Take the Obama Test

Barack Obama claims that liberal policies are better because they are grounded in "fact and reason". I tend to agree with Tom Clancy, who famously said (and I paraphrase), "A good Democrat Policy is based on its ability to fit into a headline or snappy enough to lead a television segment." In any case, take the test and see if Barack is right.

(The one question I quibble with on this test is the "greenhouse gas" question. It is true that CO2 emission growth in the US is the slowest of any leading industrial country, and has slowed more under President Bush than under Clinton. It is also true that on a per capita basis, US emissions are the lowest of the leading industrialized nations. But because the US is so much richer than other nations, and we consume more energy, US CO2 emissions both on a per capita and a gross basis are the highest in the world. That, of course, is what the supporters of Kyoto focus on (and is the reason the test question is somewhat misleading).

It is also the reason that Kyoto is impossible to pass in the US. To reduce gross CO2 emissions to Kyoto levels would require US energy consumption to slow to European levels. As Eurozone per capita income is 40% lower, any US or European politician demanding the US accept Kyoto is implicitly demanding that the US reduce per capita income by 40%, which of course is not going to happen.

What the Europeans really want, however, is direct transfer payments, as Jacques Chirac finally admitted recently. As such, Kyoto is nothing more than an effort by Europeans to feed at the trough of American wealth. Not satisfied with us subsidizing their defense, they now want direct payments to prop up their failing social welfare programs. Good luck with that.)


Terrence McCarthy

11:51 AM

Off topic here, but...

I have, since the 70s, been fascinated and confused re: the Eton Wall Game. Now that I've learned as much as I want to know about that, you put " Social soccer " on the table. I tried looking that up and found nothing. Here I go again. But the term did remind me of a sport my neice and nephew have been playing ( First at their high school in Amherst, Mass., then at Carleton College in Minnesota ) It's called Ultimate and is played not with a ball, but a frisbee. I witnessed my first game of Ultimate a few months ago. It's something to see, and I'm not just talking about the play on the soccer sized field. In Ultimate, players make their own calls. No refs. And no screaming, micro-managing parents on the sidelines. I saw one father eating a salad as he watched his kid play. A salad! And players from each team fraternize on the sidelines, chat with each other as they pay half attention to the game. At one point I lost track of the score. "How does one know what it is? " I naively asked. The answer: " You just have to walk up to someone and ask them: ' What's the score? ' If they don't know, ask someone else. As one who grew up playing sports, and as one who for years defined myself by the sports that I played ( Basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, archery mostly ) I thought: This is all very strange. My neice went back to Amherst last year and we watched a game together. She said she wasn't fond of the team for which she had played a few years before. Why? They're winning too much. They're in a league of their own. I'm of two minds about Ultimate. It's great to ee a sport where fights don't break out between and among players, parents, pets. Whoever's out there on the field or on the sideline. But I'm a little concerned about what the lessons it can teach about real life. Ultimate. It's almost too good to be true. Meanwhile I'm off to Wikpedia to see if I can find out what in the hell Social Soccer's about.