ImageCruising to an almost certain win as the first woman president, Hillary Clinton tripped at the 10-yard line with nothing but goal line in front of her. What did she trip over? Only that big, loveable lug, Bill, who simply would not shut up about race. She also tripped over her own imaginary past, which she could not seem to shut up about. Dodging sniper-fire in 1996 in Bosnia? Really? Did she think nobody could check this? Has she never heard of the Internet? Somehow the Clintons have not adjusted to Age of the Bloggers.

But Miss Hillary wasn't the only one to stumble in the open field. His serene Highness of Hope, Barak Obama, fell over his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. The right reverend has been spewing racism, nutcake conspiracies and anti-American hate from his pulpit for decades, although the senator just realized it in the last few weeks.

Mr. Obama has belonged to Rev. Wright's Church of Righteous Racism for 20 years - although he denies being there when the Rev. spouted his garbage. (Well, OK, maybe he was there a few times, but he wasn't listening - and he certainly didn't enjoy it.) Reporters have delicately avoided looking into how often Mr. Obama was actually in church, or whether he is visible in TV footage of some of Pastor Wright's sermons. The senator tried to put a lid on the whole mess, but the Rev. kicked the garbage can over again at the National Press Club, a few weeks later. He claimed that Mr. Obama disagrees with him, publicly, because he is "a politician".

Watching from midfield, GOP candidate John McCain should have been thinking something like this:

"My opponents have their shoelaces tied together. All I need to do is walk down the sideline with the ball under my arm. I don't have to sprint or dance around or do anything fancy. I just need to make sure my uniform is buttoned, walk into the end zone, and the game will be mine... "

But John McCain couldn't do this. It was too easy. Instead, he had to stand up and make with crazy talk about global warming. He had to declare that the debate is over and it's "time to act". Did he think this made him look "presidential"? It just made him look silly, for he chose the very time when the whole warming-shtick is collapsing. Even a sympathetic national media can't keep the public from realizing that the climate hasn't warmed for 10 years. (Northern locales in the USA already knew this from recent winters.)

Increasing numbers of scientists are now saying that the "science" in Al Gore's film - indeed, in the whole climate-scare scenario - is inconveniently flawed. The evidence is going the wrong way. There are now five times as many polar bears as in the 1960s. Antarctic ice is growing, not shrinking. Respected scientists have debunked the supposed linkage between global warming and severe storms. Dr. Nigel Lawson, former British Energy Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, contemptuously calls the pollutant-designation of carbon dioxide "complete rubbish". The list of global-warming reversals is a long one.

On May 19, Dr. Arthur Robinson, of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM), announced to the National Press Club in Washington, DC, that more than 31,000 scientists (including 9,021 who hold Ph.Ds) have signed a petition rejecting anthropogenic global warming. Reports Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters:

"The purpose of OISM's Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of ‘settled science' and an overwhelming ‘consensus' in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climate damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis."

(Mr. Sheppard believes that most of the Mainstream Media will ignore the OISM petition. He could be right, but I think the news can't be suppressed. There are too many leaks in the dike.)

Are politicians always the last to know when new information has changed an entire story? I don't know, but certainly all three presidential candidates sound like robotic clones on climate. Not one evinces the slightest recognition that global warming might be questionable (at best) or an outright fraud (at worst).

Even Mr. Bush - a stubborn holdout on global warming for his entire presidency - has boarded the careering climate-scare bandwagon. In recent months he has voiced support for cuts in carbon emissions that would almost certainly cripple the American economy in return for no significant effect on climate. Why? Has he had a climate "epiphany"? Or is this a special kind of madness that strikes presidents during their last year in office?

Television news is still awash in talking heads gravely discussing outlandish regulatory programs like "cap and trade" (which both Mr. McCain and Al Gore favor). C&T would drastically limit carbon dioxide emissions by industry. Advocates gloss over the higher taxes, costlier products, lost jobs and economic retardation that this regulation could produce. Such mundane matters do not concern technocrats whose eyes are firmly fixed on the prize of an economy "managed" beyond the wildest dreams of FDR's original brain trust. It will usher in the Jubilee of American Fascism - a privately owned economy under government control.

Ordinary Americans who think this is a benign effort to promote clean air, grow more trees and protect polar bears will be rudely shocked when cars are too expensive to buy or operate, houses cannot be heated or cooled, and quality of life takes a permanent nosedive. When that happens, politicians will rise in righteous wrath to demand "answers" from the malefactors of Big Oil or Big Business or Big Utility. There will be outrage. Someone will be blamed. Someone will pay. Heads will roll.

When that time comes, maybe "someone" will  send small mirrors to voters and their representatives, so we can see who wrecked the greatest economy in history to protect us from a climate-crisis that didn't even exist. We'll have done it to ourselves, but at least we'll have the comfort of knowing that we destroyed the futures of our children, too.

Meanwhile, we can watch John McCain throw a game that was his to win.  Democrats are expected to fumble the ball or run to the wrong goal. Turning a sure win into a loss is part of their shtick. But Republicans are said to be smarter than that. Of course, John McCain says he's a "new" kind of Republican. Maybe he really is.