Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Tale of Two interviews

I heard two interesting interviews on NPR today while driving home.

The first was a short interview with Tim Pawlenty and Michele Norris. Pawlenty was trying to defend McCain's energy policy (it's hard to type that without snickering). Here's the money quote (paraphrased)

Pawlenty says there are "striking differences" between the Arizona senator and his rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, when it comes to energy policy. For instance, McCain supports offshore drilling for oil, as well as the creation of a gas tax holiday. Obama opposes both proposals.
He also mentions that Obama opposes expanding nuclear power. He says this like these are supposed to be bad things. McCain supports a gas tax holiday that everyone, even his own campaign, agrees will do little to nothing. He supports domestic oil drilling, calling it a short-term solution. Of course, not one economist, supports McCain's idea that drilling will provide any short-term (less than 10 years!) relief. Pawlenty's got a tough job trying to defend this so-called energy policy. It really makes him sound dumber just by making the attempt.

In the second, Robert Siegel interviewed George Charamba, a spokesman for Robert Mugabe. In a combative interview, Charamba denies that there's any violence against Tsvangirai and his supporters. He claims, "All the reports that you are dealing with are reports that are coming either from the British machinery or from the American machinery". When Charamba defends the upcoming runoff as legally required, Siegel brings up the fact that Mugabe and his party lost the presidential and parliamentary elections. Charamba acknowledges this, but dismisses the results because he said the people "voted on their stomachs", due to Western sanctions. It's amazing how this guy can calmly argue that the first election didn't count, but this runoff election does. All the while denying the thuggery and murder taking place. It's unbelievable. Can we stop referring to Mugabe as president and just start calling him dictator? He seems like the kind of arrogant asshole that would be bothered by this, if it spread in the media.

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Toast said...

I caught most of the interview with the Mugabe flak. It was surreal. At one point he said something like "We are a mature democracy" and I almost punched him through iTunes.

As for McCain on energy, agree on the ridiculousness of drilling and the stupid gas tax holiday. I do, however, count myself among those who would be willing to give nuclear a second look, particularly if we look to more advanced reactors and more successful models for dealing with waste.

Chris Howard said...

I do, however, count myself among those who would be willing to give nuclear a second look

I'm not opposed to exploring more nuclear power either. I think the difference is that with McCain, it's pretty much the cornerstone of his policy. Obama has so much other stuff going on in his energy policy that his opposition to more nuclear isn't a bad thing. The one thing I dislike about Obama's policy is his emphasis on ethanol.