Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Stuff

Just remember, when you see these people making idiots out of themselves this summer in town halls across the country, you'll know where their fellow teabaggers found them...




...and even though the clip above is a joke, it still made me think of this song.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Stuff

Yes, this most definitely needs to be repeated over and over and over until November 2012, and even beyond that point (and for the record, 6,000 times 33 is 198,000 - close enough for government work :-)...



...and how much is our adventure in Afghanistan costing you? Well, now you can find out...



...and continuing with my money theme, I hope all of those Garden State life forms who voted for Governor Bully are proud of themselves (please read this to find out why the situations with Loretta Weinberg and "Joe D." are very different)...



...and I hope everyone remembered to file their returns by today (good luck trying to get a refund).

Friday Mashup (4/15/11)

  • Linked to this post is the roll call vote to the measure just passed by the Repug-dominated U.S. House to try to enact Paul Ryan’s Medicare voucher atrocity and also pass more tax cuts for millionaires (oblivious to this fact, of course).

    And “Mikey The Beloved” Fitzpatrick voted with Ryan.

    I hope our current PA-08 rep enjoys life as a private citizen once more after November 2012.


  • Next, corporatist Republican (redundant?) David Gergen said here that Obama, after his speech on Wednesday in which he drew a pretty clear line between himself and the Repugs (which needed to be said after his deficit giveaway a week ago), was a “timid” leader.

    Oh, but see, Gergen, having started out in the Nixon White House, usually does a better job of hiding his right-wing conceits and subservience to the “pay no price, bear no burden” investor class than betraying his true intentions with the phrasing that is on display here.

    And Gergen also joins the hallelujah chorus of pundits claiming that the Republicans were “unafraid” to “(go) first” in submitting their budget. I realize that this is one of the hot new Beltway narratives, but the fact of the matter, as noted here by Steve Benen (pointing this out once more) is that Obama submitted a budget in February.

    This is typical for Gergen, though; in July 2009, he said here that support for health care reform was beginning to “crumble” (we just celebrated its one-year anniversary last March 23rd).


  • In addition, I’d been avoiding Christine Flowers for the last couple of weeks, but I suppose it’s really not possible to do that any more (here).

    In today’s idiocy, she criticized the federal judge in Easton, PA for “allowing middle-school kids to wear ‘booby’ bracelets in support of breast-cancer awareness” (and she also took a whack at the Supreme Court of Justice Earl Warren…just use that Google thingie or ask your parents, or grandparents). Her reasoning, such as it is, is that “Putting the word’ boobies’ on your wrist is guaranteed to get a newly hormonal boy's attention, and not in a scholarly way.”

    Sooo…wouldn’t it be up to that “newly hormonal boy” to learn how to act like an adult instead?

    And in that spirit, get a load of this from Flowers…
    The thing that really irks me is the attempt to make it seem as if these middle-school girls are really engaging in some admirable campaign to raise breast-cancer awareness.

    They're raising something all right, but it's not awareness.
    When I read that, I recalled the scene in the movie “This is Spinal Tap” where the band is told that they’re not allowed to show on an album cover "a greased, naked woman on all fours with a dog collar around her neck and a leash, and a man's arm extended out...holding on to the leash and pushing a black glove in her face to sniff it" (the name of the album, aptly enough, was to be called “Smell The Glove”). Basically, as far as I’m concerned, that’s about the level of stupidity that matches Flowers’ reference above in response to the Easton students who are trying to do something that is actually constructive.

    This is more or less consistent for Flowers, who apparently wrote an October 2007 article criticizing breastfeeding (saw the article referenced at Brendan Calling and other blogs, but I can’t find an actual link), though I was able to find a Letter to the Editor here from an English teacher who was fired for supposedly attacking a student on a blog posting for her political views, a charge the teacher denied (and the teacher criticized Flowers for, as per usual, not letting the facts get in the way of one of Flowers’ typical attacks...to me, this is a bit of a connection to the Breast Cancer Awareness story in that it shows Flowers' overall hostility to free speech).

    I don’t know how much of Flowers’ usual hackery here is merely projection or another example of her Philistine pig ignorance. All the same, I’d love to see her read this column in front of a gathering of breast cancer survivors to see her get the treatment she deserves.


  • Finally, I give you last week’s Area Votes in Congress writeup (here)…
    House

    Republican budget plan. Voting 247-181, the House sent the Senate a GOP bill (HR 1363) to fund the military through Sept. 30 while funding the rest of the government through April 15 with $12 billion in spending cuts. The bill also barred the District of Columbia from using its own revenue to fund abortions.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Michael Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Pat Meehan (R., Pa.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), Jon Runyan (R., N.J.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).

    Voting no: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), John Carney (D., Del.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), and Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.).
    I thought Michael Tomasky’s comments here on that ridiculous DC vote were spot-on (and if Tim Holden really had any integrity, he would just make it official and change his party affiliation once and for all).
    Democrats' budget plan. On a vote of 236-187, the House blocked a bid by Democrats to bring an alternative to HR 1363 (above) to a vote. Their measure was a "clean" continuing resolution that would keep the government fully in operation for another week but contain none of the spending cuts or policy riders in the underlying GOP bill.

    Because HR 1363 was debated under a closed rule that barred amendments, Democrats used this procedural route to seek a record vote on their competing plan for averting a government shutdown at midnight April 8.

    A yes vote opposed the Democratic alternative.

    Voting yes: Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, and Smith.

    Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Fattah, Holden, and Schwartz.
    This was probably another reason why Boehner, Cantor and company eventually went along with the last-minute vote to avert the shutdown last Friday. They would have looked stupider than usual if our troops had foregone payment, in addition to other myriad hardships across the board, if there had been both a shutdown and a failure to pass this “clean” resolution.
    Paying U.S. troops. Voting 191-236, the House defeated a bid by Democrats to ensure no loss of military pay during a government shutdown. The motion was offered to a Republican bill (HR 1363, above) that contains the same guarantee. Depending on the duration of a shutdown, service personnel could have one or more paychecks delayed until after the government resumes full operation. Though U.S. troops ultimately would receive full pay, the chance of civil servants recouping missed paychecks would depend on later congressional decisions.

    A yes vote backed the Democratic motion.

    Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Fattah, Holden, and Schwartz.

    Voting no: Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, and Smith.
    As I’ve previously noted on other votes, remember this one when the Repugs wrap themselves around the flag on Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day.
    Greenhouse gases, climate change. Voting 255-172, the House passed a bill (HR 910) denying the Environmental Protection Agency authority to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions associated with climate change and challenging the science upon which those regulations are based. The Senate (below) defeated a similar measure.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, and Smith.

    Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Fattah, and Schwartz.
    Another disgusting vote by Holden in the Repugs ongoing non-jobs agenda (with climate change denialist Mikey The Beloved doing his duty on behalf of his puppet masters).
    Climate-change science. Voting 184-240, the House defeated an amendment to HR 910 (above) stating that Congress accepts the EPA's "scientific findings that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare."

    A yes vote backed the amendment.

    Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Fattah, Holden, and Schwartz.

    Voting no: Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, and Smith.
    So Holden votes to not allow the EPA the ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions…but then votes in favor of an amendment stating that climate change is occurring? Geez, at least be consistent in your wingnuttery, willya?
    Seventh stopgap budget. Voting 348-70, the House sent President Obama a bill (HR 1363) to keep the government in full operation for the next several days. Congress then will take up a bipartisan funding bill for the remaining five-plus months of fiscal 2011, a measure cutting spending by nearly $39 billion and containing several Republican-backed policy changes. Because Obama and congressional leaders negotiated the latter bill, it is expected to become law by midweek, ending a marathon dispute during which Congress passed seven stopgap 2011 budgets, including HR 1363. The Senate passed HR 1363 on a nonrecord vote.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Dent, Fattah, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, Schwartz, and Smith.
    Maybe this is really the secret Repug plan to lower the deficit – just hold votes every two weeks to decide whether they want the government to continue operation or not. Brilliant!
    Senate

    Presidential war powers. Voting 90-10, the Senate tabled (killed) a challenge by Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) to President Obama's authority to involve the U.S. military in Libya's civil war without congressional approval. The nonbinding amendment to S 493 said Obama lacks constitutional authority "to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." Under the 1973 War Powers Act, the president can deploy troops for up to 60 days without congressional approval in response to "imminent" national-security concerns. The multination military action against the Libyan regime began March 19 under authority of the United Nations.

    A yes vote was to portray the March 19 presidential troop deployment as constitutional.

    Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).

    Voting no: Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).
    As noted here, “No Corporate Tax” Pat voted in favor of the Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq and voted No to disallowing the invasion of Kosovo during the Clinton presidency. But I suppose it’s a different story for our Kenyan Marxist pre-see-dint as far as Toomey is concerned.
    Greenhouse gases, climate change. On a tie vote of 50-50, the Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass a Republican measure to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate carbon emissions associated with greenhouse gases and climate change. The amendment was offered to a small-business bill (S 493) that remained in debate.

    Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) said: "The tea party Republicans say you can't restrict polluters with regulations. By their logic, we ought to get rid of traffic signals" and "maybe we ought to get rid of the air-traffic-control system, too, because why should pilots of these big aircraft have to wait for some government bureaucrat to tell them where and when they can land or take off?"

    A yes vote backed the amendment.

    Voting yes: Toomey.

    Voting no: Carper, Casey, Coons, Lautenberg, and Menendez.
    This is totally consistent for Toomey and his fealty to Big Oil, as noted here (and I wish more members of “the world’s greatest deliberative body” had a fraction of Lautenberg’s guts).
    Health-law paperwork. Voting 87-12, the Senate sent President Obama a bill (HR 4) to strip the new health law of its rule that businesses issue an IRS Form 1099 to any vendor to whom they pay at least $600 annually. Scheduled to take effect next year, the rule is intended to raise money for preventive-care measures while helping the IRS catch tax cheats. But it has come under bipartisan assault as a paperwork burden on small businesses.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Coons, Menendez, and Toomey.

    Voting no: Lautenberg.
    I suppose this was inevitable, and I admit that I don’t have a “dog in this fight,” as they say. However, I’d like to know how Congress intends to replace the revenue that will be missing if this is signed into law. Wonder if anyone has thought of that?

    This week, the House took up the budget for the next fiscal year, and the Senate continued to debate the award of federal technology contracts to small businesses.
  • Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Wednesday Stuff

    And keep in mind, as you hear Ryan and Cantor whining about Obama supposedly engaging in "class warfare" by crafting a fairly responsible budget reduction plan, that those two asshats belong to the political party that once gave us this (sorry for the questionable video quality, but it's good enough)...



    Update 4/14/11: Uh, yep.

    ...and happy 65th birthday to Al Green (couldn't find that "Pulp Fiction" clip with a good enough audio, bad words and all).

    Wednesday Mashup (4/13/11)

    (No posting tomorrow, by the way – can’t see how at the moment…)

  • I give you Fix Noise “Democrat” Doug Schoen here; basically, he complimented President Obama on his speech today about the deficit (shocking for me to be somewhat in agreement with Schoen, but I am a bit – in fact, I was halfway through a post ripping Number 44, but I put it on hold for now because I think he said the right things, and I’ll give him the chance I wasn’t prepared to give after that disgrace of a performance last Friday…if it turns out that this whole thing is just another sap to folks such as yours truly with no follow-up, rest assured that I will tear his bloody head off, and I'm not talking about Schoen).

    However, this wouldn’t be a typical Schoen column/blog post unless he peddled some truly ripe dookey, and he does so here, saying that “the president trails the GOP by twenty points in terms of managing the economy, and particularly in managing the deficit.”

    This is the poll Schoen is talking about. If you manage to find any point where Obama is measured head-to-head against the Repugs on the economy, please let me know, OK (yes, the numbers are sliced and diced against Dems, Repugs and independents, but not directly against “Orange Man” or Senator Mr. Elaine Chao, who of course are thoroughly unmoved and, at the moment, are prepared to hold the debt ceiling hostage…can’t imagine the stupidity of the individuals who actually vote for these characters, and hopefully I never will).


  • Next, I really don’t have much to add, but I just had to note that Howard Rich of The Daily Tucker heaped praise here on fellow Tucker-ite Matt Boyle for the latter’s supposed expose of the Obama “slush fund” (and that would be the more than a half-billion dollars in health benefits paid out to a temporary early retiree insurance program included in the healthcare reform law, spread out to 5,500 employers covering 61,000 people announced by the administration in March…as noted here – first bullet – your first hint that there’s no “there” there is the fact that it was announced by the administration a full month before Boyle “broke” the “story”).

    Of course, as noted here, it’s a stretch at best to consider Rich any type of a journalist either.


  • In addition, David Zurawik recently took the opportunity of Glenn Beck’s exit from Fix Noise to engage in more false equivalency between Beck and Keith Olbermann (here). However, to his credit for a change, Howard Kurtz really took Zurawik to task for it (here).


  • Continuing, it looks like “The Golden Arches” wants to hire 50,000 workers by April 19th (here). That’s good I suppose (baby steps if nothing else); as a response (sort of), I give you the following here.


  • Finally, I give you some spirituality news here…
    Throughout much of the English-speaking world, the Roman Catholic Church is preparing its priests and parishes for the most significant changes to the Mass in the more than 40 years since the church permitted English in place of the Latin.

    The changes are included in a new English-language translation of the Roman Missal, a translation produced after almost 30 years of labor, intrigue and infighting. The new missal, the book of texts and prayers used in the Mass, is intended to be closer to the liturgical Latin that was used for centuries than the current version. The church officials promoting it say it will bring an elevated reverence and authenticity to the Mass. Many Catholics who prefer a more traditional liturgy are eagerly anticipating the change.

    But after getting a glimpse of the texts in recent months, thousands of priests in the United States, Ireland and Australia have publicly objected that the translation is awkward, archaic and inaccessible. Although most are resigned to adopting the new missal, some have mounted campaigns to prevent it from being introduced.

    “What we are asking of the bishops is to scrap this text,” said the Rev. Sean McDonagh, a leader of an Irish group, the Association of Catholic Priests, which represents 450 priests — about 1 out of 10 — in that country. “I know people are not going to use it. I wouldn’t use it, because everything I know in terms of theology and anthropology and linguistics, it breaches every one of those.”



    One of the most noticeable changes is in the Nicene Creed, the statement of faith that Catholics learn to recite as children. Currently, Catholics say that Jesus is “one in being with the Father,” but in the future they will say that Jesus is “consubstantial with the Father.” This is one of several changes that include unfamiliar vocabulary.
    This is completely unsurprising when you consider the following (here)…
    In the years before his election, Cardinal Ratzinger's comments about the legacy of Vatican II drew keen attention, especially when he spoke about the liturgy. In 1997, he said the drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass had caused "enormous harm" to the church. It was not that changes were not needed, Cardinal Ratzinger said; in fact, he said, in many respects the new Roman Missal was an improvement.

    The problem in his view was that the old missal was suppressed. Instead of continuity, he said, the old liturgy was demolished and the new Mass constructed from its pieces.

    "I am convinced that the crisis in the church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy," he said.
    If Pope Benny thinks that the decline in attendance at Sunday Mass is due to the “disintegration” of the liturgy (as opposed to this, and to a lesser degree I guess, this), then he’s more out of touch than I could have ever imagined.
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Tuesday Stuff

    50 years ago today, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space (and I also know that "the war between the states" started 150 years ago...sorry, but with all due respect to Ken Burns, I don't feel like commemorating something some of our "red state" brethren continue to refight on a daily basis - and in other space news, the shuttle Columbia took its first test flight on this day in 1981)...



    ...so I thought this was an appropriate tune for the occasion (tempted to use "Rocket Man," but I may save that for another day).

    Tuesday Mashup (4/12/11)

  • Is it just me, or has Ken Blackwell had a lot of time on his hands since he rigged the Ohio 2004 presidential election, which no doubt was a contributing factor to his 23-point loss to Ted Strickland in 2006? Blackwell propagandized as follows at The Daily Tucker here…
    President Obama made a point of going to al-Azhar Mosque in Egypt to deliver his overture to what he calls “the Muslim world.” Strange, he never talks about a Christian world.
    Funny – in response, I give you the following (here)…
    "My Christian faith has been sustaining for me over the last couple of years and even more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time," the president said Thursday, referring to his wife. "We are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but that we are true to our conscience and true to our God."
    And speaking of Strickland, I thought this was a highly interesting development concerning the person he lost to so narrowly last year.


  • Next, I give you more hilarity from the Murdoch Street Journal (here)…
    The best advice we've heard is from former Senator Phil Gramm, who says Republicans should agree that families and nations should always honor their debts.
    Of course Gramm would say that, seeing as how, as one of the architects behind the subprime meltdown, he helped create the debt to begin with (here).

    And as much as I’d like to take issue with the Murdoch Street Journal headline of “The Tea Party’s First Victory” in response to the budget deal reached last Friday, I suppose, when push comes to shove, I really can’t (leave it to the racist-sign-and-funny-hat bunch, though, not to know when they’ve actually won, as noted here).


  • In addition, I give you Chuck Norris, of all people, opining as follows on guns here…”low hanging fruit,” to be sure, but I believe this stuff should be addressed…
    Obama finally is showing his true colors on this important issue. Let's not forget that this is the same candidate who once espoused a total ban on handguns and more recently supported a nationwide ban on right-to-carry laws.
    I know this will come as a shock, but Norris is actually partly right; as noted here, Obama once supported a nationwide ban on right-to-carry laws, which of course poses no issue as far as I’m concerned (see “nut,” “blind squirrel,” concerning Norris I mean). However, at no time has Obama ever called for a total ban on handguns; indeed, the inaction of Number 44 in response to the atrocity in Tucson may unfortunately be his most enduring legacy on this issue.

    But as a commenter noted here, perhaps Chuck has taken one too many kicks to the head (maybe the reason why he left his hat on when talking to His World’s Neil Cavuto).


  • Further, I give you the latest from Mikey The Beloved here…
    PENNDEL, Pa.—Congressman Fitzpatrick today joined with local municipal and county officials to announce the renewal of the state Enterprise Zone status for a segment of former industrial sites along the Delaware River in Bensalem Township, Bristol Township, Bristol Borough, Falls Township, Morrisville Borough and Tullytown Borough. Today’s announcement also added Penndel Borough to the Enterprise Zone. The designation will assist these local governments in the formation of public-private partnerships within the Enterprise Zone that will encourage increased manufacturing facilities and job creation.
    Interesting, given that, as noted here when he was a Bucks County Commissioner, Mikey voted against tax-free status for businesses at the USX Industrial Park (U.S. Steel sought for the site to become a Keystone Opportunity Zone to lure new companies to its park's 1,259 available acres with the promise of 15 years of tax-free status).

    Where are the jobs, congressman??


  • Finally, I give you the following from the Bucks County Courier Times today (here)…
    Considering that Pennsylvania makes up only about 4 percent of the nation's population, do our state representatives and senators employ too many people and are we paying those people too much?

    The Associated Press, with the help of newspapers throughout the state, set out to dig up the numbers so people can decide the question for themselves. To that end, reporters asked lawmakers to provide staff names, salaries and benefits, and to disclose the budgets to run their offices. They also had a few questions for lawmakers.

    This should have been a pretty straightforward process: Reporters ask for the information and lawmakers get it. Unfortunately, it was anything but straightforward. Although the Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Act requires lawmakers to divulge those costs, most Lower Bucks legislators engaged in varying degrees of stonewalling.

    That said, three made a commendable effort to satisfy our requests. State Rep. Frank Farry, R-142, promptly provided everything requested; Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-18, begged off on just one item; and while the chief of staff for Rep. Steve Santarsiero, D-31, said we'd have to go through the state, Santarsiero's staff filed the request for our reporter and interceded to get the information when the AP deadline approached.

    If only other lawmakers were as helpful.
    Typically outstanding service from our PA-31 State House representative and his office; to contact Steve, click here.
  • Monday, April 11, 2011

    Monday Stuff

    Funny, but I can't tell the difference between this and the real thing...




    ...and for some grownup commentary on the deal to keep our government running - that is, until the Repugs try to hold the debt ceiling hostage - here is Ezra Klein...



    ...and by the way, a pox for all time on our corporate media for neglecting these folks at the expense of the racist-sign-and-funny-hat crowd...



    ...and on this day 80 years ago, Iowa became the first state in the nation to enact a tax on cigarettes; I think this is a fitting tune for the occasion.

    Monday Mashup (4/11/11)

    (Posting could be iffy for the whole week, by the way…just don’t know at this point.)

  • J.D. Mullane continued his harangue against President Obama yesterday on the pages of the Bucks County Courier Times (here, concerning Number 44’s trip to the Gamesa wind turbine plant this week)…
    Gamesa employee Jerry Holt, who said he drives a large van to carry his big family, asked Obama if anything can be done to lower relentlessly rising gasoline prices.

    Oh, the president said, we might drill for oil a bit. But lower gas prices? In a word - nope.

    "(W)e can't just drill our way out of the problem," Obama said. Fuel efficient cars are the way to go, he said, which means Americans must switch to smaller cars. Some in audience applauded.

    "Now, I notice some folks clapped," the president said, "but I know some of these big guys, they're all still driving their big SUVs. You know, they got their big monster trucks and everything."

    Speaking directly to Holt, Obama said: "Well, now here's my point. If you're complaining about the price of gas and you're only getting eight miles a gallon, you may have a big family, but it's probably not that big. How many you have? Ten kids, you say? Ten kids. Well, you definitely need a hybrid van then."

    He continued: "None of this is going to help you this week, though. So, like I said, if you're getting eight miles a gallon, you may want to think about a trade-in."

    See, working stiff, if paying $4 a gallon is a hardship, that's on you because you haven't traded in for a $40,000 hybrid.
    As noted here, there are 2009 Toyota Prius hybrid minivans out there priced at $22,000; granted that’s for a used vehicle and maybe with no options, but you can do the math here as well as I can compared to J.D.’s typical lunacy.

    And as for blaming Obama when it comes to gas prices generally, I think the following should be noted from here…
    Blaming the president for rising gas prices is nothing new, and it’s a bipartisan tactic. In 2004, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) blamed President George W. Bush for higher gas prices and for continuing to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as oil prices climbed.

    Just one problem: Even if domestic supplies were developed, American presidents couldn’t really control oil prices. The U.S. government has estimated that there are 18 billion barrels of oil in the outer continental shelf of the lower 48 states that are off limits to development. That may sound like a lot, but it is only about 21 / 2 years of supply for the United States, and it would take several years to allocate leases and drill exploratory wells. Even if the estimated 10 billion barrels of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were available for development, today’s policy decisions would have no impact on gasoline supplies for as much as a decade. Obama can’t dictate what you’ll pay for premium tomorrow.
    Now I will grant you that if you looked through all of my 5500 or so (yikes!) prior posts at this blog, you probably could find at least one and probably more where I blamed Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History for gas prices. However, what I blamed him for primarily was the unrest he ended up causing in perhaps the most volatile region on earth, which (happily for him) is the region that also produces the most oil. And that drove us gas prices by threatening to restrict supply, though I will acknowledge that the human costs of his clueless meddling far outweighed any inconvenience we endured as a nation at the pump.


  • Next, I give you more Beltway conventional wisdom from The Robertses (here – more faux equivalency between those dastardly libs and those zany teabaggers)…
    Some liberals want to emulate (teabagger founder) Judson Phillips and fire President Obama for failing to keep key campaign promises, such as closing the prison at Guantanamo or enacting a “public option” in his health care bill. But like Boehner, Obama could not keep some of his promises because reality prevented him from doing so.

    He could not close Gitmo because he had nowhere to put its inmates. He could not pass a public option because he didn’t have the votes.
    Oh, there were and still are plenty of places to put the GITMO inmates. The problem is that spineless politicians of both parties would water wet themselves apparently than allow the detainees on our shores (which is particularly silly considering this).

    The reason I’m even bothering to say anything at all about this, though, is because of Steve and Coke Darling’s garbage about the public option. As noted here from September ’09 (while we were in the middle of watching Max Baucus let his fellow Senate Repugs take over the “sausage-making” process and very nearly kill the whole deal), Dr. Dean told us that he had 218 Dem House votes and 51 Senate Dem votes in favor of the public option, which (as noted here) enjoyed a 77 percent approval rating.

    The Dems had their opportunity for it, and they muffed it (and that includes Number 44). However, they did manage to pass reform of a fashion and sign it into law, which is commendable.

    But it could have been so much more, despite what the Robertses and their ilk would have you believe.


  • Finally, “The Pericles of Petticoat Junction” weighed in here on the current difficulties in the Middle East (and I wonder if Obama is going to get any credit for this positive development, by the way, forcing Gaddafi to accept the deal while working in concert with NATO – rest assured that I’m not holding my breath) – basically, V.D. Hanson is doing a country-by-country comparison to argue that Obama should have involved us in war with Iran and Syria instead…
    (Egypt) did not exercise so savage a degree of control as was the norm elsewhere in the Middle East.”
    Somehow, I have a feeling that this lady would disagree, Hanson.