Clean Energy is A Political Winner

There is a name for avoiding certain issues in politics: avoiding the “third rail.” The theory is that if you touch this highly charged rail it will kill your political career. Clean energy and climate issues got that “third rail” tag during the 2010 election but the facts and the polls tell a very different story.

Senator Reid ignored the risk of clean energy being a “third rail”. He was one of the most endangered incumbents in the nation in 2010. To win, he focused on job growth with a specific emphasis on the jobs in the renewable energy sector. In fact, the very first ad produced by the campaign focused on clean energy. Brandon Hall, his campaign manager said, “Clean energy was our #1 issue in terms of a positive reason to vote for Harry Reid. It was huge with Independents – it was the #1 issue. We used it in everything we did.”

Why did it work? Clean energy is a winner across the board:

  • 91% of Americans say developing sources of clean energy should be a priority for the President and Congress, including 85% of Republicans and 89% of independents, and 97% of Democrats. (Yale Project on Climate Communication, 5/2011)
  • 86% of those polled want federal government to limit air pollution from businesses and 76% favored government restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from businesses. (Stanford University, 6/2011)
  • 66% of Americans consider “development of alternative energy such as wind and solar” as the preferred approach to addressing our energy concerns (only 26% chose oil, gas, or coal supplies. (Gallup Environment Poll, 3/2011)
  • On average, battleground state voters were almost 20 percentage points more likely to vote for someone who supports clean energy legislation. (Public Policy Polling, 10/2010)
  • When asked which energy sources we need to rely more upon, 88% of Americans said solar power, 83% said wind power, 28% said oil. In fact 71% of those polled felt like we should rely less on oil. (CNN/New Opinion Research Corp, 3/2011)
  • When asked who is to blame for an increase in oil prices, 61% of respondents said that oil companies had a “great deal” to do with the price spikes. Only 24% thought environmental regulation was to blame. (CNN/Opinion Research Corp, 5/2011)
Too easily members running for office are afraid of well-funded opposition creating the “third rail”. In 2010, Texas oil companies helped fund a California ballot initiative to roll back the state’s landmark clean energy and climate law. They spent millions of dollars trying to charge that rail.

With California suffering the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, the oil companies claimed their ballot initiative (Proposition 23) would support job growth. Data quickly revealed that keeping families safe from air pollution was a top priority -- and when voters learned that Proposition 23 would lead to dirtier skies, they opposed it. Californians defeated Prop 23 by a ratio of 2 to 1 on Election Day. In fact, the defeat of Proposition 23 gained more support than everything else on the ballot, including the gubernatorial and Senate races.

Two thousand miles away in Northwest Ohio, there have been mass layoffs and everywhere you look there are empty industrial facilities. Representative Betty Sutton (OH-13-D) used clean energy to paint a hopeful future for her district saying, “We have a lot of things going on in the development of alternative and new energy that is going to be powered by American workers … we have examples to present to people. We see work happening to sort of break down those fears that we have in my district.”

Clean energy is building a new economy based on the spirit of American innovation. It will create new job opportunities, reduce our dependence on oil and protect us from pollution that threatens our health and contributes to climate change. Voters understand this - and they’re supporting elected officials who share that vision.

The strength behind the clean energy economy is so clear that it’s no longer a Democratic, Republican, or an Independent issue. Lori Weigel, a Republican strategist and pollster with Public Opinion Strategies states, “What we are seeing consistently is support for renewable energy. We ought to be doing more. Voters’ support of a Renewable Electricity Standard is 65%, across the partisan spectrum. They are coming at this from a very positive view of renewable energy.”

Clean energy represents an incredible opportunity for candidates and the communities they hope to represent. Across the country, candidates successfully used it in their campaigns, and have won. It is the best of American values, such as innovation and entrepreneurship. Candidates will be successful when they take this message forward, whether celebrating a new battery research facility in Ohio, watching a new wind turbine turn powerfully against a Texan sky, or standing with the families who breathe cleaner air.

Find out more about running on clean energy at runningclean.org

How Michele Bachmann Beats Obama In 2012

  Yeah, you heard me right.  It is entirely possible that Obama could lose the 2012 election regardless of who wins the Republican nomination. Don't blame nanobot, blame America's dysfuntional electoral college and GOP control over redistricting. Rollingout.com has the downlow: Two Reasons Obama Loses:

In North Carolina, for example, the Republican-controlled state legislature looks to create new districts benefiting its party and are planning to try to redraw the districts that would shift power to Republicans statewide by increasing GOP voting strength in non-black regions. The reality is that November’s elections put Republicans in control of dozens of state legislatures and governorships, just as states prepare to redraw their congressional and legislative district maps. Republicans now control the governor’s offices and both legislative chambers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, Maine and Wisconsin. They are governors in Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia and Iowa.

Does anyone want to calculate how Obama wins if Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida all go GOP? I haven't seen any Red State/Blue State maps recently, but it strikes me as entirely possible that the combination of redistricting and voter suppression efforts the GOP is engaging in could add up to a GOP win.

My Conversation With Donald Trump

OK, I admit it. I’m not a US citizen. I’ll never be President. I’ll be a permanent member of the no-fly list and my phone will be constantly bugged. Jan Brewer will kick me out of the country because I have no papers proving who I am or where I was born. I’m very disappointed to find I’m some sort of exotic, white “anchor baby“.

Note to self: Avoid Arizona.

Now I know what it’s like to be Barack Hussein Obama – if that is indeed his real name.

Family legend said I was born in Elkins, WV. But sorting through my personal papers I was unable to find a real birth certificate bearing the imprint of Orly Taitz‘s signet ring in wax. In fact, I don’t even have a pitiful “Certificate of Live Birth” like Obama’s. All I have is a scrap of paper looking as though it’s been ripped from a ship’s log. All it says is, “A kid was born just off the coast of Somalia during our last pirate takeover. Don’t know his name. Not sure of the date, but it wasn’t long ago. But this is all the proof he needs to show he was actually born. He’ll probably grow up to be a liberal communist anyway.” It was signed and Ensign Hikaru Hussein Sulu.

My Mom Was a Nigerian Official’s Wife
As I dug deeper, I learned I’d been abandoned to a Norfelia Lumbago, the wife of a Nigerian government official who couldn’t access his money held up in Banco Lagos until he came out of exile. Apparently, I had a very poor childhood. Mom never did get the money.

From Lagos, I went to a madrasa in Pakistan where I learned a useful trade making amateur Betamax videos for worldwide news distribution. It was a very prestigious career. I was even allowed to sleep on the softest rocks in our Tora Bora studio cave. I minored in bomb making.

I tell you all of that to tell you this, I – like every member of the Republican Party – want to run for President in 2012. I figured I’d be a shoo-in with a platform of rolling government back to its state in 1850 and by being the first Presidential candidate running with two part-time Vice Presidential candidates. Michele Bachmann, because she looks so scrumptious in a bikini and always tells the truth as relayed to her by God. And, Sarah Palin because she looks adorable with that naughty school marm vibe she has going on. Plus, she said she could only be Vice President for half a term. She needed to take time off for the salmon fishing and snowmobile racing seasons.

Just as I was ready to launch my pre-campaign to decide whether I was going to kick off my exploratory committee leading to my final decision to announce, at some time in the future, that I thought I might be running, but tell everyone, “I might be running or I might not be running. That’s for me to know and you to find out,” Donald Trump called.

A ‘Fabulous Opportunity’
Of course I met with The Donald™ – that’s what his friends call him. I believe I’m the third or fourth friend he has. I’m so honored. During the meeting he told me he had a fabulous opportunity for me. He said, “I have a fabulous opportunity for you.”

He said, “I’m richer than God and the smartest man in the world too. Of course, that goes without saying. I know I can talk to you like I’ll talk to Cesar Chavez and convince him to give us his oil for free. Nothing to it. It’s an exciting, fabulous, stupendous piece of cake. I’d offer him a casino or a missile up his butt and he’d be all over the deal. Fantastic. Smart man, that Chavez. No nose for business though. Not like me. I’m world-famous. I even have my own university for God’s sake.”

“Um Mr. Trump, I’m a little confused. Why did you invite me to this fabulous, high-end Waffle House to talk?”

Mr. Trump Loves the Waffles
“Well first, I love the waffles. But I really want to make you a deal, because you know, I know, you know what a fabulous businessman I am.”

“Here’s the deal. A really good deal. Fantastic actually. You show me your birth certificate – because we all know you’re lying about having one – and I’ll release my tax information. I gave the same deal to Obama, but the man is an imbecile. Turned me down. Shows why I’m rich and he’s not.”

“Of course everyone would read it and see just how rich I am. Mega-rich! Uber-rich! Richest man in the world, no matter what Forbes says! They always hated me for being so rich, but I’m going to buy their lying asses out. It’ll be a fabulous deal.”

“So when can we sign the papers? I’ll even let you keep the luxurious gold Bic embossed with the Trump logo if you want.”

That’s how I came to tell this story now. My campaign is in ruins. I told the truth about not being a citizen and Mr. Trump released his taxes. He was right, it caused quite a stir.

Mr. Trump offered me a lot of money, a fabulous amount actually, to go away. That’s how I’ve become a rich man like Mr. Trump. I have millions now and Mr. Trump found me a fabulous new job as Venezuelan oil minister. I get to do super deals and money is no object. I’m smarter now that I’m rich too. Cesar and I go to dinner all the time. We’re great friends because we’re both so rich and I still have that butt-missile Mr. Trump gave me wholesale (because multi-millionaires never pay retail). But I’m terribly sad about one thing … I really miss Sarah and Michele. We could really do some fancy clubbing down here. I even have a penthouse in the Trump Caracas Holiday Inn.

Fabulous! Just super-gargantuous really!

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

A Very Pretty Face In the Crowd

In 2008 the liberal media establishment became unmoored from any pretense of journalistic integrity and destroyed—a flawed and sometimes loathsome—Hillary Rodham Clinton in the service of Barack Obama’s candidacy. This experience considerably warmed me to Sarah Palin later in the campaign.

But to be sure, I never considered voting for her and John McCain. It’s important for contrarian liberals, PUMA-types, or whatever our designation is, to remember what Gov. Palin ultimately represents. Like President Obama, her personal dynamism cult of personality is a clever cloak for a disastrous set of policies: In her case corporate Republicanism or honest-to-God Tea Party libertarianism. It’s not immediately clear which Sarahcuda would show up to take the oath at noon on January 20, 2013.

I don’t hate or despise the woman (nor do I hate Barry), but if you disregard the personal invective here, it’s hard to argue with the Godlike Oliver Stone:

 

(h/t: OneNationMatch)

Pray for Mittens

As this enormous yawn that was September draws to a close—anybody catch that God-awful season premiere of The Office?—it has become nearly impossible to deny the teabaggers are on the cusp on something big in the November elections. Despite their public protestations to the opposite effect, I am quite certain the apparatchiks in the White House (i.e. the ones that haven’t already saluted the president before pole-vaulting to freedom), the courtiers in the speaker’s office, and the logo designers at the Democratic National Committee have already procured their spirits and Bicycle playing cards for the long night that awaits them on November 2.

For those of us who inhabit the out crowd—they have so many names: we’re everything but children of God—we must continue to lead the way whether the Democratic establishment appreciates it or not. In terms of electoral politics, 2010 is a lost cause and 2012 is the most relevant consideration—specifically the two people most likely to challenge our hopefully post-Obama nominee: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.

Let’s do Sarahcuda first. While I was never convinced Sarah Palin hurt John McCain’s electoral prospects in the final analysis, I do believe the erratic, poorly-considered decision spoke to McCain’s lack of judgment which is an entirely different matter. (Barack Obama was always most fortunate in the opponents he faced.) Having established that, I have always maintained that Sarah Palin is essentially Barack Obama without the benefit of an Ivy League pedigree, a reasonably high IQ, and more talented ghostwriters. They possess the same sort of charisma—markedly different from recent smooth operators like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. These were self-effacing politicians who were sharp on their feet and could genuinely make you crack up. Dick Morris says he faced a recurring challenge in that Bubba was far more impressive extemporaneously than on the script. In those tumultuous 80s, Reagan’s foremost task was to spout killer witticisms in East Room press conferences while his minions ran wild. While W. had the ridiculous bit of business on the deck of that aircraft carrier, he also had the Bullhorn Speech under his Texas belt. Whatever one’s opinion of his miserable policies, incompetence, and larger stupidity, the Bullhorn Speech was an iconic moment in presidential rhetoric.  

Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are charismatic only because of the attractive exuberance they possess. Their cults of personality are products of modern identity politics. These are tabula rasas whose appeal transcend the normal workings of Politics for the cultural niches they represent. She is the hot, fecund Christian warrior woman; he the postracial black man on a fascinating journey of self-discovery.

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