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Obama Announces for President, Boosts Broadband

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the ethanol-and-fat-pipes-for-all dept.

Democrats 846

Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois today. He mentioned several things that will interest readers of Slashdot. The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol — a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers. He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support for stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to readers here is the following statement halfway through Obama's speech: 'Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.' Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."

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846 comments

Wow (1, Interesting)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970074)

The Democrats just might make it this time. :D

Re:Wow (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970438)

Bbb bb b... but he's black!

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

dreethal (985821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970512)

Why not? It worked in Blazing Saddles.

I notice he didn't mention... (-1, Troll)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970076)

His staunch support of gun control and redistributive economics.

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970084)

Like Trickle Down economics isn't redistributive?

besides, in large urban centers and suburban areas Gun Control LOWERS crime rates, not increases them.

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (5, Informative)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970114)

besides, in large urban centers and suburban areas Gun Control LOWERS crime rates, not increases them.

You mean like in Washington D.C.? [disastercenter.com]

Or maybe you mean Chicago [cityrating.com]

Both cities have what is considered to be fairly draconian gun control laws by US standards. Both have violent crime rates well in excess of the national average.

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970160)

No he probably means exactly the opposite of Seattle where violent crime is at one of the lowest rates in the country even with a meth scourge and understaffed police force making property crimes skyrocket. Of course the State of Washington has shall-issue CCW laws and prevents local preemption of state gun laws. Of course the Seattle mayor wants to force gun control in the state (since it will allow him to deflect the blame away from his incompetence in handling things like car theft and breakings).

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (4, Insightful)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970180)

Maybe the issue is more complicated than just non-specific summaries of gun control laws and crime rates? Those might work if we trusted you as an expert, but trust is in short supply in these debates.

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (0)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970238)

Maybe the issue is more complicated than just non-specific summaries of gun control laws and crime rates? Those might work if we trusted you as an expert, but trust is in short supply in these debates.

He quoted his sources, which, I notice, is more than you have just done.

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970352)

Sources didn't really seem appropriate given that I didn't make an argument.

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (0, Troll)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970252)

Maybe the issue is more complicated than just non-specific summaries of gun control laws and crime rates?

Absolutely the issue is more complicated, and in fact, the net effect of gun control seems to be nothing but reduced access to guns for law abiding citizens. In some cases, the rate of violent (gun) crime went up, in other cases, the rate went down. Link to various studies

The bottom line, as a person that values personal liberty, and the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled multiple times that the state and the police have no obligation to protect you or me specifically, I prefer to live in a state where the right to be armed is still respected.

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970470)

Indeed, liberty is a nice way to sidestep the argument completely. But then, people don't agree on how much liberty others should have.

Put that back where it came from. (2, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970332)

besides, in large urban centers and suburban areas Gun Control LOWERS crime rates, not increases them.

Would you like to cite a source on that besides your rectum?

Gun control has never been shown, at least in any respectable study that I've ever seen, and I've been following the issue for a while, to lower the crime rate, except in theoretical situations where you can magically cut urban areas off from the outside world, or where you only look at specific categories of crime and neglect the crime reduction due to civilian gun ownership.

The usual anti-gun arguments that get trotted out in these situations are Europe/USA comparisons, and those are bogus for any number of reasons (simply: there are far too many variables besides gun control that lead to Europe having a far lower violent crime rate in general than the U.S., regardless of their gun control policies).

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (0, Flamebait)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970162)

Obama's running on a feel-good platform. He's big on "hope" (whatever that means). Methinks he knows his issue positions aren't what most people are looking for so he's running on good feelings and wishes.

You know what they say about wishing in one hand and shitting in the other...

Yeah. Right. (3, Informative)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970510)

This [barackobama.com] is just totally out of the mainstream.

70% of Americans want our involvement in Iraq to start decreasing. Did you miss that?

Everyone agrees that health care is poor-to-mediocre and getting worse. Something has to be done. Everyone agrees on energy independence.

Repeating lies over and over again doesn't make them true.

Re:I notice he didn't mention... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970516)

This is pretty much what Bill Clinton did. He didn't run on anything extreamly radicle but hope. It was the enternal optimist that painted every picture as better with him. The same stock numbers as we have today, the same or worse unemployment numbers as today, Most of the same if not worse economic indecators as we have today, But the picture was painted so much brighter when he was president. (note that By worse only represents that levels have grown today as a natural prograsion of events, Not something specificly wrong in eiother adminstration)

Of course Clinton probably wouldn't have won his first term if Pero didn't run. Pero was out republicaning the republicans on the majority of his stands. Clinton won by the one of the largest marjins of electorial votes of recent presidential races but recieved less then 43% of the popular vote. This is because the republicans more or less split over Pero. This is also why it was hard to find someone that would admit to voting for him when thing started getting ugly.

He's not THAT "staunch" about it (4, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970482)

Obama wants to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. So do the rest of us. i.e., so do I, and I'm a member of the NRA.

There is nothing wrong (i.e., against the 2nd Amendment) with enforcing gun control laws. It's gun control, not gun banning. I am not a felon (and neither are you, I assume?) so I have nothing to fear from them.

As for redistributive economics, that's another way of saying "letting government do things that it's good at."

Obama/Biden or Osama Bid Laden? (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970082)

If Obama [senate.gov] and Biden [senate.gov] have a joint ticket, do you think they will call it obama/biden?

If they do, will they be "cashing in" on the popular the "dyslexic terrorist" vote?

(If there's going to be a political flamewar, it may as well be my political flamewar).

Re:Obama/Biden or Osama Bid Laden? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970402)

Time to update your sig. ;)

Re:Obama/Biden or Osama Bid Laden? (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970542)

Next State of the Union Address - "Mah nayum is Obama, and ayuma gowna gecha Osama! Ayuma gowna find ya, poach ya, smoke ya outta your hole!"

Watching the news will suddenly become so confusing. I think they'll have to find a replacement for Osama if he gets elected, otherwise they might accidentally catch the right guy.

Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970088)

And people question his ability because he's "too young..."; yet for the same reason he may be more in touch with his country than anyone could guess. Small politics indeed.

So... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970090)

Is Slashdot going to have a story for every candidate who is running for President and discusses something having to do with energy dependence, stem cell research, and investment in science (which every candidate will have some opinion on)? Or is Obama getting his own story due to editorial preferences? I haven't seen a story for John McCain or Hillary Clinton. Why Obama?

Summary of AC's comment. (1, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970102)

AC sez: "waaaaaaaaaah!"

Re:Summary of AC's comment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970262)

or possibly, the previous AC was noting the distinct fan boy vibe that was oozing off of the story.

Summary of story ...

"Wow, Obama is so the man that he totally said everything that was so great and so awesome that I just love him and everyone else should love him too"

Because Obama is Jesus Christ 2.0 (5, Informative)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970202)

Slate currently has an "Obama Messiah Watch" column that chronicles the media's excessive praise of the would-be-president.

http://www.slate.com/id/2159502/?nav=navoa [slate.com]

Re:So... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970250)

Simply put; He's a black man running for president that actually has a chance. It's a novelty, and thus, interesting.

Don't boo me for being a racist ( the truth is far from it ), you all know it's true.

Re:So... (4, Funny)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970360)

He's a black man running for president that actually has a chance.

If he gets elected, I hope he acknowledges his debt to David Palmer.

(Seriously, though, things like that may have an effect. Never underestimate the power of the media. In this case, at least, for good.)

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

Kpau (621891) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970530)

Because (and I'm speaking as someone who's voted Republican probably since before many posters here were born and I'm going to fry my karma) .... the Republican party need to spend a while in "time out" after the total fuck up they've pulled on the country between the corruption, the misrepresentation, and the disregard for the *rest* of the Bill of Rights. Both parties stink in their own ways, but at the moment I've had it with these fascist dipwads.

Obama's Social Networking Site (4, Interesting)

Petey_Alchemist (711672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970096)

It's also worth noting that, in addition to things like 1 million strong for Barack [facebook.com] , his team has set up it's own social networking site [barackobama.com] where Obama supporters can share photos, messages, groups, fundraising, and events.

Dean ushered in Internet fundraising in 2004. Could Obama harness social networking?

A new feeling (4, Interesting)

Terminal Saint (668751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970098)

I may not agree with his stance on every single issue, but I have to say, I don't think I've ever felt genuinely excited about the prospect of any particular candidate becoming president before this election. Usually I'm just hoping for the guy I mind the least to get in.

Re:A new feeling (1)

Petey_Alchemist (711672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970120)

I agree. I read his book and I don't agree with everything he says. However, at this point I would say I value his judgment more than I value the experience of others.

Re:A new feeling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970270)

Isn't that another way of saying you want the lesser of two evils? That still results in evil.

It's going to be someone's voting record what that helps me decide for whom to vote. It's not what someone says that matters, but the actions they take, and voting can be seen as action.

Regardless of the fact he's running for President, what is he doing while still in office serving the public right now? He should have power to do the same things he wants to do as President, if not more so. The President sets the policy and signs in the laws, but the President doesn't create the law, that's Congress's job. Obama is still a part of Congress. What has he done lately?

"evil" (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970532)

Nothing about Obama's platform is "evil." Moreover, he has repeatedly shown an ability to work with Republicans and create great, lasting compromises.

As for "what has he done lately?", you can use Wikipedia as well as I can.

Re:A new feeling (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970322)

I may not agree with his stance on every single issue, but I have to say, I don't think I've ever felt genuinely excited about the prospect of any particular candidate becoming president before this election. Usually I'm just hoping for the guy I mind the least to get in.

It's kind of weird, but I actually disagree with him on the majority of issues he has stated positions on, but I'm still quite excited about his candidacy. As of now, I'd be quite happy to see him win. Maybe it's just a testament to how bad all of the other candidates are, and how likable Obama is?

Re:A new feeling (1)

Terminal Saint (668751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970348)

It's possible. Of course, given what the rest of the world thinks of us these days, a little likeability my be just what we need.

Midwest (2, Interesting)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970104)

I go to a big Ag/Engineering school in the Midwest, Obama will be speaking at our school tomorrow. I'm lucky to live in a unique area of the US where the energy alternatives (mainly ethanol) are actually cheaper than the regular fuels because of all of the tax cuts. If he brings pricing everywhere in the US to the levels it is in my state (about $.02-.05/gallon cheaper than non-ethanol fuels) I'll be much more likely to vote for him.

Honestly, I don't even see a negative side to ethanol (other than it's still a fossil fuel). It reduces our dependance on foregin oil, and would (presumably) lower our national trade deficit and keep more money within the borders (something that conservatives are sure to be happy about).

It will be interesting to see Obama's commitment levels on the issue as we progress toward Nov, 2008.

Re:Midwest (1, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970146)

I go to a big Ag/Engineering school in the Midwest, Obama will be speaking at our school tomorrow. I'm lucky to live in a unique area of the US where the energy alternatives (mainly ethanol) are actually cheaper than the regular fuels because of all of the tax cuts. If he brings pricing everywhere in the US to the levels it is in my state (about $.02-.05/gallon cheaper than non-ethanol fuels) I'll be much more likely to vote for him.

I hope you realize that the ONLY reason ethaonol is cheaper than regular fuels is because of the "tax cuts" for ethanol producers are paid for by the taxes of everyone else. The Federal government makes more net money off the sale of a gallon of gasoline than Big Oil does. And anyway, corn ethanol is a dead-end. Requires fossile fuels to plant, fertilize, and harvest. Even switch grass won't get us out of the hole we're in.

Re:Midwest (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970200)

I'm putting my money on producing oil from algae. The idea of a biofuel which doesn't require arable land to grow and can be used in common diesel engines seems like the perfect replacement for fossil fuels to me. It would be a much easier transition to make than the transition to other alternative fuels.

Re:Midwest (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970538)

The Federal government makes more net money off the sale of a gallon of gasoline than Big Oil does.

Could you provide a source for this information?

Hint: You won't find one.

Re:Midwest (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970158)

If he brings pricing everywhere in the US to the levels it is in my state (about $.02-.05/gallon cheaper than non-ethanol fuels)...

That's it? 2 to 5 cents is less than the normal variation between stations around here! I sure hope that when Obama talks about ethanol he means switchgrass, not corn!

Honestly, I don't even see a negative side to ethanol (other than it's still a fossil fuel).

No it's not.

Re:Midwest (4, Funny)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970164)

Honestly, I don't even see a negative side to ethanol (other than it's still a fossil fuel).
How much does a bottle of 120,000,000 year old scotch go for these days?

Re:Midwest (1)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970166)

What do you think will happen to the price of foods made with corn when increasingly larger amounts are diverted for ethanol production?

Re:Midwest (1)

Aglassis (10161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970218)

What do you think will happen to the price of foods made with corn when increasingly larger amounts are diverted for ethanol production?
Something like this [ocala.com] where Mexican tortilla prices have skyrocketed due to Mexican farmers selling their corn to the US for ethanol production.

Re:Midwest (1)

JensenDied (1009293) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970276)

price is already going up, they are feeling it in Mexico where the poor go hungry from the increased tortilla prices. heard about it on some news about 3 days ago, dont have source onhand though.

Re:Midwest (1)

bacon55 (853395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970186)

Don't like to nitpick - but ethanol is not a fossil fuel.

It is a hydrocarbon, but it was not formed through a several million year process of compression and heat from complex biological molecules to petroleum products.

Re:Midwest (5, Informative)

tap (18562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970272)

The negative side of ethanol is that the net positive side is very small to non-existant. It takes a lot of nearly as much oil to produce the ethanol from corn as the ethanol saves. The best figured I've seen is it takes 1 barrel of oil to produce the ethanol equivalent of 1.2 barrels of oil. And then you have to take into account the other side effects of corn production, the pesticides, the fertilizer run-off, the phosphate use, etc. Ethanol from corn is more of a government gift to to corn farmers than it is an effective means of reducing dependence on foreign oil or CO2 emissions. It would be far more cost effective to spend the money in a way that reduces energy use, like replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact-flourescent or funding ways of making cities less car dependent.

Re:Midwest -- Inefficient Ethanol (2, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970274)

f he brings pricing everywhere in the US to the levels it is in my state (about $.02-.05/gallon cheaper than non-ethanol fuels) I'll be much more likely to vote for him.

And how much does that make up for the inherent inefficiency (MPG) of ethanol (up to 33%) compared to regular gasoline? Or does the feel good quotient make up for that?

And ethanol does nothing significant for CO2 reduction, or is Global Warming not your concern?

Re:Midwest (5, Insightful)

Mr. Arbusto (300950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970550)

I go to a big Ag/Engineering school in the Midwest, Obama will be speaking at our school tomorrow. I'm lucky to live in a unique area of the US where the energy alternatives (mainly ethanol) are actually cheaper than the regular fuels because of all of the tax cuts. If he brings pricing everywhere in the US to the levels it is in my state (about $.02-.05/gallon cheaper than non-ethanol fuels) I'll be much more likely to vote for him.

Me too, I live in Ames, Iowa. And judging by your mention of Obama visiting, you at least live near if not here. Iowa is full of corn, and now full of ethanol production. Scary thing is, we've all be sold on ethanol, but it really isn't a good viable solution in its current form. Let me preface my remarks by saying, I'm all for ethanol as part of our Energy Portfolio. 10% ethanol blends are much better than the former required additives and increases the market for corn, while slightly.

We're tying our food supply to our energy supply, which is very dynamic, inefficient from corn, (When compared to other food products), subject to natural disasters and raises the cost of food and food products in ways that most people don't realize. Right now the big push in the US is ethanol from corn, if we converted all of our crop to ethanol and converted all of our cars to ethanol, we wouldn't come close to the actual demand. However, as we push more demand into the market the cost of corn is going to sky rocket. In the US corn syrup is used for anything sweet that is mass produced. The cost of corn syrup increases and the over all cost of foods increase. The cost of feeding chickens, pigs and cows up, which means the cost of meat and eggs go up. The cost of dairy goes up. All because we've change our food source from a food to an energy because it is being sold as the cure for oil.

At Iowa gas stations, higher ethanol blends receive subsidies and are usually cheaper than their non ethanol counter parts. Which is cool, if you ignore the subsidies cost at the state and federal level. Subsidies that place ethanol in a different tax category as gasoline and isn't subject to the same taxes as regular gasoline. There are many more negative sides and aren't just cost related.

The physics of the matter is ethanol is simply doesn't contain as much energy as gasoline and will actually require more to be burned, when compared to the same volume of gasoline.

Growing plants is hard work and is very seasonal in most of the US (like Iowa) adding to large (but seasonal) price fluctuation. Increasing the demand of ethanol also increases the amount of land needs to grow plants, increases the density required, fertilizer required and is considered by some (ironically, the same people who "care" about the environment) to be an environmental disaster in the making.

Mr. Obama is taking a rather popular (and uninformed) stand, and offering up a solution that has many problems that he doesn't know about, most americans don't know about and will probably never addressed either in a campaign or in the future, but saying "I'm all about this ethanol stuff" in Iowa is required, just ask John McCaine.

Obama is far to the right of the American people (-1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970116)

What sorts of policies and values could one expect from an imagined Obama presidency? There is quite a bit already in Obama's short national career that has to be placed in the "never mind" category if one is to seriously to believe his claim (cautiously advanced in The Audacity of Hope) to be a "progressive" concerned with "social and economic justice" and global peace.

  Never mind, for example, that Obama was recently hailed as a "Hamiltonian" believer in "limited government" and "free trade" by Republican New York Times columnist David Brooks, who praises Obama for having "a mentality formed by globalization, not the SDS." Or that he had to be shamed off the "New Democrat Directory" of the corporate-right Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) by the popular left black Internet magazine Black Commentator (Bruce Dixon, "Obama to Have Name Removed From DLC List," Black Commentator, June 26, 2003).

Never mind that Obama (consistent with Brooks's description of him) has lent his support to the aptly named Hamilton Project, formed by corporate-neoliberal Citigroup chair Robert Rubin and "other Wall Street Democrats" to counter populist rebellion against corporatist tendencies within the Democratic Party (David Sirota, "Mr. Obama Goes to Washington," the Nation, June 26). Or that he lent his politically influential and financially rewarding assistance to neoconservative pro-war Senator Joe Lieberman's ("D"-CT) struggle against the Democratic antiwar insurgent Ned Lamont. Or that Obama has supported other "mainstream Democrats" fighting antiwar progressives in primary races (see Alexander Cockburn, "Obama's Game," the Nation, April 24, 2006). Or that he criticized efforts to enact filibuster proceedings against reactionary Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Never mind that Obama "dismissively" referred--in a "tone laced with contempt"--to the late progressive and populist U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone as "something of a gadfly." Or that he chose the neoconservative Lieberman to be his "assigned" mentor in the U.S. Senate. Or that "he posted a long article on the liberal blog Daily Kos criticizing attacks against lawmakers who voted for right-wing Supreme Court nominee John Roberts." Or that he opposed an amendment to the Bankruptcy Act that would have capped credit card interest rates at 30 percent. Or that he told Time magazine's Joe Klein last year that he'd never given any thought to Al Gore's widely discussed proposal to link a "carbon tax" on fossil fuels to targeted tax relief for the nation's millions of working poor (Joe Klein, "The Fresh Face," Time, October 17, 2006).

Never mind that Obama voted for a business-friendly "tort reform" bill that rolls back working peoples' ability to obtain reasonable redress and compensation from misbehaving corporations (Cockburn; Sirota). Or that Obama claims to oppose the introduction of single-payer national health insurance on the grounds that such a widely supported social-democratic change would lead to employment difficulties for workers in the private insurance industry--at places like Kaiser and Blue Cross Blue Shield (Sirota). Does Obama support the American scourge of racially disparate mass incarceration on the grounds that it provides work for tens of thousands of prison guards? Should the U.S. maintain the illegal operation of Iraq and pour half its federal budget into "defense" because of all the soldiers and other workers that find employment in imperial wars and the military-industrial complex? Does the "progressive" senator really need to be reminded of the large number of socially useful and healthy alternatives that exist for the investment of human labor power at home and abroad--wetlands preservation, urban ecological retrofitting, drug counseling, teaching, infrastructure building and repair, safe and affordable housing construction, the building of windmills and solar power facilities, etc.?

In an interview with Klein, Obama expressed reservations about a universal health insurance plan recently enacted in Massachusetts, stating his preference for "voluntary" solutions over "government mandates." The former, he said, is "more consonant with" what he called "the American character"--a position contradicted by regular polling data showing that most Americans support Canadian-style single-payer health insurance.

Never mind that Obama voted to re-authorize the repressive PATRIOT Act. Or that he voted for the appointment of the war criminal Condaleeza Rice to (of all things) Secretary of State. Or that he opposed Senator Russ Feingold's (D-WI) move to censure the Bush administration after the president was found to have illegally wiretapped U.S. citizens. Or that he shamefully distanced himself from fellow Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin's forthright criticism of U.S. torture practices at Guantanamo. Or that he refuses to foreswear the use of first-strike nuclear weapons against Iran.

Never mind that Obama makes a big point of respectfully listening to key parts of the right wing agenda even though that agenda is well outside majority sentiment (Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, Off Center: the Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy). Or that he joins victim-blaming Republicans in pointing to poor blacks' "cultural" issues as the cause of concentrated black poverty (Obama, The Audacity of Hope)--not the multiple, well-documented, and interrelated structures, practices and consequences of externally imposed white supremacy and corporate-state capitalism. Or that he claims that blacks have joined the American "socioeconomic mainstream" even as median black household net worth falls to less than eight cents on the median white household dollar. Or that he had this to say on the night after the Congressional mid-term elections, when the criminal and reactionary Cheney-Bush administration's unpopularity with the American people cost the Republicans their majority in Congress: "If the Democrats don't show a willingness to work with the president, I think they could be punished in '08" (Jeff Zeleni, "Democrats Fight to Say, 'You're Welcome,'" New York Times, November 5, 2006).

More at Znet [zmag.org]

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (0, Flamebait)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970172)

More at Znet [zmag.org]

I find it doubtful that you will find a viable candidate that leans far enough to the left to garner the support of the crypto-communists over at Znet.

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (2, Informative)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970310)

I find it doubtful that you will find a viable candidate that leans far enough to the left to garner the support of the crypto-communists over at Znet.

The editor of Zmag, Michael Albert, has been a consistent and harsh critic of Marxist-Leninism. Here he debates [zmag.org] a representative of one of the more moderate communists parties (the ISO). Most of the people published in Zmag are social democrats, anarchists, and other non-Marxist left wing radicals. Zmag is probably less communist than The Nation, and certainly less so than the countless Trotskyist party papers. Nader is seen as the most viable third party candidate in recent years and he often writes for Zmag.

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970228)

Never mind that Obama "dismissively" referred--in a "tone laced with contempt"--to the late progressive and populist U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone as "something of a gadfly."

Well, as a Minnesotan, I can tell you that he kinda was. We're a fairly liberal state as it is, but Wellstone was pretty left-leaning even for us. Nothing against him personally, though.

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970456)

Well, as a Minnesotan, I can tell you that he kinda was. We're a fairly liberal state as it is, but Wellstone was pretty left-leaning even for us.
 
I always thought that rural Minnesota was inhabited by moderate Lutherans who didn't really care about politics. The MN cities have a mixed range of opinion, but the Minnesotans I know who REALLY care about politics are all either anarchists or revolutionary communists. Superior, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Winona all appear to have their fair share of radicals. I really haven't met many liberals outside of black neighborhoods (leftists and liberals have less in common than liberals and conservative). Most of the white middle class is moderate and/or apathetic. Most people who are wealthy or religious nuts are right wing reactionaries. You find a few real conservatives (who tend to lean Libertarian). I think Liberalism is slowly becoming irrelevant.

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (1, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970278)

Or that he joins victim-blaming Republicans in pointing to poor blacks' "cultural" issues as the cause of concentrated black poverty (Obama, The Audacity of Hope)

He himself is black! If he's not qualified to judge his own culture's issues, who is?

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970344)

Obama is of mixed race and is not by any means poor or working class. And yes, blacks can misjudge the cause of their problems and blame "culture" (lack of "values", rap music, religion) instead of the genuine problems of poverty and continued discrimination.

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970506)

Obama is of mixed race...

Oh, whoop-de-do! So that disqualifies him?

...and is not by any means poor or working class.

One one hand that's a valid point, but on the other hand it probably also helped him get enough perspective to see the problem in the first place (as he wasn't mired in it himself).

And yes, blacks can misjudge the cause of their problems and blame "culture" (lack of "values", rap music, religion) instead of the genuine problems of poverty and continued discrimination.

My (multi-racial) girlfriend's brother exhibits exactly the kind of attitude problem we're talking about, and I can damn well tell you the cause is the "culture," not poverty or discrimination.

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970300)

What...[snip]...2006).

The "tinyurl" version of your post is:

Obama says many things, but in the end he always votes extremely liberal.

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (-1, Troll)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970368)

In the end Obama votes extremely right-wing. He is not a liberal, but a reactionary or a neo-conservative. Imperialist or fascist might be appropriate labels if you don't mind giving Goodwin's law a pass.

While assuring us that he supports the troops in Iraq, he's made it quite clear he won't bring them home, and instead has pressured the White House to come up with a plan on the matter of their own. How Obama, or anyone, can possibly believe that the Bushites could come up with a worthwhile strategy for Iraq is beyond me.

On Iran Obama also serves the status-quo with the kind of hawkish zeal we are used to seeing in most Republicans. He's admitted he may favor surgical missile strikes on Iran and Pakistan if that's what it takes to fight the war on terror. And Obama even boasts that Bush hasn't taken a hard enough line on the foreign menaces.

How about Israel? Obama even embraced Israel's brutal bombings of Lebanon last summer -- the type of complicity we're sure to see continue if he's successful in his political evolution. Beyond that, Obama voted in favor of the Pentagon budget last year, with its beefy handouts to Halliburton and the rest tax and waste crooks. (Counterpunch)

Re:Obama is far to the right of the American peopl (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970464)

neoconservative pro-war Senator Joe Lieberman's ("D"-CT) struggle against the Democratic antiwar insurgent Ned Lamont

I stopped reading here, because it's obvious you have no concept of what the "American people" think, if you characterize Lieberman as a "neoconservative." Pro-war, perhaps, but that has more to do with his unwavering (and unapologetic) stance on Israel, which drives most of his Mid-East policy, than any real kinship with the Republican party or any real conservatives (which, to be clear, are not necessarily the same thing).

Lamont was a southern-Connecticut (NYC Suburb) carpetbagger without any real vision, who ran a negative campaign that didn't pan out in the general election (as such campaigns are wont to do). And it probably helped that Lieberman's campaign was a train wreck.

I'm not sure if this is a troll or what, but if you really think that someone like Lamont -- who couldn't get elected in one of the Bluest states in the country -- typifies what Americans want, you've been spending too much time smoking dope in Boston or L.A.; people want out of Iraq, sure, and are pretty pissed about what they perceive to be American jobs lost to outsourcing and imports, but to equate that with some wellspring of progressivism/socialism is a mistake.

Ethanol NOT Superior to Oil (3, Insightful)

abscissa (136568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970150)

Yes, it is added in places like Brazil, but that's because they derive it from sugar and not corn like the US would have to. If they could derive ethanol from any plant cellulose, that would be something.

I am an environmentalist, but ethanol is a BAD BAD idea.

Re:Ethanol NOT Superior to Oil (1)

MysticOne (142751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970184)

Ethanol isn't a bad idea, but it's not a drop-in replacement either. I don't think there are ANY renewable sources that can easily supplant our our dependence on oil. We're going to have to make things more efficient, reduce our fuel and energy consumption, and diversify our energy supply. Ethanol is a piece of this puzzle, but there's no way it could replace gasoline by itself, especially when produced from corn. Cellulosic ethanol is being worked on, and I think there are some promising methods to obtain ethanol from different weeds or other waste plant materials. But, I don't think there's anything conclusive yet, and it still isn't a good idea to take all our eggs out of one basket and place all of them into a different one.

^ FROM CORN (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970214)

Like you said, the problem is the source of the fuel, not the chemical itself. Unfortunately, your post title would lead one to believe the opposite -- you ought to be more careful about that.

Re:^ FROM CORN (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970502)

I wonder why countries such as Australia with a healthy sugar industry don't push for more ethanol usage.

Not enough fertile land... (3, Insightful)

feranick (858651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970328)

Very true. Ethanol is viable only if produced from non-food-related products. Simple math, we don't have enough usable and fertile land to grow food crops AND fuel crops.

so the question comes down to this; (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970170)

i predict that this upcoming election will have the best voter turnout of all of history.

the vast majority of african-americans will vote for obama to see a black man elected president (likely even putting their political beliefs aside) /but at the same time/
the vast majority of women will vote for hillary to see a woman elected president
(likely even putting their political beliefs aside)

then you have to consider the other side of this
how many non black people will vote for hillary to prevent a black man from taking office
(likely even putting their political beliefs aside)
verses
how many men will vote for obama to prevent a woman from taking office
(likely even putting their political beliefs aside)

african american females will have reason to be happy either way i suppose :p

undoubtably many people here will respond to this post as 'you idiot, those aren't the only two choices', but i disagree. america is so blatantly retarded these are in fact the only two choices, regardless of what is written on the ballot.

in 2002 at work i predicted that hillary would run in 2008, and even said 'i bet she will win, just because of the female vote' (i never would have imagined it would come down to this though, this puts a whole new spin on it) and i even made it clear i didnt want her to win. this one guy in the room got very very upset with me and heavily ostracized me for even mentioning it.

someone do some stat searching and find out how many women and how many african americans are in the usa.

Re:so the question comes down to this; (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970388)

the vast majority of african-americans will vote for obama to see a black man elected president ... the vast majority of women will vote for hillary to see a woman elected president
Alright, put both factors together and you get the best choice. CONDI RICE '08!

Re:so the question comes down to this; (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970536)

Holy shit, you're right! In the end, it's gonna come down to Hillary vs. Condi...

I think Bender says it best: "Well, we're boned."

Re:so the question comes down to this; (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970404)

Polling has shown that Blacks are more likely to vote Hillary than Obama. It was somewhere on andrewsullivan.com, but I can't seem to find the cite.

Re:so the question comes down to this; (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970406)

But that won't determine who gets to be president. That's just deciding who gets to TRY to be president.

Re:so the question comes down to this; (1)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970440)

Yes, there can be only one. It will be extremely interesting to see exactly whom the democrats choose to lead them to victory this election. I say this because there are currently zero republican candidates able to win an election. I find it incredibly sad that it comes down to that. Choose a retard, or choose someone you don't like. The electoral system in this country needs to be changed/updated for the 21st century so that ANYONE can run for president and win, not just who the high and mighty royalty (Dems and Republicans) choose for us to be able to elect.

Alternative Energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970182)

The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol -- a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers.

While I'm all for alternative energy sources (and have always been proud that I have a much smaller carbon footprint than most), is there anyone else who thinks tying our food supply to the market value of fuels isn't such a good idea?

internets (0, Troll)

nothing now (1062628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970192)

fiberoptic or copper? vote obama, cause hillary hates violent fun, plus who wants bill clinton to be the pressidents bitch? theres something wrong there.

Telegraphing the punch? (1)

haakondahl (893488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970194)

Oh, thank Heavens he cleared up that mystery for us. This has been the longest-telegraphed punch since...since... well, since Hillary also "announced" that she was running.

you know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970196)

There's ONE reason people like Obama. He's a black guy who doesn't speak like one.

Re:you know what? (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970418)

Wow, I must have missed the memo. How do black people speak? Cause I thought they were human beings and spoke just like anyone else with all the variations you can find in any group of people.

Re:you know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970450)

Yeah, but blacks traditionally have lower average IQ and do not achieve as well. Not being racist, just highlighting facts.

How? (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970204)

The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol

And this interests readers of Slashdot ... how?

Latest figures I've seen say if every grain of corn was turned into ethanol that it would only represent 12% of total USA gasoline usage, and that's only gasoline, which doesn't affect other energy usage. And we'd starve Mexico in the process. It's more political fluff on the part of the this article poster, than reality. And does he want to ban alcoholic drinks as well, and pour them into cars? Furthermore, burning ethanol does nothing to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, which I thought he was also unrealistically big on.

Politician and Science -- a very bad mix.

Re:How? (1)

MysticOne (142751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970242)

Well, I don't speak for everyone, but I know that I'm interested in science and technology (as well as politics, unfortunately). That includes energy efficiency, new sources of energy and self-sufficiency, and all sorts of stuff like that. So, I think this is perfectl valid for /.

Re:How? (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970294)

To what degree can we plant more corn?

Re:How? (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970390)

Who cares? The better question would be "to what degree can we defeat the damn corn lobby so that we can get the ethanol from a less ridiculously inefficient crop in the first place?!"

Re:How? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970306)

You say that like you think science and facts matter to someone that spent four years in a Muslim seminary. Hussein Obama has said publicly that he believes in the Wahhabbi doctrine that denies the rights of non-Muslims. That doesn't sound like someone who uses logic and science. He's just saying what people want to hear.

Re:How? (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970430)

If you could find 9 sources of alternative energy that represented 12% of total USA gasoline usage, you'd do away with any need on foreign oil. If you could find 1 source of alternative energy that represented 12% of total USA gasoline usage, you can decrease the amount the USA needs foreign oil.

free america from oil? (2, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970208)

The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil'

Thats like asking not to win. Oil is the true leader of this country. What he should have done was cozied up to oil companies, then fucked them over hard core. That, would have been sweet. Now he's just going to have the full might of the oil companies after him.

ethnanol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970224)

yet again the common fallacy that corn farmers = [agri]busnessmen. Ethanol is nice. Corn ethanol is stupid.

Industrial Hemp (1)

mycall (802802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970226)

I've heard that industrial hemp would be 2x to 3x more efficient in producing Ethanol than other techniques. Can anyone here verify this?

Re:Industrial Hemp (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970454)

Yes...

...but the devil weed also makes the dirty mexicans and niggers rape white women!!11!one!

Yep, that's what all those racists claimed back in the day, which is why marijuana is illegal*, and why any discussion of "industrial hemp" is dead-on-arrival. Sorry, no miracle energy source for us!

*Technically, the federal government didn't outlaw the substance (as that would be unconstitutional); they just made it so that a permit was required to grow it (citing the Interstate Commerce Clause) and then refused to issue any permits. Fucking NAZIs, circumventing the Constitution!)

He looks to be upsetting the status quo (1, Flamebait)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970284)

He's either going to get shot or he'll conveniently lose. You can't have a black guy called Obama as president, think of the stereotypes which don't apply.

Re:He looks to be upsetting the status quo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970480)

You mods are fucking stupid.

People haven't been making this joke nearly enough (0)

IICV (652597) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970290)

I for one welcome our new, internet enabled Obama Nation.

isnt going to get to the primaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970296)

He's promising the same bullshit Bush did and we all know how well that went over, I'm not trolling for calling for flames here, but seriously, what isnt he offering that other politicians offer? oh right, nothing.

To be fairly honest, his name doesn't really scream "president" if you look at it from the view of the average american. In fact it sounds similar to someone we cant catch in the middle east. Sadly, people do think this way. You have to have a marketable name, marketable appearance, and anything beyond that is filler material. everyone knows in the back of their minds that the filler material is bullshit. we just keep hoping maybe one candidate is not bullshitting us.

Where can you at least find maybe one better candidate? (key word is maybe) is looking at the other parties out there. but most of them are jokes. But me, personally, I'd vote for the off the wall candidates to skew the results, so if I am throwing away my vote, I'm gonna throw it away on a 3rd party instead of having the guilt that my vote went towards the next corrupt president.

All in all they're all the same in my book. occasionally you get that one president who comes in with good intentions and keeps them for at least one term. The rest are already beyond repair and are already corrupted by the time they get into office just from the campaigning and ass-kissing.

The Best Thing About Obama is... (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970308)

That he's not Hillary.

Bullshit. Same song and dance, different puppet. (-1, Troll)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970324)

ALL politicians make pie in the sky promises. NONE of them ever make good on them.
They talk whatever BS their handlers tell them to, to appeal to as many warm bodies as possible.

Also, WTF is politics doing on /. ?
If I want propaganda I'll watch Fox or CNN.
I am quite certain that /. is more than large enough to run afoul of some blogging/lobbying rules.

Let's keep propaganda and politics out of /. please.

Re:Bullshit. Same song and dance, different puppet (3, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970420)

Let's keep propaganda and politics out of /. please.


You are free to remove it from your article listing, if you like.

Re: No politics on /. (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970504)

Let's keep propaganda and politics out of /. please.


I heartily concur!

Can we get back to discussing Microsoft Vista, SCO, Linux on the desktop, BSD's death, and Steve Ballmer's adult diaper?

Re:Bullshit. Same song and dance, different puppet (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970526)

What you want is like taking the Hustler from the hands of a masturbating teen.

Re:Bullshit. Same song and dance, different puppet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970548)

You could simply have gone to your Slashdot preferences page [slashdot.org] and disabled any Slashdot section you are not interested in. You registered years ago, isn't it time you learned how to use Slashdot?

2nd stoopid idea on slashdot today (4, Informative)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970414)

Freeing America from oil via ethanol.

Read this: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=219742&cid=178 41462 [slashdot.org]

One ton of dry biomass = 2 barrels of oil

The USA burns about 20 million barrels of oil per day. As I incorrectly pointed out in the prior post - this is 10 million tonnes of dry biomass per day (I had a brain fart which no one picked up on and wrote 40 tonnes).

It was nicely pointed out and correctly I might add that if we were to produce the amount of ethanol required to offset the oil being burned, then we would need more than the world's production of grain.

I did a google search on "world grain production" and was impressed with the increases since the 1960's.

Since I grew up on a grain farm I have a gut feel for this. The increased production came from dwarf grains (more grain, less stalk), irrigation and fertilizer. At this point much of the north amercian farmland has been badly raped of its nutrients. As I write this a major part of the North American fertilizer industry is shut down because of a shortage of Methane. They use methane to create anhydrous ammonia.

Check here:

http://www.agrium.com/products_services/ingredient s_for_growth/nitrogen/anhydrous_ammonia.jsp [agrium.com]

The thing is the irrigation is not sustainable.

The dwarf grains and genetic manipulation lead to mono culture which is questionable sustainable.

The use of methane to create nitrogen fertilizers is past peak by over 5 years in North America. Its a big problem.

The short of it is that there is no way on earth we can double our grain production. We can however produce Ethanol from other than grain.

Cellulose to ethanol is a possibility with fungii like Trichoderma reeshii. But plants also contain pentosans and lignins. T. reeshii likes cellulose.

Personally I think a fungus with more potential is in the Pleurotis genus.

But that is just my guess.

The short of it is that we have a big problem - do we want to eat (grain) or do we want to drive cars.

I hope the cars lose.

As I pointed out before.... the USA would have to convert more than the whole world's supply of grain into ethanol to keep its fleet of car toys on the road.

Re:2nd stoopid idea on slashdot today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17970494)

It would be terrible to starve ourselves by burning up our food in our engines, but isn't there something else that would work?

Wouldn't something we don't eat, like cornstalks for instance, work instead of edible grain? It seems like there should be an awefull lot of green stuff we don't eat out there that could at least significantly subsidise our energy addiction.

Mr. Cynic says... (2, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970486)

I know the reason Mr. Obama is saying all of these things: He wants to be president. That is all. And I don't say this because he is a democrat. I don't say this because he is black. I say this because he is a politician.

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