Well, suffice it to say that he’s a lot better at delivering setpiece speeches than are his rivals. I feel inspired and disinclined to write anything embarassingly gushy.
I probably shouldn’t write any more about this woman and her staff. Suffice it to say that I’ve found her behavior over the past couple of months to be utterly unconscionable and this speech is no different. I think if I were to try to express how I really feel about the people who’ve been enabling her behavior, I’d say something deeply unwise. Suffice it to say, that for quite a while now all of John McCain’s most effective allies have been on Hillary Clinton’s payroll.
McClatchy reports that according to “an insightful analysis” by former Joint Chiefs of Staff senior intelligence officer John McCreary, “May saw more violence than any other month since the 2001 U.S. intervention that toppled the Taliban and forced Osama bin Laden and his followers to flee into Pakistan.” From McCreary’s analysis:
April featured 199 violent incidents in 86 districts, making it the most lethal April in the six year conflict. May featured 214 incidents of violence in over 100 districts, also a new six-year total for May and the highest single monthly total. Despite official efforts to spotlight improvement, the spring offensive thus far is worse than last year’s spring offensive. The security situation has deteriorated again.
McCain said tonight he is the candidate of change. How is billions of dollars in subsidies to build hundreds of nuclear power plants change?
Here is everything you need to know about McCain’s understanding of both energy and climate issues: He doesn’t care enough about the climate to support even a so-so bill like Boxer-Lieberman-Warner unless their are giga-subsidies for nukes beyond the $100 billion or so the industry has received to date.
Q: Can you tell us your position on the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill?
JOHN MCCAIN: Yeah. I still have not seen in the Warner Lieberman bill, the emphasis and the way to facilitate nuclear power into active operation and use in the United States of America. That’s my concern about Warner Lieberman. And I feel that nuclear power is such a vital aspect of any real meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that I have withheld support for it, because I really want to see, and I am told there will be some amendments on the floor, that will dramatically increase the nuclear component of it. So far, it’s not enough for me.
Nuclear is, right now, among the most expensive zero-carbon options, with new generation coming in at $6,000 to $8000 per kilowatt, which would generate electricity for $o.15 a kilowatt hour, which is about 50% higher than current US electricity prices (see “The Self-Limiting Future of Nuclear Power, Part 1“).
A mature technology, with 20% market share and $100 billion in subsidies since 1948 whose liability in case of a major accident is limited by federal law (with the full liability burden falling on taxpayers) hardly deserves more subsidies.
I thought it was strange that Harold Ford’s on MSNBC right now deliberately sabotaging the Democratic Party, lavishly praising John McCain and McCain’s speech. Then I remembered that Ford took over as head of the DLC so boosting the GOP is part of his job.
John McCain is clearly defensive about the allegation that his election would represent a third Bush term. And, obviously, as I’ve noted before McCain would represent a change from Bush. But still, on Iraq, whatever you make of the comparative Bush and McCain records, McCain is promising to continue Bush’s policies. On Iran, he’s promising to continue Bush’s policies. On North Korea, he’s promising to repudiate Bush’s current policy in favor of Bush’s earlier, failed policy. On judges, he’s promising to continue Bush’s policies. On taxes, he’s promising to continue Bush’s policies.
This last one is important, because fundamentally it’s going to be very different to make substantial changes in the domestic policy sphere as long as you’re committed to Bush’s tax policy.
That does leave us with the important issue of climate change wherein McCain, though worse than Obama, would constitute a major improvement of Bush. That and mixed martial arts, where despite McCain’s love of boxing and hatred of over-regulation, he thinks the government ought to step in and put a stop to Kimbo Slice.
A few points:
One — McCain is a very bad public speaker.
Two — it’s interesting that he’s shifted his aesthetic from his old black and white “fascist” aesthetic to a new green and white Islamofascist aesthetic.
Three — despite the general badness of his speaking manner, McCain does have highs and lows. You can tell that he gets excited, personally, when talking in a generic way about how America is awesome. But when he waxes about reforming government institutions, it’s obvious that McCain is bored and not at all the kind of person who’s inclined to immerse himself in the details of these kind of issues.
Four — even McCain’s audience doesn’t seem to like this speech.
Today, General Motors announced that it will be closing four truck and SUV plants in North America and may discontinue its Hummer line, citing the slumping sales of large vehicles brought on by high oil prices. Sales of the Hummer were down 61 percent last month, and May was also the first month in which cars outsold the Ford F-series truck since 1992. In place of the Hummer, GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced that the GM board has approved production of a new small automobile and a new electric car. As CBS reported, Wagoner “said the change in the U.S. market to smaller vehicles likely is permanent.”
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who has compared people who raise awareness about the climate crisis to the Third Reich, lied about former colleague Al Gore on the Senate floor today. He claimed that “everything” in An Inconvenient Truth — Vice President Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary on climate change — has “been refuted many times” by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):
Now Al Gore’s done his movie, almost everything that’s been in his movie, in fact everything has been refuted. And interestingly enough the IPCC on sea levels and other things, scare tactics, used in that science-fiction movie have been totally refuted and been refuted many times by the — by the IPCC.