Palin Just Lost the Election

John McCain selected a "maverick" but it turns out Sarah's about as much a "maverick" as McCain himself. The AP just reported the Troopergate verdict and its not good for Palin: "Panel finds Palin abused her power in safety official's firing." Now both candidates on the Republican ticket have an ethically questionable mark on their political resume. No longer can they pretend to carry the baton for reform.

The McCain campaign's response by Meg Stapleton:

"Today's report shows that the Governor acted within her proper and lawful authority in the reassignment of Walt Monegan. The report also illustrates what we've known all along: this was a partisan led inquiry run by Obama supporters and the Palins were completely justified in their concern regarding Trooper Wooten given his violent and rogue behavior. Lacking evidence to support the original Monegan allegation, the Legislative Council seriously overreached, making a tortured argument to find fault without basis in law or fact. The Governor is looking forward to cooperating with the Personnel Board and continuing her conversation with the American people regarding the important issues facing the country."

There's just one problem with spinning this as a partisan result: "The council include[d] 10 Republicans and four Democrats." I also watched a little analysis on FOX News. They continually pointed out that the trooper Palin wanted to fire tasered a ten year old. This is a truthful statement but does not in anyway counter the findings of the report. The council ruled that Palin's dismissal of Monegan was "proper and lawful," but this was not the principal result of the conviction. Palin "knowingly...permitted Todd Palin to use the Governor's office and the resources of the Governor's office," in direct violation of state's ethical codes.

How many times has Obama or Biden been convicted of ethical violations? Zero. Case closed. Today the Republican Party lost.

Published on October 10th at 8:22 PM CT :: 11 Comments

Sarah Palin's Excellent Adventure

On Friday October 10th, Sarah Palin could have a rough day.

The most pressing issue she will face on Friday presides over the release of the Troopergate verdict. "The Legislative Council's independent investigator is scheduled to deliver his findings tomorrow morning in Anchorage. The council includes 10 Republicans and four Democrats," according to a direct quote from an article by Bloomberg. I have no idea what the Council's findings will be, but the decision itself will dominate the news cycle.

The McCain campaign has painted themselves into such a corner that they cannot afford to waste news cycles on content of this variety. If Palin is acquitted, which in all likelihood will happen, the news cycle will still be centered around her very involvement in the case. If she is convicted, McCain's candidacy essentially ends. A guilty verdict will likely result in Palin's impeachment as Governor of Alaska and the end of her political career.

The second news item revolves around a supposed leak of her high school test scores. I'm fairly certain the report is fake judging by the baseline variation of the typeset, but the pretense of such a fake could precipitate the release of the actual document. The PDF file includes various information relating to her time spent at Wasilla High. Nestled within the document appear to be scans of her SAT scores, Wasilla High GPA and the result of an IQ test; all of which were taken during her high school years. Again I believe this document is a forgery, and as such I am simply reporting its existence. If these results are however validated, and people are working on it, her candidacy will take yet another huge hit.

Fake or not the American people have a right to know. All four of the candidates should release their school transcripts.

Published on October 9th at 9:41 PM CT :: 3 Comments

McCain is Not Racist, as Far as I Know

If the title of this article were quoted by Sarah Palin, she would no doubt attribute it to Hillary Clinton (see Madeline Albright reference). During the presidential primary Hillary voiced the following refrain: "Obama is not a Muslim, as far as I know." Her statement is redundant, as is mine, but neither is a tautology. They both convey a sense of doubt while maintaining a warped sense of validity. But there does exist a difference; Hillary's statement can essentially be proven true with facts, whereas mine remains gray around the edges. The genius of this archetypal statement resides within its easily deniable purpose of excitation. McCain may not be a racist, I don't believe he is, but I cannot say one way or another with absolute certainty.

I know I'm walking a slippery slope, but so are 6,440,000 other people; John included, especially after his "that one" comment in the most recent debate. Yes, I'm going there, but it's not what you think. Throughout the debate I recorded quotes and moments of significance for inclusion into the live analysis article. When the "that one" exchange occurred I noticed it, I did a double take and mentioned the racial overtone to the other person watching with me, but I didn't think to write it down. For some reason this statement did not strike me as news worthy; likely because it should not have been news worthy. I could not fathom the possibility of an intentionally racial remark; I immediately assumed McCain garbled the sentence. I then reasoned as to what McCain might have intended to say; my best guess goes something along the lines of "he supported that one," in reference to the energy bill, but it of course did not come out like that.

It took some time, an hour and sixteen minutes later to be exact (while watching a replay) for the gravity of this misstatement to solidify. It finally clicked and when it did, I knew McCain's campaign was over. This blunder should not have been the defining moment of the campaign, but unfortunately I think it was. The McCain campaign tried to walk the fine line required to effectively wage a negative campaign, but McCain lost his balance and the liberal media helped push him to the floor. McCain became lost in a sea of blue; while desperately struggling to find his own message he concurrently hurled the kitchen sink at his opponent. McCain's entire campaign has failed to realize the need for a systemic shift in their messaging. The current Republican path doesn't lead to glory as the road nears it's November end, they need to find a new path.

At this point Obama should simply ignore the race issue and place the "that one" quote in his back pocket for a rainy day. If the McCain campaign starts overly playing the race card, Obama can then easily counter. I've talked about it before, but I'll say it again; John McCain can do more good for the Republican party if he loses honorably, than if he blazes a path of divisiveness to the White House. I don't know if he knows this, his ego is clouding his judgment. I fear the moral compass required to end the smears may extend beyond McCain's scope of reasoning. McCain, like his party sees the world in absolutes, the with us or against us mindset; I just hope he realizes that his character is absolutely being questioned.

Published on October 9th at 2:23 PM CT :: 15 Comments

A New Party

After yesterday's schism of House Republicans the path forward seems clouded. Two-thirds of the party broke with leadership on the most crucial bill of the session. Michele Bachmann (Republican, Minnesota) cited the reason for the bill's failure as "maybe the bill just wasn't good." Maybe the bill wasn't good, but under that premise the negotiations also weren't good. If the negotiations weren't good how can the rank and file Republicans continue to blame Pelosi for her speech, or Obama's inability to deliver Democrats; when in essence all parties were responsible for the negotiations. Last time I checked the Democrats delivered 141 votes or two-thirds of the votes needed for the bill's passage. If the House Republicans voted in this same number there would be no discussion. The negotiations broke down at some point causing the Republican caucus to jump ship.

I'm not going to focus on how the negotiations broke down, but rather the result of such a catastrophic miscalculation. John McCain, whether responsible or not clearly played a role in the failed negotiations. McCain supported the bill, but only sixty-five others in his party held this same view. Going into the vote McCain's election chances hinged on the success or failure of the bailout. A deficiency pertaining to the politics at play is not acceptable. As a Republican, a vote against the bill was not necessarily the issue, but a vote against the failing bill had huge ramifications. It was not the Democrats who doomed McCain, but rather his own party.

As a result McCain can no longer win the economic vote. His chances of stealing Michigan or Pennsylvania are gone. He must restore his credibility, he must act, he cannot let the clock expire. His candidacy is at risk, but perhaps more importantly to him, the ideals for which his party stands hang in the balance. If John McCain truly puts his country first he will release Sarah Palin. The Sarah Palin selection embodies everything wrong with personal politics; a retreat from this selfish blunder would signify a new direction. Such a decision would also carry great personal sacrifice. John McCain's own presidential aspirations would essentially die. He's at a crossroad in American politics, he has a choice; he can either be charged with the proliferation of the Old Republican politics or he could be credited as the selfless creator of a New Republican Party.

Published on September 30th at 2:35 PM CT :: 1 Comment

Will McCain Re-suspend His Campaign?

The bailout failed in the House by a vote of 227-206. The House Republicans will ultimately face the blame. House Minority Leader John Boehner (Republican, Ohio) blamed the defeat on a partisan speech delivered by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi preceding the vote. Rep. Roy Blunt (Republican, Virginia) later commented in a press conference that "a dozen or so votes" were lost due to this speech. The Republican machine is running with this talking point. It can however be easily rebutted and was by Rep. Barney Frank (Democrat, Massachusetts) who said "Well if that stopped people from voting, then shame on them. If people's feelings were hurt because of a speech and that led them to vote differently than what they thought the national interest [wanted], then they really don't belong here. They're not tough enough."

The Republican wing is also criticizing Nancy Pelosi for bringing a bill of such magnitude to the floor without the requisite votes for passage; the problem with this logic is that she had the votes. Nancy Pelosi, on Sunday evening, went to Republican leadership and said "I need 80 votes;" Rep. Roy Blunt stated that this threshold was deliverable, well it wasn't. Only 65 Republicans voted for the measure, 15 shy of expectations. The House Republican's will however share the blame, with John McCain.

John McCain, sensing the gravity of the situation issued the following statement on the matter:

"Senator Obama took a very different approach to the crisis our country first he didn't want to get involved, then he was monitoring the situation. That's not leadership that's watching from the sidelines."

This statement comes in stark contrast to a statement McCain made earlier:

"I went to Washington last week to make sure that the taxpayers where not left footing the bill of mistakes by Wall Street and the evils of Washington."

Well John, the taxpayer won't be left footing the bill, for the moment. Based on his supreme support of a bailout bill the logical conclusion follows that if not this bill, another. Will you suspend your campaign again to focus on the now amplified situation, or is that not politically convenient anymore? John McCain must re-suspend his campaign in order to validate his prior suspension, because nothing has changed.

The entire affair contributed to the single greatest point drop in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-777.68).

Update [4:17 CT]: McCain's giving a press conference right now. He just looks and sounds sad. His performance is almost robotic. John reads about five words, looks up, and then looks down again. He blamed congress for failing to pass the bailout while accepting no responsibility his inability to negotiate a bipartisan solution.

Published on September 29th at 3:37 PM CT :: 23 Comments

Does McCain Know What He Did?

As a legitimate contender for the Presidency of the United States there are really only two things that you need to avoid; (a) don't do anything stupid (see Dukakis) , and (b) don't get worked in the debates. McCain managed to defy the two cardinal rules of presidential campaigns in a single idiotic swoop. He suspended his campaign and called for the first debate this Friday to be postponed. The Commission on Presidential Debates already denied his request.

John McCain's already failed attempt to transcend politics will ultimately seal his fate as the typical politician which he so greatly seeks to overcome. John didn't even beat Barack to the "above politics" message. Obama contacted the McCain campaign earlier in the day regarding the potential of a joint message targeting the need for an economic remedy. The McCain campaign cooperated, before dropping their bombshell.

This latest gimmick is squarely aimed at perception voters; those voters who do not think, but rather feel who is the better candidate. There are plenty of these voters out there, but they are not a pivotal demographic. Anybody who falls for this ploy clearly would have voted for McCain anyway. There is no logical way to perceive McCain's actions today as strength or any other positive attribute. The McCain campaign mortgaged their future to secure a voting bloc they had already secured.

The Presidential Debates are a sacred endeavor, journeyed upon just once every four years. The campaign, for many people starts the day of the first debate. These late bloomers span all demographic sets. On a good night a candidate will introduce themselves to these voters just tuning in. Obama already appears to have the upper hand, he will actually prepare for the debates. The problem for John McCain remains in his expectations. How will these first time viewers perceive his lack of preparation for the debate? Will they even care that he was spending his time on the bailout, will they even know? My guess is that many people who are just tuning in will be largely unaware of this current storyline come Friday, but even if they are, I don't inherently think McCain's stunt shifts the scales in his direction. Recent polls have shown between an 8-12% lead for Obama on the issue of handling the economy; McCain is simply trying to keep pace on the issue, although with great difficulty.

A new SurveyUSA Poll taken today in response to McCain's antics show that just 10% of all respondents think the debate should be postponed. Either McCain is viciously targeting those 10% or he made the biggest blunder in presidential election history and has yet to realize it. While on the polling front I'll target the "nothing has changed in the past 48 hours but polling" meme. McCain's numbers actually increased in our model from two days ago. On the 22nd McCain was trailing 302-236, today he moved into a 269-269 tie. The polls actually contribute to the "McCain should not have done this" arguement because they actually swung in McCain's direction. As of right now there is no substantive argument to support McCain's decision to suspend his campaign.

For weeks I've contended that the first debate will polarize support for each candidate; independents will pick a side and stay there. Too much is at stake in the first debate to pull such an extraordinary political stunt, it's unprecedented. But I guess if you think your back's to the wall, you change your strategy; and based on today's strategy change, they must be right up against the wall.

Published on September 25th at 2:09 AM CT :: 5 Comments

Does Bush Support McCain?

The market's melted, McCain's prospect wilted, and poor George forgot to leave the lights on. If your line of expertise has anything to do with finacials and you didn't see the drop coming, you need to find new work. Unfortunately for the American people Bush isn't going to do that. On the day the markets died Bush was nowhere to be found, but something else was happening, or more appropriately, was not happening. George W. Bush was not using the impending financial crisis for political advancement.

Or was he?

The Feds and Congress are hard at work this weekend trying to remedy the situation. There have been reports of a trillion dollar bailout to right the current doom, gloom and despair. I question the situation at large: if the government is so willing to write a blank check to bail out the financials, why couldn't they write an equally large check to bail out the autos? It doesn't make political sense, Michigan is a swing state, you write a check to General Motors and Michigan flips. But Bush knows the causality between helping the autos research alternative energy and a drop in his precious petroleum revenue. The issue transcends national politics, but not in a good way, in a personal way.

The life long oil man, W, couldn't justify helping his party, the banner under which he lead the country into the ground, at the cost of his own personal finances. Greed ruled the day in the Whitehouse and on Wall Street. It's politics as usual, nothing has changed, George did what was politically expedient, again, and the media didn't notice. Sound like the whole false intelligence in Iraq situation, it should.

At the end of the day George Bush doesn't support the country, he doesn't even support his party, he supports himself. John McCain just happens to be the next closest thing to supporting himself.

Published on September 21st at 8:04 AM CT :: 4 Comments

Cindy McCain's Fallacious Rebuttal

In spite of what you the newspapers, and on shows like The View--I don't know if any of you saw The View yesterday, they picked our bones clean--in spite of what you see, that's not what the American people are saying and what they are believing....They are now seeing a clear difference with these candidates, and they are seeing who is going to make the best president, and that's why we're pulling ahead.-- Cindy McCain

Source: CNN

Cindy's paradoxical rant on the media's sudden bias against her husband is one of the poorest pieces of persuasion I have ever seen. Period. In two sentences she manages to present two contradicting arguments that make no logical sense, and I literally mean no logical sense. I'm going to take a mathematical approach and destroy her logic. I'll start by looking at her first sentence. After I parse out her sixty-four references to The View and her repetition of "In spite of what you see" her statement essentially reads like this:

"People see things in newspapers and people driven TV shows but that's not reflective of what the American people are saying and what they are believing."

If I let the first portion that reads "People see things in newspapers and people driven TV shows" refer to the variable P and the second portion which reads "The American people are saying and what they are believing" as Q. The statement can then be mapped as follows:

P implies not Q:
"People see things in newspapers and people driven TV shows" which implies that "the American people are not saying [those same things] and that they are not believing them."

Here's where it gets wacky: using the idea of contrapostion the statement can be rewritten as Q implies the opposite of P and the statement should still be valid:

"The American people are saying [things] or they are believing [things]" implies that "people see [these same things] in newspapers and people driven TV shows."

Using a truth table for implication and going through the various possibilities for the previous statement we run into a fallacy. Cindy has worded her response so poorly that her argument essentially breaks down to "People can only believe things that are told to them by other people," which of course is not true. As an aside this perception seems to highlight the entire McCain campaign's strategy: "Vote for McCain because I tell you to."

Her second erroneous statement boils down to a classic AND (&) structure in which all fragments must be true for the statement to be true, (A & B & C = true means that A, B and C must all be true). The breakdown goes like this:

A = "[The American people] are now seeing a clear difference with these candidates"
B = "[The American people] are seeing who is going to make the best president"
C = "we're pulling ahead."

This should be much easier than the prior result because I only have to disprove one statement. I've already disproved B based on the result of Cindy's first point so I'm essentially done. The easy refutation to B reads as follows:

If "[The American people] are seeing who is going to make the best president" then the media should also see who is going to make the best president. We know the media does not think John McCain will be the best president because shows like The View and newspapers are sticking it to him, as Cindy pointed out earlier. Therefore B invalids Cindy's second statement and serves to highlight the point that the McCain entourage has yet to realize that American people are represented in the American media.

The common thread running through all of this discussion is that the entire McCain campaign is devoid of logical thought.

Update: I had a bad equivalence relation that was not sound (as a commenter pointed out), but it didn't affect my fundamental argument. The erroneous statement was meant to serve as a segue between the math and the exact wording; but my attempt to increase comprehension in effect decreased the quality of my logic. The error has been fixed and hopefully my argument is now mathematically valid.

Published on September 14th at 9:00 PM CT :: 42 Comments

A Referendum on Who?

Throughout the period leading into each party's convention the election was described as a referendum on Obama. It was thought that John McCain's only hope for victory was to prove that Obama was not up to the job. John McCain went about this in two ways. John's first premise was to paint Obama as a political newbie with no "real" experience. McCain's other tactic focused on premeditated disinformation of the "he's a Muslim" variety [Obama is NOT a Muslim, not that it should matter]. These tactics did not pay off; throughout the entire summer Obama maintained roughly a two point lead.

McCain had to make a move, he needed a game changer; Sarah Palin was his answer. With this decision the entire focus shifted away from "is Obama qualified" to "who is Sarah Palin." If Sarah Palin was able to answer that question the focus could shift back to Obama's qualifications, or apparent lack thereof. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your position, Palin has not stepped up to the plate. The McCain campaign did the political equivalent of pinch hitting a right handed hitter for a lefty batter against a southpaw. McCain's decision simply didn't make sense. Something behind the scenes must have occurred to force his hand, the question remains, what?

I wrote in an earlier article that Obama should select Joe Biden as his VP because it would alter the electoral landscape and in turn McCain's choice. Obama took my advice. The aftermath of each VP changed the field of play, but also the rules. Since the conventions Obama and Biden have quietly slipped into the incumbent position as the McCain campaign desperately tries to trash their credibility.

The McCain campaign is still operating under the preconvention mindset that people actually care whether Obama is qualified or not; the polls have clearly shown that the qualification card is not affecting voters. If the attacks on Obama's qualifications were working to begin with, the Sarah Palin selection would not have been needed. As such McCain's strategy changed to reflect their desire for the race to be a referendum on Sarah Palin in the hopes that she would emerge. Sarah Palin has not emerged . Until she emerges the election will be a referendum on McCain and his decision to select Sarah Palin. The longer it takes for this to happen, the poorer McCain's outlook becomes. If all is not well by the Vice Presidential debate on October 2nd, McCain is done, Biden can put on his Droopy face and nothing will go wrong.

McCain may have altered the complexion of the race, but not in his favor, at least so far. Obama has become impervious to criticism; nothing can happen that will overshadow the Plain situation, at least until Palin actually does something. Until then the election is not a referendum on Obama's experience, but rather the subliminal comparison between each candidate's VP decision process.

Published on September 11st at 1:27 AM CT :: 1 Comment

Will the Real Palin Please Stand Up

Sarah Palin has been a national figure for just nine days, and in those nine days she has yet to be definitively defined by anybody. The Obama campaign has looked Sarah Palin square in the eye and said "beat us; we challenge you to beat us." So far it's working, and the McCain campaign isn't making any halftime adjustments. Sarah Palin has yet to make a solo appearance, she has yet to make a press appearance, she has yet to author anything (including her page at which just recites the acceptance speech written by Bush's speechwriter), and above all she has yet to convey any aurora of capability. If the Republican's are to have any hope of winning, which is slim right now, Sarah Palin must become a known quantity.

The McCain campaign has nobody to blame but themselves; they can't blame the media, because they aren't cooperating with the media, they can't blame sexism because they've already entirely botched that argument, but what they can do is attempt to define Palin themselves; they just have yet to be successful.

I think part of the GOP's problem stems from the nature of Sarah Palin the politician; she's the political equivalent of the sports fan whose favorite team is the one who just claimed the title. She is incapable of understanding the plight of a Cubs fan because she's too busy buying Red Sox merchandise. Nobody will take Sarah seriously until she reaches into her closet and pulls out that Cubs jersey. The McCain campaign is apparently waiting for an EastBay order to arrive, meanwhile the media is trying to decipher where she actually stands and Obama is content to wait for the debates. If Palin can't make a decision soon (or is not allowed to make a decision soon), it won't matter whether they make the playoffs.

Until then the knocking will grow louder as voters continue to ask for the real Sarah Palin to please stand up.

Published on September 7th at 1:00 AM CT :: 22 Comments

Can Sarah Palin Think?

Will the country blindly accept intelligence bestowed upon Palin by the media, especially after the current President's intelligence. My guess is yes; which is why I am straight up questioning Sarah Palin's competence. In her eight days on the national stage she has demonstrated no capability for logical thought. At her introduction last Friday (8/29) she regurgitated a speech written by somebody else. The following weekend in Pennsylvania she essentially repeated the same speech. Palin's third and most recent public appearance was her acceptance speech at the RNC in St. Paul. Here she gave yet another speech written by somebody else, but this time it was also written for somebody else. The McCain campaign has also been insistent on eliminating any of her interaction with the media. Palin has been the VP candidate for a week and has herself contributed nothing of substance to her national introduction.

But perhaps I'm being too critical and expecting too much out of Palin in such a short time. Let's say I do give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she isn't stupid. If I focus on her time before her nomination as VP I can come up with two glaring examples in which she lacked mental fortitude; the first revolves around her successful outing of an established figure in the Alaskan Republican party, and the second incident arises from the situation around her daughter's pregnancy, but has nothing to do with her daughter.

Her first display of incompetence occurred in between her unsuccessful run for Lieutenant Governorship of Alaska in 2002 and her successful run for Governor in 2006. During this time she suffered from what I'm going to refer to as the "Washington Complex," a condition in which you believe yourself to be the law. At some point Palin grew irritated with certain members of the Alaskan Republican party and vowed to stir the pot. She succeeded with the eventual indictment of Randy Ruedrich and Gregg Renkes. If you piss off the ruling party in Alaska some people are going to remember; your only option at this point is to be squeaky clean or risk revenge. At this point Palin should be commended, but the story isn't over. Palin would eventually dismiss Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, citing performance-related issues, but it appears that Monegan was dismissed for refusing to fire Palin's ex-brother-in-law instead. This is the point where she developed the "Washington Complex." It turns out some people did remember her earlier activity; in response the Alaska Legislature commissioned an investigation into the conditions surrounding Monegan's dismissal. She thought she was above the law and caught, ignoring the cardinal rule of politics: someone is always watching.

When you base your candidacy on the family values, religious right, stereotypical small government and lower taxes Republican candidate it's definitely not good for your political resume when your seventeen year old daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock. But as Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin could have very easily just declared the couple married; Boom, problem solved. It would have been the politically expedient thing to do, but it would also have been the best thing for her daughter and potential son-in-law. There is really no downside to this civil "wedding"; the marriage would have been easily deniable (the baby was premature) and could just be erased if needed. Palin's lapse in logic is comparable to George's WMD debacle (but on a much smaller scale); if you make up false war pretenses, it seems logical that you should also make up false WMD's, but George didn't and neither did Sarah. If Palin is going to play the "mother of five" card she probably should have put her child first; unless of course, she couldn't think of it?

In any case Palin has fifty-nine days to demonstrate competence and so far she's squandered eight.

Published on September 5th at 5:14 PM CT :: 19 Comments

McCain's Energy Plan of Fear

Our nation's future security and prosperity depends on the next President making the hard choices that will break our nation's strategic dependence on foreign sources of energy and will ensure our economic prosperity by meeting tomorrow's demands for a clean portfolio. John McCain has made the necessary choices - producing more power, pushing technology to help free our transportation sector from its use of foreign oil, cleaning up our air and addressing climate change, and ensuring that Americans have dependable energy sources. John McCain will lead the effort to develop advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels to promote energy independence and cut off the flow of oil wealth to repressive dictatorships like Iran.

Source: John McCain For President

This quote from John McCain's Campaign Website sounds great, except for one glaring detail: the USA doesn't import oil from Iran, not a single drop according to the US Energy Information Administration and should therefore not be included in a paragraph about eliminating foreign oil dependence. [Source: 1, 2] On the first link you may have to do a little math to arrive at the 'USA does not import oil from Iran' position; and pay close attention to the starred notes at the bottom of the table, but the second link should be crystal clear. Combined the facts speak for themselves regardless of whether or not John McCain blatantly misleads in the introduction paragraph of the 'American Energy' page on his website.

I originally started reading McCain's energy plan after reading another article on tire gauges the McCain campaign was distributing with "Obama's Energy Plan" printed on the side. The intent, I guess, was to highlight the fact that Obama told people they could get better gas mileage with more fully inflated tires and to insinuate that inflating tires is the extent of Obama's plan. So I said, lets just say that is the extent of Obama's plan (it's not) , does John McCain actually offer anything better. Well the truth is I didn't get past the first paragraph of John McCain's plan so I can't answer that, but what I can tell you is that John McCain has conjured false fears in portraying his energy plan.

Iran ranks fourth in international oil exports, with the top five recipients in the order listed: Japan, China, India, South Korea and Italy. The point, well to eliminate the "flow of oil wealth to repressive dictatorships like Iran" the USA, or another country would either have to replace the petroleum exports to those counties, which the USA is incapable of doing, (Canada possibly could in the future, as it ranks second in proven reserves) or export some yet unknown technology that will entirely replace the need for oil. I'll then ask this rhetorical question, why do people have a need for oil: cars. The answer to the oil crisis is electrical cars; the problems: electricity is produced by oil, and cars can't currently run on electricity. The solution would be to allocate trillions and trillions of dollars into research (and no, a $300 million prize isn't going to cut it) to produce electric cars that could then be exported to nations currently reliant on petroleum, combined with an investment in alternative electrical generation technology that could be implemented abroad; thus "repressive dictatorships like Iran" would be eliminated.

The inherit idea in the preamble of McCain's energy plan revolves around the need to eliminate "repressive dictatorships like Iran" through a better energy plan, but when this conclusion is carried to its logical end, (as detailed in the preceding paragraph) McCain's energy policy lies miles away from its presented objective. Therefore either McCain's plan is terrible or his objective is terrible; or his objective is intentionally designed to misled and incite fear. So the question then Senator McCain, how does misinformation lead to solutions, or is nuclear energy the answer to everything?

Published on August 4th at 1:46 PM CT :: 0 Comments

McCain's 35W Replacement Complaint

After McCain's campaign advisor, Charlie Black entertained the idea of a terrorist attack stimulating the Republican candidate's campaign; John McCain attempted to dispel any damage. In his speech he rejected the statements, but created a larger problem in the process. While offering a cash prize for a technologically unlikely battery McCain uttered these words: ''If we can afford 233 million dollars on a bridge, we certainly, could in my view spend one dollar per every man, women and child in America to eliminate our needs;'' where ''needs'' references our dependence on oil. The 233 million dollar investment refers to the cost allocated to finance the replacement of the 35W Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota after it tragically collapsed due to governmental negligence.

To begin analyzing his blunder, McCain first compares the need to replace a pivotal bridge with his own pipe dream of eliminating our foreign dependence on oil. McCain fails to realize that if such a scientific breakthrough were to actually occur the creator would likely reap far more that the $300 million McCain is offering. The issue isn't the reward it's the initiative. The scope of this project lends itself to a corporate empire leaving the average citizen with absolutely no hope of accomplishing the objective. The cash prize then fundamentally becomes a corporate incentive, which is fine, but $300 million to a Fortune 500 company is nothing in comparison to the potential of such a technology. The bottom line is taxpayer money would be much better spent on basically anything else, including funding such a project.

McCain's second and more important oversight is in his reference to the 35W Bridge collapse. His statement shows that he not only looks down upon infrastructure spending but he also does not fundamentally understand the plight of the average American. He may not have to use highways, he may not even have to drive, but the rest of the country does. Bridges need to be safe they need to be maintained and people need to have the confidence in their government to help them in a crisis; and the bridge collapse qualifies as a crisis. People died and millions of people were affected as the main artery connecting St. Paul to Minneapolis was severed. Such a catastrophe should never be compared to a political gimmick. The people of Minnesota will not forget the collapse for a long, long time because it is still affecting their daily lives. They will however remember this feeble attempt at yet another political gimmick. At this point McCain should finally feel comfortable scratching Minnesota from his list of potential big wins regardless of what his internal polling reveals.

I'm also intrigued by the way John McCain said he would pay for his $300 million proposal. He said this, ''I could pay for this by cancelling three pork barrel projects that are unnecessary and unwanted.'' The catch, these pork barrel projects would be cancelled from a budget his administration would write. If I follow correctly he is adamantly against pork barrel spending in public, but a budget he would write would include pork, but it would be eliminated to make room for his cash prize. According to this logic political gimmicks have precident over pork, and public safety lies somewhere inbetween.

Published on June 24th at 2:06 AM CT :: 1 Comment

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