…and enjoy the show. Senator Clinton has resurrected her “vast, right-wing conspiracy” theory. Her evidence includes, inter alia, record-long voting lines when there is a record turnout of voters. Furthermore, districts with longer lines tend to be in Democrat strongholds – i.e. heavily-populated urban areas. Go figure. Will Hillary now claim that the traffic in Washington, D.C., Manhattan, Boston, San Fran, and LA is due to the VRWC?
Speaking of traffic, Hillary has taken over for Mr. Kerry as the flip-flopping Democrat Senator of record; the latest issue is ethanol. “Long opposed to federal support for the corn-based biofuel, she reversed herself and endorsed even bigger ethanol incentives than she previously voted against. Now running for president, Clinton is promoting a $50 billion strategic energy fund, laden with more ethanol perks.” Hillary may be pandering to Iowa voters, long known for their support of ethanol production.
The latest change in Hillary’s voting record will not help her as a candidate come 2008. While there is a pro-environment wave in Hollywood, the rest of the country does not vote accordingly. Critics, from the blogosphere to Business Week, have questioned the value of ethanol as a gasoline additive. Some studies indicate that it reduces fuel economy. If mileage decreases by 10% with a blend of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol, then, at best, ethanol blends break even with their unleaded counterparts. As it takes energy to produce ethanol, it is ultimately less efficient to add it to cars than to let them run on normal gasoline.
The one advantage of using ethanol is that it might help Americans to lose weight. The overproduction of corn (due to agricultural subsidies) during the 60s and 70s correlated with a spike in the use of high fructose corn syrup; now, the average American ingests about 60 pounds of it per year, which is the equivalent of 20 pounds of weight gain. Consumption of HFCS is also linked to diabetes and some cancers. If ethanol were to drive up the price of corn, food manufacturers would use less corn syrup in their foods – possibly resulting in some weight loss for Americans. (As an aside, obesity causes Americans to use an extra 938,000 gallons of gasoline a year.)