Economy, Environment, War: Are they still relevant?

My biggest problem with the massive scale of the Jeremiah Wright "controversy" is that conventional wisdom suggests that personal attack politics depresses voter turnout. Especially among the youngsters. And when voter turnout is depressed, Democrats lose. So, when either Democratic candidate engages in this nonsense (eg, "he wouldn't be my pastor" or "she's pretending to be Annie Oakley"), only one person wins. That person is John McCain. Well, him and "his base," the US press corps.

With that in mind, it's time to discuss a few actual and real, non-personal destruction-dependent, issues of note right now that a handful of members of the press are actually looking into. And, strangely enough, those issues are intricately connected. So, without further ado:
1. Gas prices are out of control and some presidential candidates are considering lifting the weak-assed gas tax temporarily as a means to ease the pain. Most people say that's a stupid idea. But stupidity is what pandering politicians thrive on, so that puts it squarely on the table. Here's what Krugman says about it:

Why doesn't cutting the gas tax this summer make sense? It's Econ 101 tax incidence theory: if the supply of a good is more or less unresponsive to the price, the price to consumers will always rise until the quantity demanded falls to match the quantity supplied. Cut taxes, and all that happens is that the pretax price rises by the same amount.
Here's to hoping some sense gets injected into the silly season.

2. The Decider wants to reopen the ANWR issue as a way to reduce gas prices. The problem is most people say that's a stupid idea (where have I heard that before?):
"I would say under the best of circumstances it would take approximately 10 years" for any ANWR oil to make it into the market, said Philip Budzik, an EIA analyst.

"Even if oil was flowing, it would be too small amount to reduce the price" of crude or gasoline, said Daniel Weiss, energy expert at the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington.

"President Bush's claim ignores the primary causes behind record high oil prices: a cheap dollar, high demand from China and India, and speculators driving the price up. Drilling and sullying the Arctic would not address any of these causes of high oil prices," said Weiss.
There's no point in hoping some sense gets injected into the strategerizer-in-chief.

3. People are still dying in Iraq:
BAGHDAD (AP) — Bombardments by suspected militants killed four U.S. soldiers Monday as troops tried to push Shiite fighters farther from the U.S.-protected Green Zone and out of range of their rockets and mortars.

At least 44 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in April, making it the deadliest month for U.S. forces since September.
What's the point of this war again?

Well, now that we've done our part to actually improve voter turnout by discussing the real issues, I'm the one that's depressed. Oil, economy, environment, war. Who knew those could be such downers? If only a mildly crazy pastor were here to cheer me up. Oh wait! Here he is.

Add to | DiggIt! | Reddit | Stumble This | Add to Technorati Faves

Nothing New byslag at 6:13 PM

2 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here):

WNG said...

Wow Slag, I had this exact conversation with my best friend last night. He asked me if I'd been following the latest Wright tornado and I said no, because there are so many more important things going on and I refuse to be a part of the distraction.
So - thanks for not getting distracted.

slag said...

WNG: Yeah...we're all in the same boat. It's amazing how focusing so intently on something like the Wright "controversy" can make it seem so much bigger than it is. It's at the point of parody now, and most of the media just keeps on loving it. Bunch o' lazy, shallow people they are. Glad there are a few of them who still care about reality.

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds