In a campaign year where John McCain is seemingly doing everything he can to publicly distance himself from George W. Bush, he's also been emulating the historically unpopular president by walking in lock-step with him along the path to Texas oil.
While Barack Obama was in Illinois shoveling sand in bags to hold back the Bush-neglected infrastructure that was crumbling around him -- resulting in a multi-state version of Katrina with both an oblivious Republican president and Republican presidential candidate -- John McCain just happened to be on his way to Texas to accept the whoops and cheers (and money) from oil industry insiders for his proclaimed flip-flop on offshore drilling as the answer to America's oil-supply woes.
Want something worse? Aside from the fact that he did it while Senator Obama was showing empathy to those hurt by an unstable climate and deteriorating infrastructure, it turns out that John McCain gave his oil pandering speech CONCURRENT to the release of his new ad-buy proclaiming his independence from the Bush Administration on global warming.
Hypocrisy, they name is McCain.
(Not that he's got support from every state with a governor who relies upon tourism to their oil-free beaches).
Not the first time we've seen this type of double-speak, this insult to our collective intelligence, this proof of the lock-step between all Republicans who have been bought and sold by Big Oil. Bush himself pulled this when he announced his support for the fight against global warming at the same time his administration was cutting NASA's climate monitoring satellite system.
Can't claim problems with the climate if ya can't see it, right?
Well, not exactly.
People are wading through floods in the Midwest. While those floods may or may not be at effect of climate change, are certainly an effect of the climate. Might have been nice if they'd had some warning.
Oh, wait. THE ENVIRONMENTALIST called that one on March 20th (U.S. Floods a sign of things to come). Too late to rebuild every levee along the Mississippi, but the information had been available for some time -- for an administration that cared to look for it.
Another lock-step. Like all that information that had been available to the Bush Administration prior to Katrina. You know, the day that George W. Bush and John McCain celebrated McCain's birthday on the tarmac in front of Air Force One?
That very same Air Force One that Bush then used shortly thereafter to fly over the devastation?
President Bush knew not to fly over this latest hundred-year flood -- (he landed this time) -- as billions of acres of Heartland crops, the loss of which is destined to add to the world food crisis amid growing inflation, wash away along with people's homes and lives and dreams.
John McCain had not yet made his obligatory visit, though he does say he's coming. But not on the day Barack Obama was filling sandbags. John McCain was too busy giving his milquetoast grin with those insecure eyes that speak to his lack of surety at the podium, while he offered the oil industry even more obscene profits than they've been able to speculate through the Enron loophole that his own campaign adviser, Phil Gramm, put through to accommodate Gramm's wife's position on the Enron board (before Gramm went off to lobby for a Swiss bank with energy investments).
May 19, 2008 -- Sen. John McCain says he opposes the $307 billion farm bill because it would dole out wasteful subsidies, but his chief economic adviser Phil Gramm also wants to stop its proposed regulation of energy futures trading, a market that was famously abused when Enron Corp. manipulated California's electricity prices in 2001.
Clearing the way for that California price gouging, Gramm, as a powerful Texas senator in 2000, slipped an Enron-backed provision into the Commodities Futures Modernization Act that exempted from regulation energy trading on electronic platforms. Then, over the next year, Enron -- with Gramm's wife Wendy serving on its board of directors -- worked to create false electricity shortages in California, bilking consumers out of an estimated $40 billion.
Gramm left the Senate in 2002 but now has emerged as what Fortune magazine calls "McCain's econ brain," not only filling the Arizona senator's acknowledged void on economic expertise ("I don't know as much about the economy as I should") but recognized as one of McCain's closest friends in politics. The two men talk daily.
Hut, one-two-three, left-right, more right, even more right....
Does John McCain think we're stupid? (uh...) Aside from that? The answer: Fundraising. Senator Obama has his legions on the Internet giving $5, $10, whatever they can afford on the promise of a return to representative government.
Senator McCain is selling the promise of oil leases to get into the White House. As much oil as can be dug out of our coastlines with further subsidies to support the speculators that are doing to oil what Enron did to California's power grid while they laughed at Grandma (remember that?).
Same loophole, same greed -- only this time it's not just California -- it's global and the oil speculating versions of Jeffrey Skilling are not going to jail. Who would prosecute them? The Bush Administration? And then there's that dollar purposely depressed by the heck-of-a-job Bush crony, Jim Wilkinson, as a way to make his boss look better with trade deficits (reported on that in this post), a move that has oil speculators pushing the price as far as they can go through that loophole -- while Petrol-nations look at dumping the petrol-dollar in favor of the petrol-Euro....
Get out the wheelbarrow ... (check your history books).
Stagflation, stagnation, record refugees, riots over rice and hunger. And what does it matter what oil does to the climate, the beaches, the increasingly endangered species (including humans)? Drowning in Iowa, Illinois, points south? All those who are looking at the river and the failing levees over a mile from their houses and wondering when they're going to lose everything? (Answer: soon).
The problem for McCain is that so many of those Midwesterners, those independent voters who may have voted for him because of that global warming advertisement he ran the same time he was pandering to Big Oil, won't see the advertisement because their television is under water.
Of course, there's always right-wing radio to pick up the slack.
All-Michelle Obama-all smear-all the time ...
But what about that ENRON LOOPHOLE????
Testimony in Congress: Eliminate Phil Gramm's Enron loophole and the price of oil may decrease by TWENTY-FIVE to FIFTY percent. Where's the rocket science in that?
Are we so lost in oligarchy that we can't do anything about it?
Yes we can.
The Farm Bill that just passed above Bush's ability to veto is meant to close Phil Gramm's Enron Loophole.
Senator Obama voted for it.
You kidding? He's answering to Big Oil's pocketbook, not ours; you know, those guys who are just about to get those no-bid contracts for Iraq's oil? (Is that why we went into Iraq?)
Hut, one-two-three, left-right, more right, even more right....
Lock-step. Lock, stock and (oil) barrel.
More on this topic at THE ENVIRONMENTALIST