Energy Policy Lingers as Obama's Achilles Heel

Last week I noted that McCain is scoring political body blows with a compelling message on energy and that the Obama campaign has not responded to the massive shifts in public preferences that have occurred on the issue since early spring of this year.

The message gap on energy grew wider this week as McCain released his latest television spot (clip above). McCain knows "that we must drill more in America and rescue our family budgets" claims the ad. Obama on the other hand--while staging rallies for adoring and chanting supporters--is personally responsible for rising gas prices and opposes "drilling in America" and "independence from foreign oil."

"Don't hope for more energy, vote for it," is the ad's signature line. A second ad titled "celeb," plays on growing resentment over Obama's perceived messiah and celebrity status and then quickly connects his perceived elitism to an absence of policy on energy (see clip below.)

Both TV spots are deceptive and play loose with the facts while advocating a solution to gas prices that cuts against expert consensus. Some media outlets, such as the USA Today, have run editorials fact checking the ad claims, but these media responses will do little good unless Obama is out in front with his own equally compelling narrative on how to tackle the energy problem.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
  • When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
  • Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.