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Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Just yesterday (or today in America), Democratic Senator Evan Bayh announced his retirement from the Senate. His reason?  Bayh argues that “Congress is not operating as it should,” citing a lack of bipartisanship causing a legislative gridlock.  Bayh has made it a point to note that he is not fed up with public service as a whole, but specifically with the current state of Congress.  According to political analyst Jennifer Donahue, the left-wing members of the Democratic Party in the executive branch and in Congress are putting a large strain on the Democratic centrists.

Similar criticisms of centrism are facing the Republican Party, with former Arizona congressman J. D. Hayworth challenging John McCain for his Senate seat, claiming, “You could say they are two John McCains.  The one who campaigns like a conservative and the one who legislates like a liberal.”

From the perspective of this European correspondent (tongue-in-cheek), American politics is largely a centrist playing field.  In the UK, for instance, the ‘centre’ is much farther left than in the US, but there does exist a sizable neo-Fascist party (BNP), something nearly unthinkably right-wingéd in the United States.  From this perspective, the ‘far-right’ and the ‘far-left’ Americans are actually not as far apart as we might immediately suppose.  Though Barack Obama has been accused of being a socialist, it would be difficult to find a Labour Party member who would consider him such.

Still, in the heat of American partisanship fueled by the fierce rhetoric of newscasters and politicians (and those posing as politicians), the center is no man’s land.

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Heard a great report on KCRW’s, Which Way, LA?, on Monday night about a nuclear meltdown that occurred 50 years ago right here in LA.  Maybe you are like me and had never heard of this, so you may find that alone an interesting component of the show.

However the program went on to have a discussion about nuclear power and whether it should start to be embraced by the United States.  Our country has not built a reactor in 30 years… and it is safe to say that a lot has changed since then.  The show has guest presenters who discuss the pros and cons of nuclear, and they all make very strong points in this nuanced discussion.

I am personally very intrigued by nuclear, and don’t usually place the safety concerns about it above the concerns for other forms of energy.  As John McCain stated in one of the presidential debates, we have been powering submarines with nuclear for 30 years and we are still sending them out filled with our citizens.  And if safety is the primary concern, then why does it make sense to keep running 40 year old reactors instead of building new ones with all the new safety features that have been developed over the last three decades?  It really is an interesting debate, especially as it crosses territory into environmentalism since nuclear produces no greenhouse gases that global warming is said to be based on, and yet it is still not favored by many environmentalists.

While I usually don’t look to France for anything innovative in politics, economics, business, science, etc., they are the world leaders in nuclear power and provide a current example we can look to of the pros and cons of this form of energy.  I encourage you to check out the KCRW show and let us know your opinion.

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