Richardson is Hitting the Mark on Energy

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richardson4.jpg
To no one’s surprise, Bill Richardson is officially a candidate for President.
Richardson is showing well right now in Iowa, though some people doubt he can break through to the supposed “top tier” of candidates. I think he certainly has the potential; whether or not his candidacy really takes off remains to be seen.
But enough punditry. Richardson is hitting exactly the right mark on some important policy issues, which should (albeit rarely) serve as the meat and potatoes of campaigns.
Richardson’s ideas may lack the grassrootsy populism of Edwards’s, the boldness of Kucinich’s, or the worldly sophistication of Obama’s, but they are very well thought out. His foreign policy is clear-headed and coherent, and his energy policy is uniquely on point.
Richardson recognizes the impacts of oil dependence on foreign policy, he the humanitarian and geopolitical consequences of climate change, and he avoids the farcical notion that the U.S. can somehow cut itself off from the global energy marketplace.
There’s a lot more to like about Richardson’s energy plan, too. Specifically:

I think we need the same sort of strong and focused diplomacy with friend and foe to adapt our foreign policy to the global nature of energy.

As he lays it out, the plan involves drastically cutting oil consumption, enhancing Western hemispheric energy cooperation, and setting up a multilateral system to protect the Persian Gulf in the post-oil economy in place of an American troop presence.
Oh, and he delivered his energy speech at an oil and gas conference, a nice plus.
I’m still digesting some of the specifics, but the broad brushstrokes of Bill Richardson’s energy policy are notably different. Sure, distracting political slogans like “energy independence” pop up here and there. Fortunately – and this is rare, the slogans are worked into the policy, not vice versa.
Many candidates have discussed in vague terms integrating energy policy with foreign policy. Here’s hoping they follow Richardson’s lead.
— Scott Paul

Comments

54 comments on “Richardson is Hitting the Mark on Energy

  1. Keith M Ellis says:

    Steve, could you just turn off commenting, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD?? You have the worst mismatch of site-to-commenters of any blog I’ve ever read. Your blog is wonkish and reasoned while your commenters are raving lunatics. There’s a few decent ones here and there–but the majority who comment here every damn day are nutjobs who shouldn’t be allowed out of the house unsupervised.

    Reply

  2. MP says:

    Super heavy fines for businesses who break the law and hire illegals, primarily…and much heavier enforcement of the border, to the degree that that’s possible…would seem to be the most practical approaches.
    I can’t see turning the US into a police state to round up 12 million people, hold them, and deport them. For lots of moral, legal and practical reasons. Though they may not feel themselves to be Americans, these folks are part of the fabric of America in lots of ways. Call it an unfortunate fact, but I believe it is a fact.
    Getting Mexico–or any country–to change is basically impossible, as we are seeing in the ME. Trying to meddle in Mexico’s internal affairs with them on the border strikes me as suicide. Of course, we can give them inducements, put pressure on, but ultimately they are the ones who have to change.
    Since the border states do bear an “unfair” portion of the burden of this problem, more federal aid should go to them to help them with health care, schools, social services…to help them handle this problem.

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  3. MP says:

    GRG writes: “We DO NOT HAVE HOSPITALS. Get that? Our schools are over-run. GOOGLE SOME STATS PLEASE. “Hospitals” and ” illegal immigration” — there are tons of articles on the real economic cost of illegal immigration.”
    I did at your suggestion…and it was an eye-opener.

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  4. MP says:

    Here you go, buckeroo, a link for a lintel. This one depicting Buffalo architecture:
    http://www4.bfn.org/bah/a/DCTNRY/l/lintel.html

    Reply

  5. MP says:

    POA writes (strangely even for him): “And it is interesting that you use the term “lintel” to describe what is usually referred to as the “header” here in the States. However, in Israel, it is commonly referred to as the “lintel”.
    ME: Here in Virginia, they are called lintels by the county inspectors who, ah, don’t come from Israel. In Israel, they’re called bintels, I believe.
    POA: It is interesting too that the implication of your post is that the Mexican labor force has an exemplary work ethic, while the anglo tradesmen do not. Truth be known, work ethics are a matter of individual strength, not racial or ethnic predisposition.
    ME: It was one example, and I said that. However, it’s been true of the Hispanics I have known and seen work. I called them “Hispanics,” not “Mexicans.” Most of the Hispanics here are from Central America, not Mexico, though there are Mexicans here.
    My point, such as it was, is there tends to be a prejudice against Hispanic workers, not against Anglo workers. But, in fact, in my limited, but regular, experience, Hispanics are exemplary. I can’t say the same for the Anglos, though, of course, some have been. In fact, in this area, ALL the immigrant tradesmen I know–Afghans, Iranians, Viet Namese, Hispanics of all origins, Eritreans, Egyptians, Moroccans work their asses off.

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  6. David N says:

    Carroll:
    Years ago I was talking with a member of the New Zealand parliament who had just returned from a visit to the U.S. in which he had visited Florida and looked at the refugee situation. He had a very clear explaination for the treatment of Haitian vs. Cuban refugees. Rember, this was about 1994.
    “Haitians who are in the U.S. vote Democratic. Cubans vote Republican.”
    As to the discussio with POA about our ability to influence the state of affairs in Mexico and elsewhere, the blame is bipartisan. When NAFSA was first put before the Senate, Clinton promised that he would have provisions added that would ensure environmental and labor standards be applied to all places where products for the American market were produced. Then the corporate interests got to him, and told their Republican stooges to lay off on this, and the standards were forgotten.
    Another example of a perfectly workable idea ignored by the media and the elites, because they serve the interests of corporate profits. We are getting closer and closer to the world described in the movie “Rollerball,” where there are no governments at all, only corporations running everything for their own benefit, and people outside the corporate suites treated as disposable commodities.

    Reply

  7. David N says:

    Carroll:
    Years ago I was talking with a member of the New Zealand parliament who had just returned from a visit to the U.S. in which he had visited Florida and looked at the refugee situation. He had a very clear explaination for the treatment of Haitian vs. Cuban refugees. Rember, this was about 1994.
    “Haitians who are in the U.S. vote Democratic. Cubans vote Republican.”
    As to the discussio with POA about our ability to influence the state of affairs in Mexico and elsewhere, the blame is bipartisan. When NAFSA was first put before the Senate, Clinton promised that he would have provisions added that would ensure environmental and labor standards be applied to all places where products for the American market were produced. Then the corporate interests got to him, and told their Republican stooges to lay off on this, and the standards were forgotten.
    Another example of a perfectly workable idea ignored by the media and the elites, because they serve the interests of corporate profits. We are getting closer and closer to the world described in the movie “Rollerball,” where there are no governments at all, only corporations running everything for their own benefit, and people outside the corporate suites treated as disposable commodities.

    Reply

  8. Pissed Off American says:

    You don’t get it. It isn’t that the laws aren’t adhered to, it is that, (for the most part), the laws are either extremely antiquated, or non-existent.
    And it is interesting that you use the term “lintel” to describe what is usually referred to as the “header” here in the States. However, in Israel, it is commonly referred to as the “lintel”.
    It is interesting too that the implication of your post is that the Mexican labor force has an exemplary work ethic, while the anglo tradesmen do not. Truth be known, work ethics are a matter of individual strength, not racial or ethnic predisposition.

    Reply

  9. MP says:

    GRG writes: “BTW: studies have shown that by the second generation Hispanic immigrants have the same problem, in that the strong work ethic has dropped off. One of my friends of Korean descent said that studies have shown the same thing happens to Korean-Americans by the third generation.”
    This would suggest, if I’m reading you right, that all those new immigrants, illegal or not, have the strongest work ethics.
    I have to say that in my small experience, this is true. We had a VERY expensive french door put in by the manufacturer, a well-knwon high-end brand, who subbed to (presumably) quality workmen. All Anglos. 100%. They took a MONTH to do it. Didn’t show up for weeks. Couldn’t be reached by phone. Left a huge pile of debris from the demo outside. Put the WRONG lintel in THRICE…so we failed inspection twice…until my wife came out and measured the thing herself! Got a song and dance about how the right lintel would have to be special ordered because it was “industrial grade” and it would take 7 weeks–and then it “showed” up the next day when we stopped paying. The mason (the same guy who put in the lintel) had to saw out the exterior brick work three times, each time spraying fine brick dust into every nook and cranny of the downstairs. Smeared (unremovable) mortar all over the face of the brick work. On and on.
    Meanwhile, just outside this door, a team of Hispanics installed a relatively complicated raised block and stone patio in about a week and a half. They arrived at 7am and left at 6pm. They were always on time. They answered every question. They were perfect. They had a great work ethic and wonderful attention to detail. They barely spoke English. I don’t know if any of them were illegal.
    When we finally got the door manufacturer to come to the house to look at the half-finished “installation”–because we had threatened to simply stop the job with the remaining half unpaid–he kept telling us how hard it was to hire good workers. All he could find were a bunch of “Joses.” All I could do was shake my head at the stupidity of this otherwise smart and accomplished man, who was trying to help us.
    When he put another crew on the job–again, all Anglos–the job was done well, but we were treated to the crew leader’s running surly, rightwing diatribes. As far as I know, none of these Anglos ever received welfare…ever fell into a “protected” class…or were ever held back because of the color of their skin, their language, their religion, or their class. In fact, one of them owned huge amounts of property on the Outer Banks and was about to retire.

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  10. MP says:

    POA writes: “The companies moving down there actually exploit the lack of environmental law in Mexico, as well as exploit the lack of labor laws, AND the corruption of public officials.”
    We, the US, could turn away–refuse to import–any goods made in any factories, whether US owned, franchised, or owned at arms length by “Mexicans”–where environmental and labor laws and safeguards were not adhered to. Any thuggery of the type Carroll describes would disqualify the product from importation into the US. Something like this was originally supposed to be part of NAFTA.

    Reply

  11. GoRonGo says:

    I was making a distinction between the PEOPLE of the U.S. and the U.S. /Mexican governments and multi-national corporations.
    Our government doesn’t listen to “We the People” as has been proven with the Democrats totally ignoring the anti-war mandate they were given last November.
    At least millions of Mexicans have stood up to their government and are willing to risk their lives to do it. But again, I don’t think that the PEOPLE of the United States should have to pay for things that are entirely out of our control unless we follow the people of Mexico’s example.

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    But I do think that there is a culture of victimhood in this country that did not exist when I was a child.
    Posted by GoRonGo at May 23, 2007 11:41 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Indeed there is. I don’t know where in hell it came from but this “victimhood culture” is entirely foreign to the original American culture.
    So is the “fear culture” cultivated in this country by various political interest.
    Americans of my generation weren’t raised on victim identification or fear….but today everyone is a victim anytime they don’t get their own way about something. At the same time legitimate victims don’t get any notice because it usually steps on some special interest toes.

    Reply

  13. Pissed Off American says:

    “Hey buddy — you’re sayin that the corruption of the Mexican government is OUR (the people of the U.S.) fault?”
    We (big business and American Government) are definitly complicit.

    Reply

  14. GoRonGo says:

    Democracy Now has on a Mexican human rights activists — they’re protesting the immigration bill and here I’m paraphrasing one of them, “The conditions that caused the migration still remain…”
    Hey buddy — you’re sayin that the corruption of the Mexican government is OUR (the people of the U.S.) fault? Ah — the chutzpah!
    Look at what the people of Oaxaca did — they stood up to the government, as did the millions who camped out in Mexico City after Calderon’s (s)election (and it has been alleged that our government gave Calderon a little help in squeaking off a “win.”)
    Now that twerp Scahill is calling the border wall an “apartheid wall” — GEEZ I HATE KNEE-JERK *LIBERALS* – I’m probably more of a humanitarian than the next person but to suggest that our following Mexico’s own policy and allow selective immigration is APARTHEID is WAY OFF BASE.
    And as to stopping immigration, when I was doing my Dad’s payroll back in the 80s, there was a HUGE fine threatened for hiring an illegal. Enforce those fines. Get the employers, especially if they are corporations.
    We spend between 8-12 billion A MONTH on war, when hell, without the efforts of the Israel lobby we could just invade Mexico and Canada without firing a shot. Because in all honesty, Mexico has invaded us.
    But as to the “jobs Americans won’t do” this is what I would suggest — have a true welfare-to-work program, replete with adequate child care (including Head Start programs and after-care) and transportation for the participants.
    I taught high school in Arizona about 23 years ago in a program where I went to the students’ homes because they were incapable of physically attending school, some because of difficult pregnancies. Now these kids , almost all of whom were from extreme poverty, could have dropped out but they had just that small desire to succeed.
    Anyway, what I found in almost 100% of cases (and again, I was in their homes) were generations of people who had grown so used to welfare it had become their way of life. The concept of work was foreign to them, despite that they were able-bodied.
    All to say, we shouldn’t be subsidizing this dependence on government hand-outs because it IS passed on to the next generation. I think there should be a social safety net for people who are genuinely in trouble, and I believe in universal health care and excellent public schools.
    But I also think that the work ethic begins at home, so if you see your parents/ grandparents / aunts /uncles etc., either make money selling drugs or living on food stamps your own work ethic might probably not be strong.
    BTW: studies have shown that by the second generation Hispanic immigrants have the same problem, in that the strong work ethic has dropped off. One of my friends of Korean descent said that studies have shown the same thing happens to Korean-Americans by the third generation.
    But I do think that there is a culture of victimhood in this country that did not exist when I was a child. My family lost all our money and my Dad went to work as a day laborer in a hellish job, and again, in order to get through school I have done almost every job “Americans won’t do.”
    The idea of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps is gone, perhaps because it is impossible now. But corporations being able to get an endless supply of cheap labor with the complicity of the governments of both the U.S. and Mexico will GUARANTEED ensure a permanent lower class. Again, one that can be used as cannon fodder and in George W. Bush’s “service economy.”

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Posted by Pissed Off American at May 23, 2007 10:41 AM
    &
    What do you think the US should do about Mexico’s internal problems and corruption?
    Posted by MP at May 23, 2007 10:48 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Something to address both your post.
    I don’t know if you read in the news about the recent Coke plant deal in Mexico. Para military Mexican thugs attacked workers at the coke plant who were trying to unionize. They killed the head worker behind the unionizing, shot him point bank, dead as a doornail. The company had previously tried to force the employees into signing statements that they would not support a union.
    Now the thing is this coke plant is owned by either a Mexican or an American “FRANCHISEE”..but like any other, franchise owners generally have suscribe to some kind of corporate policy or lose their franchise, beer distributors and all others that I know of are subject to all kinds of clauses in their franchise rights.
    And this type of thing has happen over and over again in Mexico…workers have been attacked, union people killed, at companies all over and the Mexican goverment has stood by and watched it without any interference or effort to stop it. In one eposide like this 6 months ago Mexcian police or army helicopters actually fired on and killed some protestors outside a another plant.
    So who is responsible?
    1) The Mexican goverment
    2) The American companies operating or franchising there.
    3) The American goverment
    In that order. It’s a collusion of capitalist business and elites under the protection of both Mexico and the US. There is no “effort” to help Mexico economically except for those elites. No point in even discussing helping Mexico until you get rid of the collusion and corruption in both countries…the money will just end up right back in the same elite pockets.

    Reply

  16. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, we could nuke ’em. Or we could send you there with a truckload of straw and a fictitious WP article or two. That oughta straighten ’em out.
    Or, for starters, we could make financial aid contingent upon the implimentation of social programs designed to address the terrible poverty in Mexico.
    However, there obviously are not easy answers, or quick fixes. But one thing is for sure, exploiting them on this side of the border, while at the same time moving industry down there so we can exploit them on THAT side of the border, is not the ethical thing to do from a human rights standspoint. The companies moving down there actually exploit the lack of environmental law in Mexico, as well as exploit the lack of labor laws, AND the corruption of public officials. Wanna dump your used lacquer thinners in the sewer? Got a thousand bucks? Wanna forego that expensive filtering system for your spray booths? Got ten grand?
    In short, MP, perhaps we should discourage the corruption, instead of milking it. But hey, who wants to buck the American Way, eh?
    Fuck ’em. They’re just Mexicans, anyway. Its just so much easier to claim we can’t do anything about it, then bend them over, and give ’em a good reaming.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    You know we could argue the pros and cons of every single policy this gov thinks up…but all it comes down to is:
    Goverment “by the parties”, “for” the parties and “of” the parties.
    “The People” have nothing to do with it anymore. We are totally irrelevant to our goverment by the parties.
    So we spend most of our time discussing “reliefs” for the “symptoms” of this goverment disease, not the cure for the disease itself.

    Reply

  18. Pissed Off American says:

    There is absolutely no comparing the issue of Haitian immigration with Mexican immigration, for the reasons I cite above. Its not about lobbys or advocates, it is simply about numbers. Haiti, quite simply, cannot provide us with the numbers we require to maintain our system of human exploitation.

    Reply

  19. MP says:

    POA writes: “Turn a blind eye to Mexico’s internal problems and corruption, creating a nieghboring poverty state.”
    What do you think the US should do about Mexico’s internal problems and corruption?

    Reply

  20. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “That might have some merit except in the example of the Hatians vrs the Cubans policy….you think the Cuban immigration policy isn’t the direct result of the Cuban exile lobby and cuban-americans in congress and Reps from Flordia?…the Hatians don’t have a lobby or an advocate..there’s your difference.”
    Yes, on this point, I agree. Perhaps I was bleeding over into the OTHER immigration debate. I don’t think anyone’s bitching too much about having too many Cubans or Haitians on our hands. It’s all about Mexicans and Central Americans. Anyway, about the distinction you’re making here, I would agree. In this system, one always needs an advocate, and the squeekiest wheels always get the grease.

    Reply

  21. Pissed Off American says:

    What the Haitians do not have is the sheer numbers, and the easy access to those sheer numbers. The concept is really quite simple. Turn a blind eye to Mexico’s internal problems and corruption, creating a nieghboring poverty state. Than fail to secure your borders, and open the tap to cheap exploitable labor that you can simply hire and discard at will, with no accountability or record keeping required. I turned in a guy in Los Angeles that had illegals removing asbestos pipe wrap, and actually crushing it down in a dumpster by stomping on it. No masks. No protective clothing. No warnings about what they were dealing with. OSHA became involved, as did the AQMD. The guy simply slipped the involved illegals a bit of cash, and then convinced them that if they persisted in being witnesses, they would undoubtedly be deported. Needless to say, they dissappeared. The contracter did recieve heavy fines from the AQMD, but OSHA was unable to secure a conviction, due to the lack of witnesses. The INS refused to get involved, for the same reason. Daily I see illegals working in hazardous or illegal conditions. They are not provided insurance, and if injured they have no rights. Most of them, if injured, fear deportation more than they understand the obligation of their employer to provide them with medical care for thier injuries. This is not about humane concern and providing opportunity to Mexican unfortunates. This is about exploitation, and the purposeful manipulation of conditions within a nieghboring country, and on our own borders, that guarantees a steady and renewable “resource” of cheap exploitablen labor.

    Reply

  22. Carroll says:

    Yoohoo…calling all terriers…this a’ way————->
    Neo-Cons To Plot Iran Strategy Amid Caribbean Luxury
    For those of you who may be visiting the Bahamas next week, you may want to check out a private, off-the-record meeting of Gulf and Middle East specialists of a rather narrow ideological bent at Westin’s luxurious Our Lucaya Resort on Grand Bahama Island. The meeting takes place May 30 to June 1.
    The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neo-conservative group created two days after the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, is holding what it calls “a policy workshop” during Congress’ Memorial Day recess, no doubt to plot strategy for moving U.S. policy toward Iran in a direction compatible with its confrontational views.
    The workshop, entitled “Confronting The Iranian Threat: The Way Forward,” is to include “30 or so leading experts who will analyze the implications of Iran’s activities, the diplomatic challenges, military and intelligence capabilities, the spread of its ideology within and beyond its borders, and other issues, including the prospects for democratization in the Islamic world, energy security and other related issues that face policymakers in the United States, Europe and the Middle East,” according to the invitation letter from FDD’s president, Clifford May. The purpose will be “exploring policy options …and consider solutions to one of the most significant policy issues of our day.”………….
    http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=21

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    So, I’m not sure it’s a matter of “let in” as much as a matter of “can’t stop.” At least with the resources laid out so far.
    Posted by MP at May 23, 2007 10:03 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    That might have some merit except in the example of the Hatians vrs the Cubans policy….you think the Cuban immigration policy isn’t the direct result of the Cuban exile lobby and cuban-americans in congress and Reps from Flordia?…the Hatians don’t have a lobby or an advocate..there’s your difference.

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  24. Pissed Off American says:

    The idea that we cannot police our own borders, and successfully block the flow of illegals is asinine to the extreme. It would take technology, money, and manpower. We have the capabilities, but not the political will in Washington. The argument that it is impossible is dishonest and and an insult to the collective intelligence of the American public. But its amazing how many assholes will advance the argument that the so called “last remaining superpower” cannot even secure it’s own borders. We can, but the simple truth is, we won’t. It is simply too lucrative to have a class of low paid peons to exploit in our agricultural, construction, and service industries.

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  25. MP says:

    POA writes: “Nah, what the hell. I mean hey, they’re only breakin’ the law, right? I mean geez, I love having to observe the law while a few million illegals say “fuck you and your laws too”.”
    Well, that isn’t my attitude at all. But it isn’t even a “few” million. The stats I’ve heard say 12 million. Including children who were born here and thus are legally citizens, even if they’re sucking on the tit of an illegal mother. It’s tough knot to untie.
    Unless Mexico does become the land of opportunity as GRG seems to suggest, if in a back-handed sort of way, the only other option in my book is to try and seal the borders and allow those here to work their way toward legal status.
    Also, RAISE the minimum wage with benefits to a point where more Americans are willing to compete for these jobs.
    To be honest, I haven’t heard any GOOD solutions to this problem.

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  26. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “Everything you need to know about our immigration policy you can understand just by looking at who we let in and who we don’t.”
    But this assumes we have the resources to seal the southern border. I don’t remember the number, but HUGE numbers simply walk across the river. The border is, what?, 2000 miles long? It’s a little different from being able to block boat people who’ve traveled 90 miles in open sea on rickety over-filled boats.
    So, I’m not sure it’s a matter of “let in” as much as a matter of “can’t stop.” At least with the resources laid out so far.

    Reply

  27. Carroll says:

    There’s been significant economic research that indicates that there is a small economic effect (>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I suggest you look carefully at WHO does the research. The Issue Think Tanks and the “advocate” groups of either side aren’t good sources, netiher is the Federal goverment these days.
    Because my State’s budget office did their own study a year ago on the impact of illegal employment in NC specifically..and the study was anything but ‘weak”. I won’t quote the figures since my memory might not be exact on the actual amount. But the net cost to the state and therefore the taxpayers was enormous.
    It was very through and took into account lost revenue in state income taxes plus lost workers comp not paid in by firms hiring illegals as they would have to do if they were employing legals, as well as what illegals “added” back into the economy of NC vrs what they took back or sent back to Mexico.
    It is a huge losing proposition for NC. It benefits no one here except employers of illegals.

    Reply

  28. Carroll says:

    Everything you need to know about our immigration policy you can understand just by looking at who we let in and who we don’t.
    We rounded up Hatians and shot them out of their boats when they were trying to get to the US several years ago…and they were people actually “starving”, fleeing a dictator, and being attacked in their own country, not just people looking for “a higher standard of living”.
    BUT…then we let in hordes of Cubans? People who aren’t starving but just looking for those streets of gold in Miami?
    Then we have to have a congressional “hearing” to see if we will take in some of the Iraq refugees we helped create?
    So much for “send us your poor huddled masses, yearning to be free”.
    Give me a oppressed Hatian or displaced Iraqi any day over the plain economic opportunist, they are the ones who will really suscribe to our values and freedoms and and become proud Americans.
    Immigration is about big biz and political favortism. The Morality” of it all you constantly hear mouthed by the politicans is utter tripe.

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  29. Roger says:

    Let him propose a fuel rationing plan where rich get no more than the poor.

    Reply

  30. Pissed Off American says:

    On another note, heres a stock tip. If you’re in Alabama, I suggest you load up on cucumber stock, and dump your shares in Ever-Ready.
    The damned fools are going to ban the sale of sex toys.
    (Aren’t you glad they’re taking care of that pressing threat to our security?)

    Reply

  31. Pissed Off American says:

    Sorry for the double post. It seems that Steve’s website guy is going for a record, the longest running glitch in the history of TWN.

    Reply

  32. Pissed Off American says:

    “POA’s Formula for Immigration Reform and Energy Generation”.
    It is my contention that we should immediately invest in hundreds of thousands of exercycles equipped with small generators that are tied into the nation’s power grid. These exercycles should be warehoused on our nation’s borders in large metal buildings spaced five miles apart, with electrical fencing securing the open spans between the buildings. (The electrical fencing could be powered by the exercycles as well.) These buildings would be entry points where Mexicans who seek to immigrate can gain entry. The length of their stay would be contingent upon how many kilowatts they generate into our power grid by pedaling on the metered exercycles. We could issue vouchers for kilowattage produced, and when they reach an “admission kilowattage”, any further power they produce would advance the amount of time they could stay in the United States. Our urban centers would have exercycle facilities, where, when their allotted time has been expended, they could pedal their way back into legal status.
    Of course, any such facilities would need to include birthing chambers. We’ll call it “renewable energy”.
    (Hey, why not? Its as feasible as anything else I have heard from these self serving bastards in Washington. And because it is racist and exploitive, Congress is bound to love it.)

    Reply

  33. Pissed Off American says:

    “POA’s Formula for Immigration Reform and Energy Generation”.
    It is my contention that we should immediately invest in hundreds of thousands of exercycles equipped with small generators that are tied into the nation’s power grid. These exercycles should be warehoused on our nation’s borders in large metal buildings spaced five miles apart, with electrical fencing securing the open spans between the buildings. (The electrical fencing could be powered by the exercycles as well.) These buildings would be entry points where Mexicans who seek to immigrate can gain entry. The length of their stay would be contingent upon how many kilowatts they generate into our power grid by pedaling on the metered exercycles. We could issue vouchers for kilowattage produced, and when they reach an “admission kilowattage”, any further power they produce would advance the amount of time they could stay in the United States. Our urban centers would have exercycle facilities, where, when their allotted time has been expended, they could pedal their way back into legal status.
    Of course, any such facilities would need to include birthing chambers. We’ll call it “renewable energy”.
    (Hey, why not? Its as feasible as anything else I have heard from these self serving bastards in Washington. And because it is racist and exploitive, Congress is bound to love it.)

    Reply

  34. Pissed Off American says:

    As to “amnesty,” what do you recommend we do with 12 million illegals here who have become part of the fabric of American society, many of whom have children who are American citizens by virtue of being born here? Round them up at gun point?
    Posted by MP
    Nah, what the hell. I mean hey, they’re only breakin’ the law, right? I mean geez, I love having to observe the law while a few million illegals say “fuck you and your laws too”.
    Now, MP, lets hear the “well, Americans won’t do the work” schpiel. I mean what the heck, you might as well read us ALL the script, right?

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  35. David N says:

    We ended up in Iraq because to this administration, energy policy equates to maximizing energy — and all other — corporate profits.
    I hate to sound like a Marxist, but these guys are charging straight ahead into the 1910’s, when they aren’t charging ahead into the twelfth century in terms of politics, religion, and science.
    Of course, the irony is that the ultimate outcome of these profit-maximizing strategies is that the entire economy will come crashing down, the way it did in the 1930’s, and so will their precious stocks and profits. Doing away with the SEC, as well as the rest of the regulatory structure that has prevented this for the last eighty or so years is all part of their ideology-driven agenda.
    Broken record . . . .

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  36. Levees Not War says:

    While I agree with almost all of Richardson’s points I’m left wishing he had accomplished some of what he talks about in his time heading up Eneregy. One of my major problems with the Clinton Administration was its total lack of a coherent & comprehensive energy policy. Richardson strikes me as having the best resume of anyone on the Democratic side but once you dig below the surface you don’t find much in the way of substance. I can’t see him breaking the stranglehold the top three have on the field and would think the number 2 spot would be the best he can hope for although I seem to remember him sending out very public signs that he didn’t have much interest in veep last election cycle. Can’t argue with attractiveness as a number 2 to a John Edwards if he were able to secure the nomination.

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  37. Mike Conwell says:

    “Many candidates have discussed in vague terms integrating energy policy with foreign policy. ”
    Integrating energy policy with foreign policy? I thought that’s how we ended up in Iraq in the first place?

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  38. David N says:

    MP:
    If we could do it with our own country, that would help . . . .
    There is a lot of knowledge and agreement on how to do this. Two sources of this are the book, /The Origin of Wealth/ by Eric Beinhocker, and the report oy the Princeton Project on National Security, /Forging a World of Liberty under Law/.
    Since neither set of ideas serves the short-term interests of corporations to maximize their profits, both are largely ignored by the MSM and the punditocracy.
    I just bought Al Gore’s new book /The Assault on Reason/. Looking forward to that, as well, since he seems to be saying what I have been ranting about on blogs like this for the past six years. So of course he must be right . . . .

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  39. MP says:

    David N: “One means of coping with this is, as said, helping the economies in Mexico, Central America, hell, even South America, the Carribean, and elsewhere, develop into stable, healthy economies with a solid middle class, social churn, and a viable rule of law.”
    Well, as they used to say, “You said a mouthful.” If we actually knew how to do all that, we, and the rest of the world, wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. But it seems we don’t know how to do it, or can’t agree on the best way to do it, or can’t even agree on whether it’s possible to do it. In short, it seems what you’re putting a forward as a solution is the very challenge we’re faced with.

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  40. David N says:

    On immigration:
    Here, as in every other issue, the standard cant on both sides misses the mark. Many of you here get far closer to the real world than do either the politicians or the MSM, but that’s no surprise.
    First, MP, you are right; generalizations are dangerous. The attitudes of immigrants are as varied as they are. Even generalizations based on the nationality of the immigrants are risky. GoRonGo may be right about the Mexican and Central American immigrants; certainly the group I know the most about, since I’m married to one, is the growing population of immigrants from India, most of whom are highly educated doctors, engineers, and businessmen who travel frequently, maintain their identity, and speak English when they return to India, as it was often a household language there.
    Try this for a policy:
    Immigration law has two stated goals: Family reunification and job placement. Only the first is in any way served by current implimentation, because by the time the families are unified, the quotas are filled. Thus, there are two ways in which the jobs are filled: outsourcing for the higher-skill (and wage) jobs, and illegal immigration for the low-wage jobs (some of which are skilled, as well).
    Thus, any effective policy will have to address the economic situation that has led to the current situation. As has been stated, poor economic conditions and lack of opportunities in their home countries leads many to take the risk of coming here. One means of coping with this is, as said, helping the economies in Mexico, Central America, hell, even South America, the Carribean, and elsewhere, develop into stable, healthy economies with a solid middle class, social churn, and a viable rule of law. Far from heading that direction, we are now in the process of losing those features in the U.S.! Hell, once the potential immigrants take a look at where our economy and society are heading, that may solve the “immigrant problem” right there.
    However, two short-term steps will help:
    1. Raise the minimum wage. We haven’t done that yet, by the way; it’s stuck in conference and no one’s paying attention because the MSM has told Americans that it has “passed.” What this will do is make some of the lower-end jobs once more viably attractive to American workers.
    2. Enforce laws on hiring and abusing illegal workers against the companies that do it. In this regard, the proposals by Bush and his minions to have “guest worker” programs are simply was to lower the labor costs of their corporate sponsors. Not only are the wages lower, but they don’t have to cover retirement or even health costs; just ship them home once they’re used up. This policy is both morally repugnant and economically short-sighted, but why should it be any different than anything else these crooks do?
    Anyway, that is by no means a complete or coherent policy. But it’s better than anything else being proposed. The trouble is, this country is being run as a political campaign, instead of being governed (see: Gonzales/Rove/Cheney multiple scandals).

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  41. GoRonGo says:

    It’s not “weak at best” (the argument against ILLEGAL immigration) — when you have a significant portion of the population not paying taxes but stressing the social services, especially of the border states, that will and has, had a huge economic effect.
    We DO NOT HAVE HOSPITALS. Get that? Our schools are over-run. GOOGLE SOME STATS PLEASE. “Hospitals” and ” illegal immigration” — there are tons of articles on the real economic cost of illegal immigration.
    But again, that does not address my main point. WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO PAY FOR LAW-BREAKERS WHOSE OWN COUNTRY HAS A WEALTH OF OIL BUT WHO CAN’T GET IT TOGETHER TO FIX THEIR OWN PROBLEMS????
    I suspect that many advocates of illegal immigration on this board live in some squishy “progressive” community back east. Come out to L.A. and get in a really bad accident and see what kind of trauma center is available in certain areas.
    But again, don’t trust me, do your own research. But before that, pay my local and state taxes. You agree with illegal immigration, you pay for it. 12 million illegals my ass — if there are only 12 million, they must all live in my neighborhood.
    And let’s not be racist here, if we going to allow in most of Mexico, let’s open the border for EVERYONE. I mean that. My relatives, highly skilled by the way, can’t get in. Visas from the country I came from are capped because people from the country I was born in are TOO HIGHLY SKILLED.
    Let’s get the Iraqis in here — I would totally endorse that. And the Palestinians and Afghans — we OWE those people. I would pay for that because it’s blood money.
    But we cannot afford unfettered immigration as our infrastructure rots in front of us.

    Reply

  42. MP says:

    Zathras writes: “The key to energy efficiency is price. It has always been price; it will always be price. If energy is cheap, it will not be used efficiently except by accident; if energy is expensive it will be used more efficiently, and in smaller quantities, whether the federal government adopts all of Gov. Richardson’s new programs and regulatory mandates or not.”
    But CAFE standards have been raised before–can’t they again? I wouldn’t call that an accident. My understanding is that the 100 mpg call could pretty easily become a reality. I’m not an expert in this, but it strikes me that this change would make a huge difference in our energy consumption. Let me know what you think…

    Reply

  43. David N says:

    On energy:
    I attended the NAF-sponsored program last week (odd that Scott doesn’t mention that) at which Richardson spoke, again talking about his energy policy.
    Now, this is difficult to say, so I’m going to take a while:
    I think that both Richardson and the entire slate of “experts” who spoke at the program missed the mark. They did not talk about pricing, and Zathras is absolutely correct price is a vital factor in discussing this issue. They seemed to be arguing that correct regulatory policies will enforce efficiency all by itself, without any price signals.
    Richardson did mention the taboo word “sacrifice,” but did not seem willing to state what that would mean, because talking about real sacrifices is a good way to lose votes.
    The bottom line as far as this discussion is concerned is:
    This is as good as you’re going to get in an election campaign. It’s all well and good to demand ideal policies, but we also know that ideal policies lose in the electoral marketplace, because too many people are too good at avoiding reality. It is my impression, and I will absolutely NOT be able to defend this, as it is based on nothing whatsoever, that a Richardson administration will do more than it promises, because he and the people he appoints will be more likely to pay attention to reality, while all the Republicans of course, and many of the Democrats, will do less than they promise, because they are purely political animals with no interest in actually governing.
    By its very nature, the above statement is non-falsifiable until history shows it true or false. If Richardson campaigns on the policies we know are needed, he will lose the nomination, never mind the election, so it’s pointless to ask him to do so.
    All very muddled and confusing, for which I appologize, but these days, you campaign with the candidates you got, not the candidates you wish you had.
    And I also appologize for that reference.

    Reply

  44. MP says:

    GRG writes: “Both the hosts and the callers were extremely hostile towards the idea of integration into the “fabric of American society.”
    Generalizations are dangerous, but I think this is true. A shift seems to have taken place in how “immigrants” view America, American society, and becoming U.S. citizens. But it’s a shift that’s been going on for a long time now and I’m sure of the reasons for it.
    During my grandparents’ time, immigrants were PROUD to become Americans. Many worked as hard as possible to learn English and become integrated into American society. Many, many didn’t teach their children their native language because they wanted THEM to become 100% American. Most Jews, in my experience, actively turned their back on where they came from and became ardent Americans.
    Now it SEEMS–but this is purely anecdotal–people come to the US for its opportunities, but with the intention of returning to their country of origin. At the very least, they are reluctant to give up their foreign identity and strong ties to their country of origin. They are reluctant to say that life here is better with any enthusiasm, even though they are voting with their feet.
    Maybe this is a function of global mobility and globalization in general. It used to take 12 long days in filthy steerage to come to America, and it wasn’t so easy to go back and forth. So once you got here, you were here. Now, it’s relatively easy to go back and forth, to compare and contrast via the Internet, TV, the papers. Then again, maybe different groups react differently because of their histories and situations, e.g., Mexicans, Chinese, Koreans.
    What’s odd is that life in the US now is much, much easier for today’s crop of immigrants, illegal or not, than it was for the folks who came in the 1890s-1910s. Many of these early immigrants were extremely disappointed that American streets weren’t paved with gold, but that didn’t lessen their ardor for their newly adopted homeland.

    Reply

  45. MP says:

    GRG writes: “Round them up sounds right to me, and, after they cross the border, hand them the guns so that they can overthrow Calderon and take control of their own country and the sea of oil it sits on.”
    Surely you jest. And whether you jest or not, the “round up” idea just ain’t going to happen. Nor should it. But leave my views out of it, it isn’t a serious proposal. In fact, it’s a little hard to know where to start with this…

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  46. gq says:

    There’s been significant economic research that indicates that there is a small economic effect (<5% at most) on Americans without a high school education. No one else appears adversely effected. The economic arguments against immigration, even if it is illegal and lower tier jobs, is weak at best.

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  47. downtown says:

    Has Richardson made the seemingly irresistible pilgrimage to Israel, yet?

    Reply

  48. GoRonGo says:

    Round them up sounds right to me, and, after they cross the border, hand them the guns so that they can overthrow Calderon and take control of their own country and the sea of oil it sits on. We have nothing backing our dollar, Mexico has oil, and it’s up to Mexico’s citizens to gain control of it.
    Both Mexican and American economists have suggested a Marshall plan for Mexico, that’s what Richardson should suggest. But again, it’s not in the best interests of the powers-that-be in both countries to have an educated middle-class.
    So instead we have two countries whose middle-class is vanishing/has vanished. Though we do now have reams of cannon fodder/ service workers. And the stupid-ass limousine liberals like Ted What’s-His-Last-Name-Again? are enabling the destruction of the “fabric of America” i.e., a solid middle-class.
    I hate to repeat it over and over but I grew up on the border and now live in both Arizona and southern California, or, to be more accurate, central Mexico.
    So about illegals becoming “part of the fabric of American society” you obviously haven’t been to a border state lately — like the last 30 years. Spanish is spoken more than English in many parts of Los Angeles, same with Tucson, San Diego, Phoenix, etc.
    I can speak Spanish because I grew up on the border, and during the “Si, Si puede” rallies last year (remember them? The ones with all the Mexican flags) I listened to Spanish talk radio. Both the hosts and the callers were extremely hostile towards the idea of integration into the “fabric of American society.” They felt that they were owed California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico, if not the entire U.S.
    As I pointed out before, the ancestors of many of the illegals from Mexico and Central America transited through what is now the U.S. southwest centuries ago. So they have about as much right as I do to the U.S.
    The bottom line is this: Reagan’s amnesty only encouraged more illegals. That squeezed the middle and lower economic classes because the corporations do not want to pay a living wage. So once this lot is legalized, the next lot will come, rather than fix their own countries, which at this point have more of an economic future/ resources than we do.

    Reply

  49. Zathras says:

    I rather hope Scott Paul is right about Gov. Richardson’s political prospects, only because the idea of choosing a President because they were a former President’s wife (Clinton) or because they excel in the somewhat irrelevant personal appearance category (Obama, Edwards) would be very sour commentary on the decline of American democracy.
    But it can’t be pointed out too often that real progress toward addressing difficult problems cannot be made only through steps known in advance not to be unpopular. Does Richardson’s energy platform recognize this? It does not. It is full of imaginative proposals to disguise the costs of improving energy efficiency and even more imaginative proposals that deny the costs of improving energy efficiency (“we must get the 100-miles per gallon car into the marketplace.” Golly, why didn’t I think of that?)
    The key to energy efficiency is price. It has always been price; it will always be price. If energy is cheap, it will not be used efficiently except by accident; if energy is expensive it will be used more efficiently, and in smaller quantities, whether the federal government adopts all of Gov. Richardson’s new programs and regulatory mandates or not. The Richardson Collection of energy initiatives doesn’t appear to address the price of energy at all, for the same reason other candidates don’t: more expensive energy is unpopular.
    I understand electoral politics well enough to appreciate the powerful appeal of ideas that look bold and hide their costs well enough that voters won’t blame the costs on the politicians promoting the ideas. In the energy area, though, such ideas won’t do the things we need them to do. Some of them can have impacts around the margins — impacts that will vanish the next time the price of gas falls below $3 a gallon.
    Is climate change both vitally important and urgent, or not? Is reducing the American economy’s vulnerability to sudden energy price shocks — the correct definition of energy independence — a priority, or not? If the answer to either question is “yes,” changes around the margins don’t do us much good. Barring miracle technologies falling from the sky, changes around the margins of energy use is all we will get by ducking the question of price.

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  50. pauline says:

    Scott:
    Come on, let’s face it, Richardson only wants a vp postion with whomever wins the dem nomination.
    To think this guy has any chance of anything bigger is delusional.
    The nation’s only Hispanic governor, Richardson has certainly flip-flopped on immigration reform, depending of course on which crowd he’s talking to, and, imo, he’s trying to sell himself to Hillary, Obama or Edwards in bringing legitimate Hispanic voters with him.

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  51. MP says:

    GRG writes: “I read that Richardson gave part of his announcement in Spanish. That did it for me, solely because it means that Richardson will pander to the Hispanic vote.
    ME: Pandering or appealing is what politicians have ALWAYS done. Ron Paul simply panders to a different group of people.
    Will Richardson topple the Mexican oligarchs?
    ME: How do you recommend he do that?
    Again, my opposition to illegal immigration has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with economics — we can’t afford endless hordes and that’s exactly what this amnesty, like Reagan’s before it, will ensure.
    ME: Everyone’s against illegal immigration. Are you suggesting we seal the southern border? How? As to “amnesty,” what do you recommend we do with 12 million illegals here who have become part of the fabric of American society, many of whom have children who are American citizens by virtue of being born here? Round them up at gun point?

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  52. GoRonGo says:

    I read that Richardson gave part of his announcement in Spanish. That did it for me, solely because it means that Richardson will pander to the Hispanic vote.
    Will Richardson topple the Mexican oligarchs?
    Again, my opposition to illegal immigration has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with economics — we can’t afford endless hordes and that’s exactly what this amnesty, like Reagan’s before it, will ensure.
    I’m done with both parties. Not to blather on but the net result is that the Mexican oligarchs will continue to get richer while breaking the backs of the American middle and working ECONOMIC classes.
    Hey Scott, come down to the border states before you vote for anyone. And I’ll be the first to welcome you to our nightmare…

    Reply

  53. Malcolm says:

    I’ve always been a Richardson fan, but I’m constantly left wondering if his is too steep a hill to climb.
    Still, I have to imagine that he’s going to be someone’s Veep. Latino. Tremendous foreign policy credentials. Popular in a key purple state, and could bring along a region. There’s a lot to say for him as President or Vice President. Either way, he’s going to be working for the Federal Government in 2008.

    Reply

  54. gq says:

    What does Richardson know about energy policy in the US? It’s not like he was a Secretary of Energy or anything.

    Reply

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