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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive

McCain, Obama and Clean Coal:

After you’ve watched federal policymaking for a number of years, you realize that the actual effectiveness of federal programs has absolutely no bearing on their survival or level of funding. That’s because the purpose of federal programs is not to solve problems, but to provide a menu of levers that politicians can pull to appeal to certain types of voters.

We see this at play in the 2008 election with “clean coal,” which has attracted the attention of both candidates. Obama wants to “significantly increase the resources devoted to the commercialization and deployment of low-carbon coal technologies.” Meanwhile, McCain has pledged to spend $2 billion a year on clean coal technology if elected.

Pretty obvious, but the full article is worth the read.

The Successful Politics of the Past:

A Barack Obama victory in November will not be a historical event.

The press will try to hype it as such, but that will be another Fourth Estate illusion. If Obama defeats John McCain, it won’t be a “world-changing moment”, but it will be another example of backlash politics—something that has been a part of the United States for decades.

Oh, but I’m afraid it will be, and for more reasons than ethnicity.

And Cops are Still Dicks:

Earlier this year, police in Tallahassee, Florida, raided the home of college student Rachel Hoffman. Her friends say Hoffman was a bit of a hippie-ish free spirit, and they concede that she shared and sold small amounts of marijuana and ecstasy within her social circle. Hoffman was at the time undergoing compulsory drug treatment after another run-in with the police, in which they found 20+ grams of marijuana in her car during a traffic stop. The raid turned up another five ounces of marijuana, six ecstasy pills, and assorted pot-related paraphernalia.

The cops threatened Hoffman with prison time, then agreed to let her off easy if she’d become a police informant and set up a deal with her supplier. They never informed Hoffman’s attorney or the state prosecutor of the arrangement. They wired Hoffman and asked her to arrange to purchase 1,500 ecstasy pills, cocaine, and a gun, a deal that would have run well over $10,000. Hoffman’s friends and family report that all three purchases would also be drastically out of character for her—which means the dealers she was buying from were almost surely on to her.

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