,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Monday, August 04, 2008


Time of the Hucksters

Energy Costs * Immigration Reform

Of course, we should have the right to change our minds about issues. John McCain and Barack Obama are doing that. But they make you wonder how far they will go to move away from previously held positions. Call them flexible, yes. Both are doing somersaults in the hope of winning the support of Americans hurt by high energy prices.

McCain's gas tax rebate plan (also proposed by the then presidential candidate Senator Clinton) bit the dust; it never really took off. McCain had been pushing for off-shore drilling despite the fact that it is going to have little or no impact on prices for years to come. Apparently, it got him some traction. So, Obama was not to be left behind. Formerly opposed to it, he is now touting "limited" off shore drilling. "Limited drilling", "slightly pregnant" and our politicians! To her credit, Speaker Pelosi made it clear that offshore drilling was not going to come up for a vote in Congress.

Faced with backlash from conservatives, immigration reform is an area where McCain did a volte-face. A strong backer of immigration reform legislation in 2006, by 2007 McCain had changed his position and said he wouldn't support the bill "if it came to him as president".

Obama wants to cover all bases. His latest ploy is to one-up McCain by proposing windfall profits tax on the oil companies and give all Americans "a $1,000 rebate" according to a recent ad released by his campaign. Republicans, of course, will talk about doom and gloom scenarios if big oil companies are deprived of huge profits. The sky is not going to fall. On the other hand, if the thought of receiving one thousand dollars under Obama's plan makes you drool, pause and think. Sure, it would be nice to have some spending money. Don't expect lower prices at the the pumps.

On immigration reform, Obama is on eggshells. He needs the Latino votes. Right now he has them. The critical swing states voters, however, hold strong anti-immigration views. Our man Obama has to strike a delicate balance. Judging by his record one can expect his decision to be purely based on expediency. He will take a stand that will give him more in the national election....or hurt him less.

"Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."
---The Mock Turtle, Alice In Wonderland

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