Obama’s glow-in-the-dark skeleton…

I woke up this fine, sunny San Francisco morning and democracy was in the air. Yes it was Super Tuesday, the day when I and my fellow Americans were going to change the world by voting to nominate Barack Obama for president in 2008.

As I proudly ticked off my ballot and deposited it in the ballot box, a poll worker offered me a cheery red sticker which reads “I Voted!” in English Chinese, and Spanish. I took it, thanked the good man, and puffed my chest out ever so slightly. I had just voted, and I was proud of it.

Things changed early this afternoon. The idealism that had lightened my step only a few hours before faded into cynicism as I read that Senator Obama may not be the champion of change, that beacon of hope I thought he was.

As it turns out, he and the Democratic party have been receiving large donations from the nuclear energy industry. In and of itself, that raises some questions as to whether the big promises of big changes to federal energy policy the Dems are making on the campaign trail may fizzle with Big Energy so high on the campaign donations list.

You may dismiss the idea as idle hand-wringing, but there’s some evidence the money has already had an effect. According to a report summarized and analyzed here, Obama softened his stance on a 2006 bill designed to hold nuclear energy companies accountable for polluting drinking water with Tritium. The original bill called for mandatory reporting of any such leaks, but after some opposition, Obama signed a bill that reduced “mandatory” to “voluntary”…several senators, including Hillary Clinton have so far begged off signing the castrated version of the bill.

So now I sit here, still wearing my shiny red sticker…and wondering whether I’ve made a big mistake.

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