What does it take to be President?

There are things occurring this election that leave some of us scratching our heads.  Is it all really politics?  Calculations based on polls?  

What does it take to be President?

Onward… through the fog…  

Let’s start with some background on Barack Obama.  

It started with FISA.  The poll commissioned by the ACLU showed that the majority of those who participated in the poll were were against telecom immunity, blanket warrants, and expanding the powers of the government.  Barack Obama flipped from filibustering any bill that contained telecom immunity to voting for the bill that contained it.  There have been a few arguments put forth to explain the FISA vote.

1)  It was a political calculation based on polls.

As I can only find one poll ever done on the telecom immunity issue, which is posted above, how can anyone say that this was a political calculation based on potential voters?  Given that the Democratic Congress has the lowest approval rating ever, how can anyone justify that voters are happy with the Democrats approving everything Bush asks for?

2)  It strengthens his “national security” creds.

Ok.  Let’s look at this.  Obama is perceived as being young and inexperienced.  The Republicans are painting Obama with the wide brush of “soft on terror”.  He caves to the GOP and votes for FISA so they won’t attack him on that front.  Obama drops in the polls and the GOP finds another avenue of attack.  By July 2008, Obama’s 15 point lead over McCain was down to only 3 points.  How did this strengthen Obama at all?  It didn’t.

It is a known fact that the telecom companies were pumping millions of dollars into getting their immunity — and they got it.  

We then move on to offshore drilling.  Barack Obama said it was a bad idea.  Then, when push came to shove, Obama stated he’d be “open” to offshore drilling.  Once again, we hear the same excuses on why Obama compromised once again.

1)  It was a political calculation based on polls.

In this instance, the polls actually favor this argument.  This poll shows that 62% of America thinks we should allow offshore drilling.  

Perhaps key to the presidential election, 54% of moderates also favor lifting the ban.

The oil companies want the ability to drill offshore, even though they already have land leased to them for drilling that they aren’t using.

Of the 90 million offshore acres the industry has leases to, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico, it is estimated that upwards of 70 million are not producing oil, according to both Democrats and oil-industry sources.

So, once again, the lobbyists are going to win and get what they want — and Barack Obama is going to be behind them.

But, the most surprising move by Barack Obama is his latest; his meeting with Pickens.

RENO, Nev. — Sen. Barack Obama talked energy this morning with T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oil and gas billionaire who helped finance the Swiftboat attacks on Sen. John Kerry in 2004.

Pickens requested the meeting, which was held in a conference room at a Reno casino. The two discussed the Pickens Plan, which aims to replace foreign oil supplies with alternative domestic sources, including a wind corridor that would stretch from Texas to the Canadian border.

It is fair to say that Mr. Pickens is both politically active and an energy magnate.  What is not explained is why would Obama actually meet with him about a plan that can be implemented by other companies?

This leads us to the question posed; what does it take to become President?

The first thing we learn is that pandering to big corporation lobbyists is a must.  There is simply no other explanation for Obama’s FISA vote.

The second thing we learn is to make political calculations based on polling despite the actual facts of the issue.  Ok, we know there are plenty of voters out there who will vote for Obama and McCain no matter what, but, as I have routinely pointed out, it is the swing vote that decides elections.

The third thing we learn is that you must keep the rich in the game.  This is where I think we see the “change” meme breaking down.

We know for a fact that peak oil is a reality.  The United States hit peak oil in the 1970’s.  OPEC is projected to hit peak oil within the next 40 years.  

while some of the more pessimistic oil specialists are declaring that peak oil has already been passed, or at best is here now, others believe it is not going to arrive before 2010. Some optimists give the world a little more breathing space – that is to say up to 2020, and perhaps even up to 2030. However, all in all, most would appear to agree that peak oil output is not very far away for all of us. It could take place sometime within the next decade or so, which in fact means that there is not much time left for a world economy to be driven largely by oil.

Let me sum it up in one word; infrastructure.  Right now, our entire society runs on oil.  What happens when the oil is gone?  Of course, the answer is that our society moves to alternate energy sources.  But, how does that effect the big oil conglomerations?  The answer to that is just as obvious, they have to corner the market on the alternate energy sources as well.  Enter T. Boone Pickens who looks to start now rather than later.

Pickens’ company, Mesa Power, recently announced a $2 billion investment as the first step in a multibillion-dollar plan to build the world’s largest wind farm in Pampa, Texas.

Pickens said Tuesday that if the United States takes advantage of the so-called “wind corridor,” stretching from the Canadian border to West Texas, energy from wind turbines built there could supply 20 percent or more of the nation’s power. He suggested the project could be funded by private investors.

Power from thousands of wind turbines that would line the corridor could be distributed throughout the country via electric power transmission lines and could fuel power plants in large population hubs, the oil baron said.

Fueling these plants with wind power would then free up the natural gas historically used to power them, and would mean that natural gas could replace foreign oil as fuel for motor vehicles, he said.

So, instead of oil conglomerates controlling the price of oil, we will have wind turbines hooked to large power hubs run by private companies in order to get our power.  That’s “change” we can believe in when power companies raise rates every year while their own infrastructure deteriorates.

I’m going to post the words of Edger, that say it better than I can:

They are afraid that the US economy and the “empire” will collapse completely unless they can control the mid east oil fields.

In the type of economy that has been constructed over the past century or more they are probably right, unfortunately…

This is true.  However, it is only true until the same controlling powers gain control of the alternative energy sources as well.

This election, let’s go into it with our eyes wide open, shall we?  


    • Edger on August 19, 2008 at 03:29

    6 min 55 sec  

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