA, on NAFTA and several foriegn policy issues. As for drilling? Forget it. That perpetuates our dependence. Ethanol? I already said what I think. The real problem with our oil prices now is the stock market buying futures in oil. In other words, they  are making their money now while the getting is good. Think Enron. If we had regulation. That would help. But now, I hear Obama beleives in the FREE MARKET, unfettered. What does he really stand for? Somebody better pin him down.