The trailer for the third picture in the franchise, 1989′s Indiana Jones
And The Last Crusade. The fourth Indy picture premieres in a month.
** CLINTON LEADS PENNSYLVANIA. The new MSNBC/McClatchy poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama in Pennsylvania, 48% to 43%. The poll was taken April 17-18. Hillary’s lead could get bigger, as there are double digit undecideds amongst rural voters, bowlers, and gun owners. Or, alternatively, those folks could stay home, figuring both Democrats are phonies.
Clinton’s lead in Pennnsylvania is based upon rural voters, bowlers, and gun owners. Where there is, of course, a certain overlap. So it might be that if they aren’t for her yet, after the past week, they won’t be. We’ll see on Tuesday.
Bowlers, incidentally, are 24% of the electorate in the closed (i.e., no indies allowed) Pennsylvania Democratic primary electorate. And gun owners comprise 38% of the primary. Personal disclosure: I am a gun owner. I am not a bowler. Though I did get a higher score the first time I went bowling, at age 14, than Barack Obama. Obama’s mistake, having viewed the all-important video, was in assuming that as a good athlete he would automatically be a good bowler. He tried to show style as he rolled his gutter balls, rather than make sure the ball went down the middle to score some points.
And so it goes on a fabulous Sunday, as I contribute to the dumbing down of America.
** MY NEW PODCAST. The road beyond Bittergate. Does Obama have Reagan-like teflon? And more.
** COMING TUESDAY — GAME DAY: PENNSYLVANIA. On Tuesday, it’s “Game Day: Pennsylvania.” I’ll be anchoring PJ Media network’s coverage throughout the day, weaving together reports and information from correspondents and contacts inside and outside the contest state, as usual. The anchor coverage will be linked to and, to an extent, mirrored here on NWN. This is a continuation of the “Game Day: Iowa,” “Game Day: New Hampshire,” “Game Day: Michigan And Vegas,” “Game Day: Nevada And South Carolina Republicans,” “Game Day: South Carolina Democrats,” “Game Day: Florida Republicans,” “Super-Duper Tuesday Special Edition,” “Game Day: Semi-Super Saturday,” “Game Day: Chesapeake Tuesday,” “Game Day: Wisconsin And Hawaii,” “Game Day: Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont,” “Game Day:Wyoming,” and “Game Day Mississippi” packages.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Reading and Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Hillary Clinton is in Bethlehem, Johnstown, and University Park, Pennsylvania.
Bill Clinton, who had heart bypass surgery a few years ago, is finally off the trail today.
John McCain is in Washington, D.C. and Selma, Alabama.
Barack Obama addressed 35,000 people last night in Philadelphia,
the largest crowd of the campaign.
** WELCOME TO THE ERA OF PIRATE MEDIA. First we had the activist blogger supporter of Barack Obama, a maxed-out financial contributor to the campaign, admitted to an Obama fundraiser last weekend in San Franciso per a low-level fundraiser for the campaign, who decided to burn the candidate — not that she actually understood the ramifications as she did so — on the Huffington Post. Now we have a recording of a Hillary Clinton rant against the Democratic activist base, also on HuffPo. Purloined from about two months ago.
Pirate Media, indeed.
See below for all, as I find it tedious and irritating.
As Fox Mulder put it: “Trust no one.”
** SCHWARZENEGGER ADDRESS AT YALE CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger keynoted yesterday’s Yale University climate change conference which featured the governors of five American states and the premiers of two Canadian provinces. Later, the former action superstar produced a petition from 18 states, comprising most of the population of the US, pledging prompt action on reducing greenhouse gases.
Schwarzenegger criticized the Bush Administration, predicting a seachange in national policy no matter which party wins the presidency in November (Schwarzenegger is a big John McCain backer whose endorsement was critical to McCain essentially winning the Republican nomination in the California primary, First Lady Maria Shriver is a Barack Obama backer), talked about the issue, and took issue with elements of both right and left for holding back progresss. Here’s what Schwarzenegger said: Thank you very much, President Levin, for the wonderful introduction. And let me just say right off the top: I’m very happy that I’m not the only one with an accent speaking here today. Anyway, it’s great to have you, Dr. Pachauri. Thank you for the wonderful speech. It was really extraordinary.
I want to thank also Governor Jodi Rell for being here today and all the other governors that came and the premier that came down from Canada. We want to thank also Mary Nichols who is the chair of the California Air Resources Board who is with us here today sitting in the front row. Thank you very much. I want to thank Premier Charest for being here from Quebec.
And also we want to thank Professor Dan Esty for being really responsible for organizing this and for having me here today. And he has been a great adviser to our administration for the last four years and so we want to thank you for all your great, great work and for being such a great leader.
And I also want to thank one of our great advisers, environmental advisers, Terry Tamminen, for being here today. I don’t know where Terry is. He’s right here. Terry, get up. It’s really great to be here today with all of you and to be here at Yale. Earlier, I don’t know if you know, but President Levin and I, we created a little bit of action. We went over to the gym and we worked out already. I had no idea that he was that buff, to be honest with you. He bench‑pressed a sophomore, which was really extraordinary.
But anyway, it is great to be here today. And I know that this is an environmental conference, an environmental conference to mark Teddy Roosevelt’s 1908 Yale Governors’ Conference. And it is an extraordinary event here to celebrate this. But even though it’s an environmental conference, I would like to start talking about bodybuilding. See how everyone is waking up now? I like that. The reason is because there is something in common, the image that bodybuilding had and the image that environmentalists have. In the old days when I came over here 40 years ago to America, people worked out with weights but they were embarrassed to admit it, to talk about bodybuilding, to say they were bodybuilders, they worked out with weights, because they were embarrassed about it. And especially big stars in Hollywood like Kirk Douglas and Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson and those guys. They would not want to be associated with the dungeons where those weird guys, those fanatics trained. So they always when they were asked, how did you get this body, they would say, well, we were born like this. But then slowly the image changed because a book Pumping Iron came out. And then the movie “Pumping Iron” came out. As a matter of fact, we have the director sitting right here. Where is he? Director George Butler is sitting right here. Give him a big hand.
And that explained the sport a little bit and then all of a sudden we won all the covers of magazines and in newspapers and television and I started promoting the sport all over the United States and all over the world and the sport became more and more popular. And eventually the perception of bodybuilding began to change and today there are gymnasiums everywhere and everywhere you can go to a gymnasium everywhere and normal people will be talking about their abs and their delts and serratus and the six‑pack and all of those kind of things, it’s quite normal. So the sport has arrived.
Now, like bodybuilders, environmentalists were thought also to be kind of weird fanatics. You know, the kind of serious tree huggers and weeping willows. Plus environmentalists were no fun. They were like prohibitionists at a fraternity party and stuff like that.
And for too long the environmental movement was powered by guilt. Now, you know the kind of guilt I’m talking about ‑‑ smoke stacks belching pollution to power our hot tubs and large‑screen TVs, or in my case flying around with a private plane or driving my big Hummers.
Now, it’s too bad that we all can’t live simple lives like Buddhist monks on straw mats. But you know something, it’s not going to happen. Let’s face it, people are not going to give up their energy‑burning plasma TVs. Maybe if the TV or the computer or the cell phone or the appliance would have a little smoke stack on it that shows you how much energy you use or how much greenhouse gas emissions there are, maybe it would make the people feel a little bit more guilty, but I doubt it.
Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t think that any movement has ever made it, has ever made much progress based on guilt. Guilt is passive, it is inhibiting, it’s defensive and the approach just simply doesn’t work.
Successful movements are built on passion. They’re built on confidence. They’re built on Teddy Roosevelt’s bully pulpit. They’re built on critical mass and often they’re built on an element of alarm that galvanizes action.
I believe the environmental movement is switching over from being powered by guilt to being powered by something much more positive, something much more dynamic, something much more capable of bringing about revolutionary change. Its image is also changing from one of hand‑wringing and whining to one that is hip, an image that is cutting edge, forceful and self‑confident and even sexy.
And a big boost is coming, of course, after the election, no matter whether it’s McCain, Obama, or Clinton. But this is something we’re going to talk about a little bit later.
In California we, of course, are doing everything that we can to change the balance of power on the environment. First, let me start with government policy. Now, of course, the big thing is we don’t wait for Washington, because as I’ve always said, Washington is asleep at the wheel.
Now, I don’t want to go into all the details of all the laws that we have passed and all the regulations and all of the things that we have done, but we are ‑‑ I want to mention some of the things, because we are very proud of what we have accomplished. As a matter of fact, when we started, they said you can’t protect the environment and economy at the same time. People said it was impossible. But then when I came into office we started getting to work and we started building the hydrogen highway. And we set aside 25 million acres of pristine lands with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. And then put in place the Ocean Action Plan that led the nation in cleaning and preserving our coast line. And we also began our Green Building Initiative to make our government buildings more energy efficient by 25 percent by the year 2015. Then we did something very important which was we passed the Million Solar Roof Initiative in order to harness the renewable energy of the sun.
And then there were two things that we have done, two laws that we have passed that got world recognition and that is to the pass the law to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by the year 2020, which is holding back the greenhouse gas emissions to the 1990 level and then an additional 80 percent by the year 2050. And then the following year … Thank you. Then the following year we passed and we ordered a cut in the carbon content of transportation fuels, the low carbon fuel standards. Like I said, this gave us world attention.
Now, do I believe that those standards that California sets will solve global warming? No, not at all. What we are doing is basically applying leverage so that at some point the whole environmental thing tilts and shifts. It’s like a see‑saw; it goes up and eventually tips down the other way.
California is, as you know, the seventh largest economy in the world and it is a big state. It is a powerful state and what we do does have consequences. Even though when you look at the globe California is a little spot on that globe, but when it comes to our power of influence, it is the equivalent of a whole continent.
Now, when California passed its Global Warming Act, may I remind you, we were totally alone. There was no one out there doing the same thing. Because as I said, Washington didn’t lead. But we started forming partnerships, partnerships with western states, with northeastern states and with Canadian provinces and with European nations. As a matter of fact, with all European nations. And then 600 American cities have signed on to be part of Kyoto treaty. So America has to lead and we are doing so even without Washington. Thank you.
Now, things are going really well and there’s great progress being made, but not everything goes smoothly. There are stumbling blocks along the way. Like for instance a year or so ago there was a billboard in Michigan that accused me of costing the car industry $85 billion because of our new emission standards. The billboard said: “Arnold to Michigan, drop dead.” But that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is: “Arnold to Michigan, get off your butt.” That’s what I’m saying.
As a matter of fact, California may be doing more to save the U.S. auto industry than anyone else because we are pushing them to change, so that if they want to sell their cars in the Golden State, they should change the technology. But government by itself cannot get us where we need to go. I’m a big believer in American technology and I think that technology is what eventually will save Detroit and will save the environment.
We have seen over and over people talking about how bad the big jets are and how bad the big cars are, but that’s not where the action is, what the size of something is. The action is in technology.
A perfect example is, for instance, we in California have a car company called Tesla Motors. Well, the Tesla Roadster is 100 percent electric. This car goes from 0 to 60 in four seconds and it drives 140 miles an hour. As a matter of fact, President Levin, you need to have one of those cars, I tell you, because the girls will go crazy when they see you in this car. I know you will be excited about that. Anyway, the Tesla Roadster goes 250 miles on a charge and then it only takes 3 1/2 hours to charge it up.
Now, of course, there is a downside, because the first version of that car will cost $100,000. But the second one will come down to $80,000 and the third version will be $50,000. So economics tells you where this is heading. It’s just like with the cell phones. Twenty years ago I bought a cell phone which was kind of a radio phone and it cost $1600. Then eventually it went down to $1000, to $500 and the last phone I bought for my daughter was only $90. So today cell phones are everywhere because of the cost coming down. And the same thing will happen with the environmental technologies. But government, as I said, cannot do it all, but government can give a push by setting the standards.
So California is giving the nation and the world a push. And this is why U.N. Secretary‑General Ban Ki‑moon came to me a year ago and asked me to do a keynote speech at the United Nations in order to talk there about what California is doing and to give the rest of the world a push, because there were 190 some countries sitting there and we tried to inspire them to go in the same direction as California is.
Now, of course, beyond government policy a second factor is economics. California is the leading edge of what I call the environmental economy, which is green, clean technology. Right now in California’s university labs, corporate research parks, even in strip mall offices something very exciting is happening. The nation’s brightest scientists and the smartest venture capitalists are racing, racing to find new technologies for alternative energy. Now, this is a race that is literally fueled by billions and billions of dollars. When it comes to developing green tech in California, everyone is drinking Red Bull, I can tell you that. Even the most optimistic forecasters say that we only have 40 or 50 years of oil left. As a matter of fact, with the thirst that we see in India, that India has and China has, I think those years are even less.
So there is a huge pressure, besides global warming, to push in a direction of finding new sources of energy. So capitalism, the long alleged enemy of the environment, is today giving new life to the environmental movement. In fact, the environmental cause would be unwinnable without capitalism and the technology it will provide.
As a matter of fact, the head of PG&E, California’s largest utility, says that the energy industry is on the brink of a revolution. General Electric, based right here in Connecticut, sold its plastic business because it saw more potential for growth and profit in environmental goods and services.
So you can see the shift is happening. And the shift is not only happening here in America; we see it all over the world. I saw the other day that a leading German consulting firm predicted that by the end of the next decade more people will be employed in Germany’s green, clean technology industry than in the auto industry. So as you can see, this is not a fairytale. We have had the industrial revolution, the technological revolution, the global revolution and next is the environmental revolution. Now, I see … Now, I see some people looking at me funny and saying, what happened to the sexual revolution? Well, we’re going to talk about that the next time I come here, I promise you.
So anyway, the third thing that I want to mention is the attitude of the public, the politicians and also the special interests. The geopolitics of global climate change has been deadlocked. We all know that. The U.S. says that China and India should be covered by carbon limits and China and India say that we should go first because we are the biggest polluters in the world. But I think the deadlock is about to be broken. President McCain, President Obama, President Clinton I think will all shift this country into a much higher gear when it comes to climate change. As a matter of fact, I’m very happy to say that all three candidates will be great for the environment. So things will immediately pick up, pick up speed after the Inauguration Day, I know that for sure.
But let me tell you something that will surprise you. I don’t know if many of you know, but I’m sure some of you do know the cable TV show called “Myth Busters.” You know that show? It’s two funny, weird guys who go around trying to see if various different myths are actually true, like dropping from a hundred feet into the water, does it have the same impact as dropping by a hundred feet on the concrete or cement. Or if you drop a penny from the Empire State Building and it hits below someone on the head, does the penny really go through someone’s skull. That’s the kind of crazy things that they try to prove. And I love that dummy that they’re using. I mean, he is really getting beaten up. He should actually go into politics, that’s what I suggest.
Well, I’ve got a myth for those guys to investigate, because we hear all the time that businesses and Republicans are the obstacle to progress on renewable energy and on greenhouse gases while the environmental activists and Democrats are absolutely perfect and create no obstacle at all. Well, I say this is a myth.
First, major companies like DuPont and G.E. and Wal‑Mart and BP are convinced of the need for change and mainstream Republicans are finally coming around, too. They realize that green, clean technology creates jobs, extra revenues and stimulates the economy. But the important point I want to make is that environmental activists and Democrats many times are just as much an obstacle in moving forward. Rhetorically, of course, they love to talk about renewable energy and geothermal and wind all those kind of things. But many times we have seen they are trying to slow down the approval process. It’s kind of a schizophrenic behavior. They say that we want renewable energy but we don’t want you to put it anywhere, we don’t want you to use it.
One energy expert the other day said that the California Mojave desert which is a vast space with thousands of square miles is one of the best spots on planet earth for solar power plants. Pacific Gas & Electric wants to put three huge solar plants right there. And the whole world ‑‑ the Germans, the French, the Canadians, the Japanese ‑‑ they all want to come out to California and put solar power plants in the Mojave desert and in other places. The only thing is that the problem is getting that new energy to the power grid because of environmental hurdles.
San Diego Gas & Electric wants to develop solar geothermal fields in Imperial Valley and build 150 miles of transmission lines to go and take this power right into San Diego, but it faces opposition even though it would replace an old carbon‑based power plant.
So the point I’m making is it’s not just businesses that have slowed things down, it’s not just Republicans that have slowed things down, it’s also Democrats and also environmental activists sometimes that slow things down.
And even my own agency that I’m supposed to be the head of and the boss of I found out is slowing things down. Now, this gets very complicated, I tell you. For example, our Department of Fish and Game is slowing approval of a solar facility in Victorville. It’s because of an endangered squirrel, an endangered squirrel which has never been seen on that land where they’re supposed to build the solar plants. But if such a squirrel were around, this is the kind of area that it would like, they say.
Now, the department wants the power company to buy three acres of land to protect these little creatures for every acre of solar land that is being used so that the squirrel could be saved if it exists. So a squirrel that may not exist is holding up environmental progress on a larger and more pressing fight against global warming. What they have here is a case of environmental regulations holding up environmental progress. I don’t know whether this is ironic or absurd. But, I mean, if we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave Desert, I don’t know where the hell we can put it.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the real world. We have to make some trade‑offs. I think both the environmental activists and their opponents cannot let “perfect” become the enemy of “possible,” because the fact of the matter is nothing is perfect. Solar still needs transmission lines. Battery electric cars still need chemicals in the batteries and electricity to recharge them. Hydrogen cars still need a fuel currently made largely from natural gas. Nuclear power, which is very clean, still has waste that must be stored somewhere. Biofuels from corn‑based ethanol and palm oil still needs to be controlled so we don’t have deforestation all over the world.
So as one of my environmental friends and advisers said: There are no silver bullets, only silver buckshot. We need to find creative ways to overcome those obstacles. There’s no two ways about it. Neither business nor environmentalists nor Republicans nor Democrats can be set in their ways. I suggest to them: Relax, exhale, just exhale and relax and let things move forward.
What is so great about this conference here, for instance, is there are a lot of young people and I’ve always found that young people are more open to new ways of thinking. So I urge you to continue to be open‑minded on our environment. Do not dismiss or do not accept an idea because it has a Republican label or a Democratic label or a conservative label or a liberal label. Think for yourself. This is especially true on environment. So I have great faith in your ability to find new answers and to find new approaches. Don’t accept what the old people say. Don’t accept the old ways. Don’t accept the old ways or the old politics of Democrats and Republicans. Stir things up. Be fresh and new the way you look at things. I believe in what you can accomplish.
Now, a lot of people are pessimistic about the environmental problems. And yes, there are a lot of obstacles. But I am optimistic. I’m very optimistic. Earlier I mentioned that one of the things that propels a successful movement is when it reaches critical mass.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, you can feel the big things moving. You can feel the big things coming together. You can feel the momentum. I say, do not be down‑hearted about the environment. Every day I see what is happening in California and I tell you, my fellow environmentalists, things are about to move our way. Thank you very much for having me here. And thank you for your hospitality. Thank you.
** OBAMA ADDRESSES LARGEST CROWD OF 2008 CAMPAIGN, STILL TRAILS IN STATE POLL. Barack Obama addressed the largest crowd of the 2008 campaign last night in Philadelphia, 35,000 people according to park security officials. Speaking in Independence Park, near the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell, Obama slammed Hillary Clinton as an opportunistic exemplar of the old politics.
“She’s taken more money from Washington lobbyists than any other candidate in this race, even John McCain, because she says that lobbyists represent ‘real Americans,’” Obama said. “She’s taken a different position at different times on issues as fundamental as trade and even war, to suit the politics of the moment. And in the last few months, she’s launched what her campaign calls a kitchen-sink strategy of negative attacks, which she defends as telling us that this is what the Republicans will do. She says that’s how the game is played, and she can play that game back.”
“Well, I’m not running for president to play the same old Washington game,” Obama declared, “I’m running to end the game-playing.”
Obama continues to trail in polling ahead of Tuesday’s primary in Pennsylvania, the big state most demographically advantageous to Clinton due to its older population and primary closed to independents. In the latest Zogby poll, for example, conducted Thursday and Friday night but not impacted by the Philadelphia rally, Clinton led Obama, 47% to 42%.
Obama’s rally last night with 35,000 broke the previous mark for this campaign set last December in South Carolina when Obama appeared with Oprah Winfrey before 30,000 at the University of South Carolina.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Wynnewood, Paoli, Downingtown, Lancaster, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Hillary Clinton is in California and McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
Bill Clinton is in Wilkes-Barre, Meadville, Sharon, Beaver Falls, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.
John McCain is off the trail in advance of his Forgotten America tour next week.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer, bringing you English-language, jargon-free, fast-paced coverage of global and Russian news from the new Russia Today channel.
You probably already know about CNN International, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Russia Today, which also features culture, entertainment, and sports, is based in Moscow and is owned and operated by the TV Novosti division of Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti.
While it’s quite foolish to expect to see, say, criticism of Vladimir Putin on Russia Today, the channel is very interesting nonetheless. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Crude oil closed yesterday at a record $116.69 per barrel. Energy markets are closed on the weekend.
Your posts are welcome in the Forum.