The choice of September 12 as a time for morons to celebrate in the streets is appropriate. It marks the first day of the failure of The Moron George W. Busch to take advantage of the vast domestic and international good will he possessed that day to create a truly new dynamic. Domestically, Busch could have built a new energy policy designed to make us energy self reliant. Abroad Busch could have built coalitions to work together for international peace and prosperity. Busch did the opposite in both cases, making us the pariah of international diplomacy and more energy dependent than ever.
I am reminded of the energy independence part by Thomas Friedman’s article in September 16 NYT where he points out that Applied Materiels, a silicon valley company, has become a world leader in building solar panels…everywhere but in the United States. Since 2004, Applied Materiels has built 14 solar panel factories. Not one of them are in the U.S. Five are in Germany, four in China, one in Spain, Italy, Taiwan and Abu Dhabi. Most solar cells we buy in the USA are American technology built by Chinese workers.
Wonder why Germany, which has less average sunlight than upstate New York, has five plants and produces about half of the world’s solar energy? Wonder why the American sunshine states with all those rooftops begging to be solarized are not? Friedman points out that most foreign nations encourage solar power by allowing any homeowner an automatic connection to the grid and imposes on the utility company an obligation to buy power at a predictable price for a predictable period. In most states we can demand the connection, but there the similarities end. We sometimes get a government subsidy. Sometimes we don’t. The utilities pay us market rates and they set the market. No consistent policy means no predictability.
It is all a matter of national energy policy, and we have no policy. Even if Barack Obama can get a good policy out of the current Congress, its eight years late and a solar panel short.
On the international side, we are reminded of Busch’s diplomatic failure by the President’s decision to scrap the missiles in Poland. The only real value the missiles ever had was to piss off the Russians. They believed the missiles were planned to insult them, question their integrity and threaten their people. That was the heart and soul of Busch foreign policy. Treat the international community the way he treated Turd Blossom and Gonzo. Piss on them and expect them to like it.
In fact the missiles have no real military value. They were supposed to protect Europe from Iran… which does not have missiles that can reach Europe. At any rate, long range anti-missile missiles are an unproven technology No one can be certain that they will work. Obama’s decision is another step in the process of undoing a mess created by Busch. Glad he is doing it. Wish he didn’t have to.
(Yeah. I don’t want to talk about the predictable and lame GOOP response from John Boner. Boner is an idiot. After eight years of international bullying and non diplomacy, the GOOP has no standing to talk on this issue.)