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January 12, 2007 04:17 PM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • 61 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Comments

61 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. The U.S. Embassy in Athens came under fire early Friday from a rocket that exploded inside the modern glass-front building but caused no casualties in an attack police suspect was the work of Greek leftists.

    Narrowly missing the embassy emblem, the anti-tank shell pierced the building near the front entrance shortly before 6 a.m., damaging a bathroom on the third room, which houses the ambassador’s office, and shattering windows in nearby buildings.

    “If the world is going to live by “an eye for an eye”, soon the whole world will be blind” Ghandi

    Bush’s escalation is patently crazy.

    1. the building raided in Iraq was not a consular building, earlier reports to the contrary.  It was merely part of the IED pipeline from Iran into Iraq. 

      This is not the first time that the Embassy in Athens has come under attack.  In 1996 the Embassy came under rocket attack.  Obviously for Sir Robin, that had to be a pre-emptive strike on a presidential policy that hadn’t happened yet.  This was the work of Greek leftist guerrila organizations who have been targeting U.S. interests in Greece for over 50 years. 

      They have attacked us whether it is a Democrat or Republican, whether at war or peace.  They don’t hate us because of our policies, just because we are Americans.

      1. No one in the world hates us just because we are Americans. Our foreign policies have (or are perceived to have) caused varying degrees of misery throughout the world. In Greece I’d bet that the leftists are still stinging over our smackdown of the Communists after WW2. In the Middle East it’s much more complicated so I won’t go into it here. But suffice it to say that there are better reasons than that.

        I’m not saying they’re right in their perceptions, but perception is reality.

        1. core reasons that much of the anti-Americanism in the world started.  Some of it is leftover leftist organizations that were funded and directed by the old Soviet Union who can’t move on into a post USSR world.  Some of it is the result of official U.S. support for Israel that started over 40 years ago.  The point is that there is a hatred for the U.S. that has gone on for several generations.  When hatred is fostered for that long, logical reasons go out the door, and the hatred becomes its own end. 

          Changes in policy do not make any difference.  Al Quaeda was still attacking our embassies and military even when President Clinton had pursuaded the Israelis to withdraw from the West Bank and giving legitimacy to the PLO so that it could try and form a new state for the Palestinians.  The supposed cause of Palestinian independence were merely window dressing for them.

          Sooner or later, you have to come to the conclusion that there are some people that will not like you, no matter what you do to try and please them.  To paraphrase an old saying:  You can get some of the people to like you all of the time, and others some of the time, but you can never get all of the people to like you all of the time.

          1. Let’s take this step by step.

            There are core reasons that much of the anti-Americanism in the world started.  Some of it is leftover leftist organizations that were funded and directed by the old Soviet Union who can’t move on into a post USSR world.

            Blaming the USSR seems a bit disingenuous at best.  If they were so bad at running their nation that it collapsed economically, how was their propaganda program so incredibly successful when ours wasn’t?  Ours was much better funded and widespread.  By this measure we should be regarded as saints.

            Some of it is the result of official U.S. support for Israel that started over 40 years ago.

            Now we’re getting somewhere, but I wouldn’t look too heavily at 40 years ago.  How about right now.  In 2002 we’d spent 1.6 trillion on Israel since 1973 (source: http://www.csmonitor…).  That’s about 150 thousand dollars a day for over 30 years now.

            Most of that is military aid which has created a nuclear threat in the region thus giving Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran  et al. a rationality to use when developing their own nuclear weapons.

            The point is that there is a hatred for the U.S. that has gone on for several generations.  When hatred is fostered for that long, logical reasons go out the door, and the hatred becomes its own end.

            This is simply untrue.  America was always loved until very recently.  In 2002 the French for instance had a 63% favorability towards us which has fallen to 38%. (source: http://people-press….)

            Changes in policy do not make any difference.

            Then explain why our rating has fallen so drastically in the face of this war of choice?

            Al Quaeda was still attacking our embassies and military even when President Clinton had persuaded the Israelis to withdraw from the West Bank and giving legitimacy to the PLO so that it could try and form a new state for the Palestinians.

            Al Quaeda was never representative of the world.  They were at their peak just a lose-knit handful of crazies.  We have more crack pots here at home who are far more dangerous.

            Also, Clinton’s efforts in Palestine were almost successful and probably would have been completely so if not for the assassination of Rabin.

            The supposed cause of Palestinian independence were merely window dressing for them.

            Not sure what you mean here.  The people you are talking about are dieing for this stated reason; to me that’s more than window dressing.  Whether or not this is effective or warranted is a different matter.

            Sooner or later, you have to come to the conclusion that there are some people that will not like you, no matter what you do to try and please them.  To paraphrase an old saying:  You can get some of the people to like you all of the time, and others some of the time, but you can never get all of the people to like you all of the time.

            Agreed, but this is a level of hatred that is simply too great to gloss over.  There is a reason for it and that is called Imperialism.  We kicked the Brit’s out over this very same behavior and face a similar fate if we keep acting the part of a buffoon.

            1. Blaming the USSR seems a bit disingenuous at best.  If they  were so bad at running their nation that it collapsed economically, how was their propaganda program so incredibly successful when ours wasn’t?  Ours was much better funded and widespread.  By this measure we should be regarded as saints.

              The reason I used the phrase leftover leftists, is because thats what they are.  They commited themselves body and soul to the Marxist ideal and cannot understand why the USSR fell and the U.S. still exists.  If you check out the remaining Green Parties in the various European states you will find Anti-Americanism at the heart of their ideology.  The attackers of the Athens embassy are on the violent fringe of this remnant.  Hopefully they and the Neo-Nazi movement that are their mirror-soulmates will die out before too long. 

              I am not talking about a world-wide phenomenon of America bashing.  I’m talking about those whose hatred is irrational and unchangable

                Now we’re getting somewhere, but I wouldn’t look too heavily at 40 years ago.  How about right now.  In 2002 we’d spent 1.6 trillion on Israel since 1973 (source: http://www.csmonitor….).  That’s about 150 thousand dollars a day for over 30 years now.

                Most of that is military aid which has created a nuclear threat in the region thus giving Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran  et al. a rationality to use when developing their own nuclear weapons.

              Using the Indian and Pakistani programs is more than a little disingenuous.  The Indian program was began in part because of the threat from the PRC and in part because of its off and on again war with Pakistan.  Pakistans program was to counter India’s.

              We could argue back and forth all day on support to Isreal and probably not change each others minds.  If any assistance in arming Isreal with nuclear capability came from the U.S. (and I admit that it is likely) it would be in the framework of that nation being faced with enemies on all borders at that time.  Probably not the best idea someone came up with in hindsight.  Isreal soon made peace with Egypt and has enjoyed the same with Jordan for nearly 20 years.  Syria, Iran, and until Saddam’s fall, Iraq are all conducting a proxy war against Isreal using the Palestinians.

                This is simply untrue.  America was always loved until very recently.  In 2002 the French for instance had a 63% favorability towards us which has fallen to 38%. (source: http://people-press…..)

              When was the last time we were in conflict with the French?
              Not counting any actions against the Vichy during WWII we haven’t been at war with them in 206 years!

                Al Quaeda was never representative of the world.

              Which is a point I was trying to make, just not well.  I was responding to Sir Robin’s post that tried to tie the attack in Athens to actions in Iraq.  Americans have been attacked before we went into Iraq, and we will be attacked long after this war fades into history, for reasons that we don’t entirely control.

  2. “It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.”

    “Intelligence is the capacity to receive, decode and transmit information efficiently. Stupidity is blockage of this process at any point. Bigotry, ideologies etc. block the ability to receive; robotic reality-tunnels block the ability to decode or integrate new signals; censorship blocks transmission.”

    “If you think you know what the hell is going on, you’re probably full of shit.”

    Robert Anton Wilson or RAW (January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007)

  3. Ritter is absolutely right about getting onto new energy sources.  I have always said that the first shot in the “war on terrorism” should have been shot at Detroit!  Hey muslim radicals- you want us off your land?  Not a problem!  We are going to put every ounce of our national time, talent and treasure into making our cars run on ANYTHING other than fossils fuels and we will leave your sandy lands as soon as possible!  Your “black gold” will turn into dirty, useless, valueless fluid…  How much have we spent on this folly in Iraq?  How far down the “off fossil fuels” road could we be today?  Besides the thousands dead, that is the real tragedy!

    1. I hate the fact that Saudi Arabia is ghost-writing our defense policy.  It would be wonderful to break this addiction for two reasons: 1) So we could tell the oil sheiks exactly where they can stick it. 2) That whole troublesome global warming thing.

      The trouble is we’ll never do it until alternative energy sources are cheaper than fossil fuels.  Governments can encourage it, but the real breakthroughs will come through when fossil fuels become so expensive that private companies seek out alternative energy as a cheaper solution.

      1. Our real problem is not generation. We have plenty of ways to generate energy (hydro, wind, solar, geo, tidal, etc). In fact, America is blessed with it. Our problem is 2 fold.

        1. No carrying capacity in the grid. That is we need to have more of a large distributed grid that can carry greater loads.
        2. Nearly all alternative operates on THEIR schedule, not on our schedule. What is needed is efficient and cheap storage. Hydrogen will never work (far too expensive). Instead, we need either cheap super capacitors, hydro storage, or even thermal storage. In fact, skyfuel.com has the core of a real approach if they would use the core of it for electrical->heat storage rather than just solar heat storage.

        Until then, we are the mercy of OPEC and must do their work. Carter had it right nearly 30 years ago. Since that time, just about every president either cooperated or simply ignored the OPEC threat.

        Interestingly, Nukes could really help us. In fact, Colorado should be moving in a BIG way towards that. But Public service wants to go the easy way with coal and gas. Hopefully ritter stops this and pushes for one or both of the new plants to be Nukes.

        1. 1:  Alternative energy is not more expensive than conventional — the problem is that utilities are allowed to “define” what the cost of power is when making their rate case.  If the upcoming PUC forces the utilities to look at life-cycle costs of all resources — alternative energy will be on par.  Wind energy today is the cheapest resource on the market; Xcel has testified that the wind generation in Colorado is saving ratepayers millions of dollars annually.  The bigger problem is that we don’t have all of the utilities and generation entities in the state working together like the MISO in the Midwest.  If everyone were forced to coordinate the hydro, coal, gas and wind resources in this state — we could quickly advance massive amounts of renewables into the system.  NREL has done a study on San Luis Valley Solar and eastern Colorado wind — not so surprisingly they do a good job of balancing each other — solar resources during the day and wind resources at night. 

          2:  The carrying capacity of the grid is a problem — but distributed generation is something we can do today with the grid we have to deal with:  small, distribute systems give us better security that large, centralized systems.  Long-term we have a 1950’s grid and regulation that doesn’t fit the contemportary needs of a 21st century economy.

          3: I’m not anti-nuke, but I don’t think it has a prayer of advancing politically — not when we have the vast, renewable resources nationwide that could solve the problem. One must ask — if the federal government has to indemnify a certain market sector for 300 years for environmental hazards (as the feds did in EPACT 2005 for the nuke industry) — and they still have difficulty in getting the financial markets to fund them — what are we doing?  Are we as a society willing to bear the unlimited environmental risks (and costs associated with it)when we have resources that don’t pose those kinds of financial risks?

          1. Wind energy today is the cheapest resource on the market; Xcel has testified that the wind generation in Colorado is saving ratepayers millions of dollars annually.

            And that is what drives me insane. Wind is NOT the cheapest. Why do I say that. Because you can not count on it for when you need it most i.e. it operates on its own schedule. That means that one of 2 things must happen.

            1. Xcell must invest in enough 2’ndary generators to cover the amount that alternative creates (i.e. they make a double investment in capital).
            2. The must save the energy that is created during slower times and then spend it during the high demands.

            The first option SHOULD be the more expensive. Currently, It is not. As such, nearly all alternative approaches will remain expensive until we solve energy storage. If Ritter really wants to push Energy business development, he will push into energy storage rather than energy generation. As it is, generation tech. is already being developed.  If we persue Skyfuel.com and have them create their core system (salt storage), then this would sell all over the nation. Why? Because all energy companies are currently forced to create power generation that is >= what the demand is. Sadly, the demand can be more than double the lows(night time). But if there is a way to store energy, then during the night, the base generators (big coal or nuke plants) AND alternative energy can store their energy. Then in the daytime, these can be brought on-line to cover the demand. Then these companies can afford to skip the expensive 2ndary generators (for us, most natural gas generator plants). BTW, a system like I just described could be spread around on the grid and that would allow true local generation to occur based on demand.

            As to nukes, one of problems that we have in America is that both major parties have created our little nightmare. For example, the democrats push against any drilling in areas because it is possible to be damaging. Then republicans push not only for drilling in these areas, but will offer tax breaks and/or indemnities for any screw-up. The free market must be allowed to operate. In particular, Dem’s could make life easier for themselves. Basically allow drilling in ANWAR. But require that every driller use BEST AVAILABLE tech (as opposed to lowest cost tech). that means limiting the platforms in ANWAR and using horizontal drilling. Likewise, hold the company AND its officers personally responsible for any economic damage. In particular, up on our western slope, the oil companies are injecting solvents that are carcinogenic. If the companies and those in control are held responsible, then I guarantee that the injection will stop. Instead, just steam will be used.

            1. If a windmill at my house stops turning, yes, I am SOL.  But if I’m part of a grid to windmills in a thousand mile radius, then the chances of this happening is pretty slim. 

              I think this is part of X-Hell’s reasoning on a recent report; that as windpower reaches a certain threshold, the investment in the whole production structure goes down per kw/hr. 

              I can’t speak to wind sites in CO, but the ones such as in CA and west TX, well, the wind never stops.  A big reason they were chosen.

              I’m also a fan of fission until we get fusion on line; the experts are talking fifty years out.  I’d rather control pollution, whether carbon or nuclear, as a point source and not all over the globe.  Even though no new plants have been built in the US for forty years, we are still getting 20% of our electricity from them….without event. Most of the problems, such as waste disposal, are politica and not technical. 

              Mi dos centavos,

            2. Xcel doesn’t “double invest”…quite the opposite — they contract for the power to come from the wind farms and firm it up with the gas generators they have already made an investment in.  They’ve already contemplated the capacity factor and time-of-day generation when they decide what price is acceptable for the purchase of the wind power. 

              The wind regime in Colorado is one that favors night-time winds in the winter months.  Result:  In the middle of the night when the wind is blowing, Xcel backs off their natural gas generation — thereby freeing gas up for the home heating market.  Go check the PUC records — it IS Xcel’s testimonty that wind is saving the raterpayers MILLIONS.

              Geographic distribution of their wind generation assets gives them a more stable supply — which is what is happening now.  We’ll soon have three major wind farms in the state:  North Central, Northeast and Southeast.

              Anyone who thinks we’ll have any major nuke expansion in this country must have just crawled out from under a rock.  Politically, I think it’s a non-starter.  I’m not anti-nuke, but we have plenty of good alternatives to nukes anyway.

        2. It has been calculated that once we factor in health, military, and environmental costs, gasoline would be in the $10/gal range.  Not my stats, just passing on what I’ve heard. 

          The Iraq war alone – no costs here for supporting Israel, another $6 B/yr, and other costs for our presence in the Middle East, is now up to $358 BILLION dollars. http://nationalprior…  Nor does this include the costs to the UK of their “contributions” or the other “coalition” nations, nor the costs of war which will reverbrate in the VA system and elsewhere for the next 80 years.

          Be those caveats as they may, we have imported abut 25 1/2 billion barrels of oil since the Iraq war began.  Can you see the math starting to form?  We are paying, at the very least, another $14 a barrel for ME oil!  And yet, we just borrow more money from the Chinese to pay for this, who are actually buying the oil without that burden!

          I would also like to know the oil cost of this war for transportation of troops and supplies.  I’ve not seen anything about this, but it must be huge.  Every troop plane flying half way around the world can only carry maybe 300 soldiers.  And that doesn’t inlclude food, humvees, Burger King stores, etc.  Even without multiple tours, just our present 140,000 soldiers – no contractors counted, here – it would take almost 500 planes to move them into and out of the Iraq theater just once.  Hmmmmm….and that doesn’t count Afghanistan, either.  How many barrels of jet fuel has this cost us?

          1. yeah, oil is subsidized here. But so are many of our other options. Light rail system throughout America are money losing operations. You have to go to other countries where they run monorails and/or high speed rail (faster than cars) to have unsubsidized public transportation. When it comes to subsidies, both parties are guilty as they use as a form of pork. Worse, each party pushes their favorite idea (routinely a pay-off for a friend). Want to see us get off Oil? It is easier than you think. Simply introduce a tax on Gasoline at the pump that grows over time. And make certain that every driver is aware of this. If you have a tax will raise .25 a gal/ ever 6 month for the next 2 years, and then .50 a gal /every 6 months for another 2 years, I promise you that this state will reduce its dependance on Oil. the nice part of this is that it is slow enough to allow ppl to buy more efficient cars. In addition, if you make certain that the tax is used soley for certain projects (roads and/or public transportation being the big ones), voters are more likely to support it. The oil companies will grip. But it would accomplish lowering our oil demand by encouraging buyers to go fuel efficient and give the auto companies time to create such things as volt.

            1. Similarly, I’ve seen suggested a flat gasoline price, over the floor of cost and taxes.  If gas cost $4/gal for the foreseeable future, we would not have this cycling of feast and famine of fuel prices, SUV vs. Prius sales, etc.  Businesses and truckers could budget accordingly.

              The difference between what would be retail and the fixed price goes into alternate energy research and subsidies for some needy folks.

        3. I love the puff pieces I get in the mail from Xcel Energy with my bill proclaiming how a certain percentage of their total production is from alternative energy, you know, because they care.  Nevermind the fact that they are now required to do so now by Colorado law…

          1. And that Windsource is fully booked up, so you can’t get it for the foreseeable future anyway!

            BRAGGING RIGHTS:  My shack is 100% wind powered.  Both the electricy that comes in and my bloviating!

          2. They have made a 180 degree turn-around since the exit of Wayne Brunetti and the entrance of Dick Kelly.  We’ve had our issues with Xcel in the past, but let’s give credit where credit is due:  they are supporting an increase in the state RPS form 10% to 20% — which they have no obligation to do. They are the largest purchaser of windpower in the nation, yes, due in part to their legal obligations under Amendment 37 and their Prairie Island Nuke settlement in Minnesota — but at least they are moving in the right direction — which is a lot more than we can say for other sectors.

        1. always mentioned negatively?
          Hmm OQD?
          I’m a good guy, really.

          Hey, ya’ll can bitch all you want about petroleum, fossil fuels, etc. But almost every one of ya drives a gas guzzler, doncha?
          I do when I have to but when the deep freeze is over, I’m back on my 50 MPG scoot.
          Even your precious Jap Shit Hybrids can’t hardly beat that kinda mileage.
          (Especially while getting 105 horsepower from two cylinders and running about 140 top end or better)
          So bite it………
          Oh yeah,
          Love,
          Gecko

            1. I bought my wife a brand new big ass Harley, took it to Fort Collins and had it converted into a full fledge trike.
              Trunk, straight pipes, mag wheels and all.
              Snap the windsheild on, throw the ankle biters in the trunk, Grandma on the back, kick back and haul ass.
              yeeha

          1. Hauls four people, groceries, and you don’t have wear leathers.

            Apples and oranges, Gecko.

            I used to ride 24/7, rain, whatever.  Rode as a MC courier in LA.  But I know that a bike is a bike and a car is a car.

            As to we libs not driving something alternative, it’s because the options aren’t there.  Even something not terribly like the hybrids have been well embraced by mostly left folk. 

            “Big Oil” has to be the stupidest business dinosaur in the world.  All this opportunity to develop, supply, and profit from alternative energy sources, and what do they do?

            Same as they’ve done for the last 150 years.  Drill more. 

            Effin’ idiots.  I hope my great grandchildren study them as a failed business model. 

              1. Not unlike the railroads who say themselves as, well, railroads and not in the transportation business.  They did nothing to invest in the coming waves of air travel or long distance trucking. 

                Big Oil is in the energy business, and they stand uniquely positioned to help direct and reap the benefits from a new energy economy.

                If they don’t, down the tubes…..

            1. No one can accuse Gecko of not being eco-friendly.  He conserves more with his scoot than anyone in here.  Do we have an award for “Green”est poster of the year?

  4. Make Them Fight All of Us
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
    I’ve heard the president’s surge speech, and I have a reaction, an observation and some advice.

    My reaction to the president’s speech was to recall a line from Bill Maher’s book about the war against terrorists: “Make them fight all of us.”

    Mr. President, you want a surge? I’ll surge. I’ll surge on the condition that you once and for all enlist the entire American people in this war effort, and stop putting it all on the shoulders of 130,000 military families, and now 20,000 more. I’ll surge on the condition that you make them fight all of us – and that means a real energy policy, with a real gasoline tax, that ends our addiction to oil, shrinks the flow of petro-dollars to bad actors and makes America the world’s leader in conservation.

    But please, Mr. President, stop insulting our intelligence by telling us that this is the “decisive ideological struggle of our time,” but we’re going to put the whole burden of victory on 150,000 U.S. soldiers. Yes, you’re right, confronting violent Islamic radicalism by trying to tilt Iraq and the Arab-Muslim world onto a more progressive track is indeed hugely important. But the way you have fought this war – with our pinky – is contemptible. For three years you would not summon the military means to back your lofty ends.

    That led to a vacuum. The Sunnis, who refused to accept majority rule by Shiites, went on a murderous rampage, and that rampage has now metastasized into five different wars in Iraq: Sunnis against Shiites; Sunnis and Shiites against the U.S. “occupiers”; Al Qaeda against the U.S.; Shiite theocratic thugs against ordinary Shiites; and Iran, Syria and all the Arab autocrats against any kind of democratic, Shiite-led Iraq that could be a model for their own people.

    Hence my observation: The notion that the only war in Iraq now is good guys versus terrorists is ludicrous. There is no center in Iraq. And when there is no center and you put in more troops, you end up supporting a side. (See Lebanon: 1982)

    And now for the advice. At this 11th hour, with Iraq’s sectarian fires raging, the only way more U.S. troops might bring stability is if you add two missing elements: a deadline and a floor.

    You need to tell Iraqis that by calling for a surge in troops you’re giving them one last chance to reconcile, otherwise we’re gone by Dec. 1. And you need to tell Americans that you’re creating a $45-a-barrel floor price for imported oil, so investors can safely finance alternatives without worrying that they’ll be undercut by OPEC.

    By not setting a hard date to leave Iraq, we are only putting a floor under bad behavior and allowing Iraqi leaders to pay wholesale, not retail, for their tribal politics. If Sunnis or Shiites want it “all” in Iraq, they have to pay for it all.

    Of course, just leaving would be bad for us and terrible for those Iraqis who have worked with us. We need to give them all U.S. passports. We have a moral responsibility to them. But it would also be bad for a lot of bad people. They would be left to fight it out with each other. And yes, Syria and Iran would “win” Iraq – meaning they’d win the responsibility of managing the mess there or have it spill over on them. Have a nice day.

    And by not setting a hard floor price for oil to promote alternative energy, we are only helping to subsidize bad governance by Arab leaders toward their people and bad behavior by Americans toward the climate.

    Make them fight all of us, Mr. President, or don’t do it at all! If we made ourselves energy independent, we would bring down global oil prices, which would not only shrink the resources for mischief by our enemies and limit Saudi Arabia’s ability to transform Islam all over the world into its most intolerant Wahhabi form, but also, more important, would force the Arab world to reform. It would force Arab leaders, including Iraqis, to organize their societies in ways that would tap their people, not just their oil wells – whether our troops were there or not. Also, if the rest of the world saw all of us sacrificing to win this war, we might actually be able to enlist them to help a little.

    More troops alone will not suffice. The only tiny hope left of transforming Iraq is if its leaders have to pay the full retail price of their passions and we have to pay the full retail price of our oil. And if even that won’t work, then setting a date and setting an oil price will extract us from this disaster and make us less vulnerable to the madness we leave behind.

    If we fail in Iraq, at least let America be stronger – by being energy independent – the morning after.

    1. The idea of a price *floor* for imported oil is interesting.  However, it would be more complicated than just $45 (or whatever) per barrel.  Oil comes in grades: light, heavy, sweet, sour, etc.  The price one sees quoted is for a particular grade (usually “West Texas Intermediate” in the US).  Other grades are more or less, depending on how easy they are to refine.  So there may be all sorts of room for political shenanigans when setting prices for various grades.  Does Saudi crude get a lower or higher floor than Iraqi crude, for instance?

      As to Colorado implications… certainly the competitiveness of renewable energy might be enhanced.  But, projects like the new oil shale efforts on the Western Slope might be encouraged as well.  If Shell et al. know that there is essentially a $45 floor for their product (domestic oil is unlikely to fall much below an import floor), they will probably be more likely to invest in the research and infrastructure needed to produce from oil shale, assuming they can do it for significantly less than $45/bbl.  Is that a good thing?  I guess it depends on whether you think that replacing oil with more oil is a good thing, or whether you think that the US needs to be moving towards energy sources that emit less carbon dioxide or are otherwise more environmentally friendly.

      1. There would have to be a formula for the various grades of crude; I put oil shale in the in the same category as nukes at this point:  Somebody is going to have to do a lot of ‘splainin about how they are, in effect, going to melt a mountain and then restore it back to its original state.  The politics of that in this state are going to be tough now that we have a political climate that will set a much higher standard for that conversation than what we’ve previously had.  Given Exxon’s flip yesterday on their global warming stance I think everyone is gaining an appreciation (probably wrong word for some readers of this blog) for the fact that we are entering a “carbon constrained” economy via regulation or incentives – and extractive processes like oil shale will have to make some huge leaps in their technology to make it feasible from a carbon-constrained standpoint. 

        Earlier this week Gov. Schwarzenegger signed an executive order moving all California fuels to a “low-carbon” standard.  A state policy like that will level the playing field between purportedly “cheap” oil shale and allegedly “expensive” biofuels — as defined by today’s petro industry.  I’m confident that technology will give us the opportunity to be energy independent in my lifetime — both from advanced biofuel technology and environmentally sound petroleum-based fuels.

  5. Ok, so this is a Colorado website and this is more of a national issue but help me understand something here…

    Bush is throwing out the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and going down his own path alone… again… against the will of 60-70% of the population.  From what I’ve read, he has effectively fractured the GOP because of this issue.  What we saw in 2006 is continuing, with some GOP members jumping ship so they don’t go down with him.  Some questions come to mind.

    Is Bush *trying* to sabotage the GOP in 2008 and hand the election to the Democrats?  I don’t know what more he could do toward this end short of nuking Iran.

    What does this do for McCain as virtually the only candidate to support Bush in this escalation?

    Is there some really brilliant GOP plan here that has gone completely over my head?

      1. Are you forgetting that all of George’s going is costing American lives and damaging our national interests?  High price to pay for an easier election.

    1. I doubt he’d resign his seat.  Most don’t.  I think the last member of Congress to step down to run was Bob Dole, and that was only after he had the nomination wrapped up (and it was more of a PR stunt to show how dedicated he was to his flailing campaign.)

      1. Tancredo would get beat like a bongo drum if he ran for president.  And he knows it.  Besides, I think he’d much rather run for Senate if that opportunity arises. 

        I know Tom and I like the man.  He’s a good guy.  But holy cow is he off the hook.  He screwed up our ’06 elections here in Colorado by pushing a losing issue.  Beaupreaz and company bought the whole “immigration is number 1” line and he got beat because of it. I’m afraid Tommy T. may do worse in ’08.  Give me the establishment or give me death! 

        Seriously.

    2. Ron Paul is entertaining a run for republican pres (he ran before as Libertarian; Paul is one republican I could get behind as he is actually a Libertarian). What I find frightening is that some have been trying to push Tancredo and Paul together. While I am fan of Paul, IMNSHO, Tancredo is one of the worse politicians to hit this state (and he is my current rep). Personally, I am hoping that he will run for senate or president. With the redistriciting as it stands, there is little chance of Tancredo losing this district. There is WAY too much money flowing to his pockets.

      I only wish that the dems would push for Joel Hefley’s ideas on reform on this state. It would solve a number of issues that 41 will not.  Elections are just being bought here.

      1. ..I really respect Ron Paul.  Although I often disagree with him, his positions are taken only after thoughtful analysis and without putting a finger in the wind. 

        Like Heffley, he is the rarest of all God’s creatures, a politician with integriy.

  6. School Board election=teacher union control.  Not true, not true.  In this case the leading candidate is being pushed by school voucher king Alex Cranberg.  He already has one state board member on his payroll, Bob Schaffer. 

    1. You’re right, my knee jerks every time public school issues come up.  That being said, does a voucher supporter really stand a chance in CD-1?  Even with Alex Cranberg behind her/him, I can’t see the vacancy committee selecting a choice advocate.  Are you pulling my leg?

      I wasn’t very nice when you asked about my educational backround.  Please accept my apology. 

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