Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Exxon John's New Drill

This is John McCain expounding on offshore drilling at a campaign stop the end of May in Greensdale, Wisconsin.... "with those resources, which would take years to develop, you would only postpone or temporarily relieve our dependency on fossil fuels." (Huff Post)

Now, Exxon John is gushing enthusiasm for offshore drilling while visiting a Chevron-Exxon owned oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, declaring.... "Now as we prepare for the winter, it's time for us to be more serious about our home heating oil needs.... And that means we need to start drilling offshore, at advanced oil rigs like this one." (WaPo)

There's nothing like scare tactics combined with false hope as a campaign ploy. Which is offshore drilling John, a temporary fix that will take years, or an imperative to fix our energy woes?

Mild-mannered former Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack, compared McCain's new stance on offshore drilling to the "Beverly Hillbillies" and their stumbled-on gusher, calling it "a Jed Clampett energy policy."

Which might be funny if the comparison stopped at McCain's energy policy. But sadly, there is a much more sobering comparison.... the payoff. The nouveau riche oil-baron Hillbillies living the high life in Beverly Hills, and Exxon John riding big oil's money gusher on the campaign trail.

"Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June... Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1. million to McCain last month -- three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban [on offshore drilling] compared with $116,000 in March... " (WaPo)

In light of this unmaverick-like toadying to big oil, maybe the Straight Talk Express should be renamed the rolling Drilling for Dollars Rig.

But Exxon John's cozying up to oil should come as no surprise. After all, he's the presidential candidate of the GOP.... Grand Oil Party.

Wayne Berman, McCain's national finance co-chairman, is the managing director of a firm that has lobbied for Chevron since 2004, and John Green, McCain's chief Congressional liaison has lobbied for Chevron with the same firm since 2005. (ThinkProgress)

It's not just his new championing of offshore drilling that has unleashed the McCain oil money pipeline, it's also his proposal to cut the corporate tax rate.... a $480 million per-year tax break for Chevron, and a $1.2 billion per-year tax break for Exxon.

This is nothing less than GOP trickle-down economics in action.... McCain promises big oil lucrative drilling rights and more tax breaks, and the anticipated $$ benefits trickle down to Exxon John's campaign.

Last Tuesday Exxon John bellowed to an appreciative audience on his new platform.... Exxon and Chevron's Genesis oil platform that is.... "We need to drill offshore and we need to do it now."

Pass the hardhat.

Monday, August 18, 2008

McCain: Who ARE You?

Frank Rich in his Sunday op-ed in the New York Times, "The Candidate We Still Don't Know," takes a sober look at the myth.... GOP candidate John McCain.

The fairy tale.... once upon a time McCain "strenuously opposed the execution of the Iraq war; he slammed the president's response to Katrina; he fought the 'agents of intolerance' of the religious right; he crusaded against the G.O.P. House leader Tom Delay, the criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff and their coterie of influence-peddlers."


As Rich points out, thanks to "both the excessively genteel Obama campaign and a too-compliant press," most Americans don't know McCain, they just hear Karl Rove's resuscitated "hackneyed script" casting McCain as a maverick and renegade, raising McCain Lazarus-like from the campaign death-throes of association with the wreckage.... of country and party.... wrought by The Decider.

So, U.S. voters don't know that on the campaign trail McCain is frequently confused about policy, countries and forgets things he said only hours or days before. McCain's Straight Talk Express has detoured into the "no access" lane as the press is no longer allowed unfettered access to the increasingly muddled candidate.

It's time to separate the candidate from the myth, and discover the true McCain before we find ourselves being governed by Puff the Magic Dragon.