Saturday, April 26, 2008

Obama tells the truth on gas tax; McCain and Clinton are pander bears

Have you heard of the pander bear?

It's an exotic cousin of the panda bear.

The pander bear is a political candidate who tells voters what they want to hear, even when they know it's a bad idea, in order to win some votes.

And John McCain and Hillary Clinton are both pander bears in Indiana over the gas tax.

We should have raised the gas tax years ago so that we have a reason to use less oil and develop alternative fuels and modern transit. That's essentially what Europe did and now their economy is in a better position to deal with $115 per barrel oil.

Remember, a few years ago, a gallon of gas in the US was cheaper than a gallon of water, so we haven't had to invest in transit and alternative fuels. We just burned the oil and now our economy is in a very bad position to deal with high oil prices.

According to this New York Times article filed an hour ago (we're super-fast on the Internet!), both McCain and Clinton are responding to the economic damage from not raising the gas tax years ago and thus growing economically dependent on cheap oil by .... calling for a cut in the gas tax.

So what will that do? It will essentially end any maintenance of the interstate system and mass transit systems. And it will allow the oil companies and the other side of the War on Terror to make more money, since prices won't really fall.

Senator Barack Obama tells the truth -- one of the core themes of his entire career. His candor is why he is going to be the next President of the United States. 

Obama spoke out against halting a tax on gasoline during the summer months, a move supported by Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, saying it may not bring down prices and would deplete a fund used for building highways.

"The only way we're going to lower gas prices over the long term is if we start using less oil," Obama said.

Don't feed the pander bears! It will just encourage them.

Instead, support the candidate of candor: Barack Obama.


Steve Bartin said...

Most people want lower taxes at the pump.There's no reason government has to be so greedy.Obama seems to not care that average working people can't afford high taxes(like in places like Cook County).Public transportation isn't the answer because most people don't want to live in big cities.Obama really is a Chicago style Democrat excusing high tax rates.I guess that's why Obama supported Todd Stroger.

Cal Skinner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cal Skinner said...

Too many typos above.

May we have your comment on Obama's state senate vote in 2000 on the subject?

tonn said...

He is so right!!! Mccain and Hillary are thick as theives!! i remember when we got check from the gov and then the next year it was taken back . this is the same thing . instead it hurts the roads and other taxes transportation. Obama will be "for the good of the people and by the people"

Steven said...

I agree that higher gas taxes will discourage consumption and encourage the inevitable transition away from fossil fuels. Clinton and McCain both recognize and support the need for this transition, but they can't resist the cheap political points they think they can score by pandering.

We don't have to wait for politicians to act to save gasoline, of course. Keep your tires pumped and carpool!

skeeters said...

If the Beyond the Beltway website is correct, you are on tonight.

Read this and ask Bruce why the Media ignores it. Are they racists, in Hillary's pocket, or afraid of Obama. Feel free to make up your own reason. From Digby

Summarizing what needs to be said:
Behold the double standard: John McCain sought out the endorsement of John Hagee, the warmongering, Catholic-bashing Texas preacher, who said the people of New Orleans got what they deserved for their sins.

But no one suggests McCain shares Hagee's delusions or thinks AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality. Pat Robertson called for the assassination of a foreign head of state and asked God to remove Supreme Court justices, yet he remains a force in the Republican religious right.

After 9/11, Jerry Falwell said the attack was God's judgment on America for having been driven out of our schools and the public square, but when McCain goes after the endorsement of the preacher he once condemned as an agent of intolerance, the press gives him a pass.

Jon Stewart recently played tape from the Nixon White House in which Billy Graham talks in the Oval Office about how he has friends who are Jewish, but he knows in his heart that they are undermining America.

This is crazy and wrong -- white preachers are given leeway in politics that others aren't.

Which means it is all about race, isn't it?
Indeed it is.

In case you think Hagee and Wright are not comparable in their nuttiness, Matt Taibbi provides this description of the climax of a retreat run by Hagee's church:
Fortenberry began to issue instructions. He told us that under no circumstances should we pray during the Deliverance.

"When the word of God is in your mouth," he said, "the demons can't come out of your body. You have to keep a path clear for the demon to come up through your throat. So under no circumstances pray to God. You can't have God in your mouth. You can cough, you might even want to vomit, but don't pray."

The crowd nodded along solemnly. Fortenberry then explained that he was going to read from an extremely long list of demons and cast them out individually. As he did so, we were supposed to breathe out, keep our mouths open and let the demons out.

And he began.

At first, the whole scene was pure comedy. Fortenberry was standing up at the front of the chapel, reading off a list, and the room was loudly chirping crickets back at him.

"In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of incest! In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of sexual abuse! In the name of Jesus. . . ."

After a few minutes, there was a little twittering here and there. Nothing serious. I was beginning to think the Deliverance was going to be a bust.

But then it started. Wails and cries from the audience. To my left, a young black man started writhing around in his seat. In front of me and to my right, another young black man with Coke-bottle glasses and a shock of nerdly jheri curl — a dead ringer for a young Wayne Williams — started wailing and clutching his head.

"In the name of Jesus," continued Fortenberry, "I cast out the demon of astrology!"

Coughing and spitting noises. Behind me, a bald white man started to wheeze and gurgle, like he was about to puke. Fortenberry, still reading from his list, pointed at the man. On cue, a pair of life coaches raced over to him and began to minister. One dabbed his forehead with oil and fiercely clutched his cranium; the other held a paper bag in front of his mouth.

"In the name of Jesus Christ," said Fortenberry, more loudly now, "I cast out the demon of lust!"

And the man began power-puking into his paper baggie. I couldn't see if any actual vomitus came out, but he made real hurling and retching noises.

Now the women began to pipe in. On the women's side of the chapel the noises began, and it is not hard to explain what these noises sounded like. If you've ever watched The Houston 560 or any other gangbang porn movie, that's what it sounded like, only the sounds were far more intense.

It was not difficult to figure out where the energy was coming from on that side of the room. Some of the husbands glanced nervously over in the direction of their wives.

"In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast out the demon of cancer!" said Fortenberry.

"Oooh! Unnh! Unnnnnh!" wailed a woman in the front row.

"Bleeech!" puked the bald man behind me.

Within about a minute after that, the whole chapel erupted in pandemonium. About half the men and three-fourths of the women were writhing around and either play-puking or screaming. Not wanting to be a bad sport, I raised my hand for one of the life coaches to see.

"Need . . . a . . . bag," I said as he came over.

He handed me a bag.

"In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of handwriting analysis!" shouted Fortenberry.

Handwriting analysis? I jammed the bag over my mouth and started coughing, then went into a very real convulsion of disbelief as I listened to this astounding list, half-laughing and half-retching.

"In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, I cast out the demon of the intellect!" Fortenberry continued. "In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of anal fissures!"

Cough, cough!

The minutes raced by. Wayne Williams was now fully prostrate, held up only by a trio of coaches, each of whom took part of his writhing body and propped it up. Another bald man in the front of the chapel was now freaking out in Linda Blair fashion, roaring and making horrific demon noises.

"Rum-balakasha-oom!" shouted Fortenberry in tongues, waving a hand in front of Linda Blair Man. "Cooom-balakasha-froom! In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast out the demon of philosophy!"



The whole thing — the demonic expulsions, the trading of miraculous wives' tales, the crazy End Times theology based on dire predictions that come and go uneventfully once a year or so — it's all a con that is done with the consent of the conned. Which is what gives it strength. If everybody agrees to believe, it is real.

The hooting and howling went on seemingly forever. It was nearly an hour and a half before Fortenberry was done. He had cast out the demons of every ailment, crime, domestic problem and intellectual discipline on the face of the Earth. He cast out horoscopes, false gods, witches, intellectual pride, nearsightedness, everything, it seemed to me, except maybe E. coli and John Updike novels...

By the end of the weekend I realized how quaint was the mere suggestion that Christians of this type should learn to "be rational" or "set aside your religion" about such things as the Iraq War or other policy matters. Once you've made a journey like this — once you've gone this far — you are beyond suggestible. It's not merely the informational indoctrination, the constant belittling of homosexuals and atheists and Muslims and pacifists, etc., that's the issue. It's that once you've gotten to this place, you've left behind the mental process that a person would need to form an independent opinion about such things. You make this journey precisely to experience the ecstasy of beating to the same big gristly heart with a roomful of like-minded folks. Once you reach that place with them, you're thinking with muscles, not neurons.

By the end of that weekend, Phil Fortenberry could have told us that John Kerry was a demon with clawed feet, and not one person would have so much as blinked. Because none of that politics stuff matters anyway, once you've gotten this far. All that matters is being full of the Lord and empty of demons. And since everything that is not of God is demonic, asking these people to be objective about anything else is just absurd. There is no "anything else." All alternative points of view are nonstarters. There is this "our thing," a sort of Cosa Nostra of the soul, and then there are the fires of Hell. And that's all.

tonn said...

what kind of idiot would think this is good ? you would be a moron to want a 28.00 discount on your gas to sacrifice job of thousands of job not to mention the public transportation. a selfish person would say i don't care.if that the case , think about it , if you get tax distount tax the oil company they will get the money back a billion times over on you !!! think smart people Obama does think about the people!! whether you like him or not . even a Fool thinks about himself!!!