Sunday, August 31, 2008

Drill, Drill, Drill it into our Heads

Probably nobody has had as much influence on projecting Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin into veep consideration than the anchor of MSNBC's Kudlow and Company who interviewed the former Miss Congeniality on several occasions. Larry Kudlow's show is one of my favorites although I rarely agree with him politically. One of Kudlow's mantra's is "Drill, Drill, Drill" - meaning give the oil companies everything they want, especially drilling rights in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Gov. Palin fits right into this thinking, serving a constituency that gets fat checks from oil royalties and other perks as well as a husband who works for BP (formerly British Petroleum). (Hmm, as a New Yorker, I wonder if I should get royalties from Wall Street?)

Gov. Palin was picked recently by Senator John "The Google" McCain as his running mate on the GOP Presidential ticket. McCain has been slowly selling his soul to the oil special interests, completing the transaction last June. Note this quote from the Washington Post:

Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month -- three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban -- compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and $208,000 in May.

Washington, of course, was taken over by the political "oil sludge" in 2001. President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, National Security Advisor Condi Rice, and Department of Commerce Secretary Don Evans, and of course, in the shadows, Enron's "Kenny Boy" Lay were all beholden to fossil fuel interests. The combination led to a $1 trillion+ war in the Middle East and oil prices that peaked near $150 a gallon in the summer of 2008 as unregulated speculators took advantage of the Fed's 2% interest rates to bet on America's vacation plans and overall addiction to the hydrocarbon saturated liquid. The political ideology associated with this oil cabal has been highly resistant to recognizing the "externalities" (costs born by third parties) associated with fossil fuel usage, particularly its role in polluting the atmosphere and creating global warming.

As I've written before, whether through incompetence or design (to give the benefit of the doubt) Bush created a discussion on energy that Gore's proselytizing probably could not achieve. As gas rose to $4 a gallon, oil expanded beyond the global warming conversation to an economic issue as cost-push inflation made commuting and other forms of travel more expensive and energy costs pushed prices up among a wide range of products dependent on cheap fuel or hydrocarbon components (ie tires, plastics, etc.)

The time is right to begin to institute widescale change. The time is right for an Intellectrical Revolution based on the newest technologies in microprocessing, telecommunications and non-carbon based energy sources.

But now McCain is becoming the new voice of this dying industry and he is quickly picking up the "drill, drill, drill" mantra. With Palin providing the echo and a Republican Party desperate for an economic theme, we can expect the message to be drilled into our heads this Fall. Slowly lulling us back into "Fossil Fools".

Monday, August 25, 2008

Live From Denver

Well in HD anyway.

Senator Edward Kennedy looked great speaking at the Democratic Convention in Denver tonight. I could hardly tell he has been suffering from brain cancer. He has made mistakes in his life, but they are far, far outweighed by his accomplishments. Unlike Bush who has tried to return a class system to the US, Kennedy has stood for equal opportunity and advancement towards a society where class, race, gender and sexual preferences are not barriers to a rich and fulfilling life.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Obama's Political Roots

Bodysurfing in Hawaii

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and went to its prestigious Punahou High School, spending a few years of his childhood in Indonesia. I lived across the street from his high school, although a few years after he graduated. I don't know Obama, at least not much more than anyone watching the news these days, but I do have some insights into the environment he lived in while in Hawaii.

One of the things to recognize was that Obama lived in Hawaii while a Japanese-American governor came to power. While in high school, he would have seen Gov. George Ariyoshi emerge as the first US governor of Asian descent, an extraordinary event at the time that was widely celebrated in Hawaii.