Two Points

In his “Best of the Web” yesterday on the Wall Street Journal‘s online opinion page, James Taranto brought up two points that stood out.
The first, which is at the start of the post, opens with this:

With just 82 days until the presidential election, one of the major-party candidates is being accused by his opponents of offering eloquent rhetoric that is just too high-flown and idealistic. That man, of course, is John McCain.

He goes on to explain that this refers to the reaction from the left to McCain’s strong and clear position opposing Russia’s military actions in Georgia.
The second point is when he discusses New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s position on gas prices and the energy situation. Taranto points out that when Friedman calls the position that wind and solar energy aren’t cost effective yet “One of the biggest canards peddled by Big Oil,” he does so right after saying that the solar industry can’t survive without large government subsidies. Friedman then goes on to second the view of Richard K. Lester, who argues that “The best chance we have — perhaps the only chance” to develop alternative energy will, in Friedman’s words, “require a fundamental reshaping by government of the prices and regulations and research-and-development budgets that shape the energy market” in a radical program “more than a Manhattan Project.” As Taranto concludes in comparing these, “Such a massive exercise of government control over the economy is “cost effective” only in the sense that ignorance is strength and slavery is freedom.”

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