Spindle Time

I’ve got so much stuff on my spindle right now that I need two spindles. So let’s clear some stuff off.

• Breaking right now: The French foreign minister, who has the fabulous name Laurent Fabius, says that a nuclear arms agreement with Iran is “useless” without access to Iran’s military sites. Memo to Obama and Kerry: when the French foreign minister says your draft agreement is useless. . .

• I’m not a fan of the Environmental Working Group, but they deserve props when they break from the party line on the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s not that they’re wildly for it, but in a short squib posted Friday, EWG concludes that ethanol produces higher greenhouse gas emissions than oil from the Keystone pipeline would:

Do you think the federal government couldn’t order something worse for the environment than the Keystone XL oil pipeline?

Think again.

Using the Environmental Protection Agency’s own estimate, we calculate that the corn ethanol mandate has been worse for the climate than projected emissions from the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

What makes matters worse is that the EPA just mandated that more corn ethanol must go into American gas tanks. . .

So far the federal corn ethanol mandate has resulted in a massive influx of dirty corn ethanol, which is bad for the climate and bad for consumers. The only interest it benefits is the ethanol industry.

As we’ve said before, it’s time for Congress to correct course and reform the broken Renewable Fuels Standard to make way for truly green biofuels.

Here’s their chart showing the comparison:

EWG chart copy

Now, if only environmentalists hadn’t supported the ethanol madness in the first place. . .

(For more on the ethanol mess, see Marlo Lewis.)

• I suppose Paul Krugman is just like the proverbial stopped clock: occasionally right. The Krugster actually wrote a column today that is halfway sensible, about how the exit of Greece from the Eurozone might touch off another financial catastrophe. But it’s still Krugman, and clocks in the real world keep moving, so his solution—essentially that the main European financial powers (really Germany, though Krugster is too polite to name them) should cave in to the Greeks—is typically wrongheaded.  While I agree that the risks are substantial, at some point the Eurozone’s “NO” has to mean it, or else other undisciplined economies such as Spain, Italy, and finally France are going to demand the same easy deal.

The Eurozone may have been a bad idea in the first place (that was Milton Friedman’s view), so it’s in the long-term interest of everyone to unwind the most unsound parts of it in as orderly a way as possible. Start with Greece.

• The NY Times Sunday Magazine yesterday has a long and not terribly helpful article on “The Wrath of Grapes.” For oenophiles out there, the problem can be stated in one sentence: I agree with the criticism of the over-dominance of Robert Parker’s tastes, BUT, I really like Sea Smoke.  So something isn’t quite right with this piece.  But at least it prompted me to begin sorting out the chaos in my wine cellar:


• One of our loyal liberal commenters baited Paul in another thread about what we think of Lindsay Graham’s presidential candidacy. I can’t speak for Paul, but here’s what I think (hat tip, Steven Crowder):

Graham copy