August 8, 2008

Please, John Edwards …..

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:52 pm

….. go away and count your money.

The story (broken on, ah yes, a Friday afternoon, though I’m not sure that it’s a smart strategy with this item):

John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice filmmaker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.

In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he loved only his wife, Elizabeth.

“Two years ago I made a very serious mistake,” Edwards said, blaming the prominence of being a vice presidential candidate. “All of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want,” he said.

Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter’s baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test. He said he would be happy to take one.

Links: Malkin (here, here), Hot Air (here, here), NewsBusters (here, here, and must-see snorter).

NYT’s Poor ‘Name That Party’ Performance with Kilpatrick Covers Extended Time Period

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:58 pm

KwameHatWhatParty0808.jpgPrevious NewsBusters posts by Brent Baker and Rusty Weiss have noted the “strange” and nearly complete memory loss exhibited by the TV networks (with the expected exception of fair and balanced Fox News) and the Associated Press concerning the political party affiliation of just-jailed Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

The New York Times’s record during the past seven months has been almost equally disgraceful.

Here’s the detailed rundown of 14 relevant stories I found in the Times since the troubles that ultimately led to the Mayor’s indictment and recent incarceration began:

  1. January 26 (“Mayor’s Amorous Texts Lead to Perjury Inquiry”) — Kilpatrick was not ID’d as a Dem, but in the ninth paragraph, his mother was (“Mr. Kilpatrick’s mother, Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Democrat of Michigan, is chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus …..”).
  2. January 29 (“Aide Linked to Detroit Mayor Will Step Down”) — No one’s party affiliation was mentioned anywhere.
  3. February 9 (“Document’s Disclosure Adds to Scandal Over Detroit Mayor”) — No one’s party affiliation was mentioned anywhere.
  4. February 28 (“Detroit Mayor Loses Fight Over Secret Papers”) — No one’s party affiliation was mentioned anywhere.
  5. February 29 (“Latest Troubles Put Detroit Mayor’s Job at Risk”) — The story’s fifth paragraph noted Kilpatrick’s speaking roles at the 2000 and 2004 Democratic National Conventions, which is a de facto, if not toally direct, party identification.
  6. March 5 (“Detroit City Council Delays Vote on Resolution Urging the Mayor to Step Down”) — Kilpatrick wasn’t ID’d as a Dem, but Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm was, in a way that almost made it appear as if she’s not affiliated with the same party as Kilpatrick.
  7. March 14 (“Pressure Rises in Detroit For Mayor to Quit Quickly”) — No one’s party affiliation was mentioned anywhere.
  8. March 19 (“Stalemate in Detroit: City Council Asks Mayor to Resign, but He Refuses to Go”) — Kilpatrick wasn’t ID’d as a Dem, but City Council member Monica Conyers, the only Council member who voted against a resolution calling on the Mayor to resign, was.
  9. March 25 (“Mayor of Detroit Faces 8 Counts in Perjury Case”) — The story’s fifth paragraph recounted that Kilpatrick “once drew note from Democratic Party leaders as a young politician to watch.” No form of the word “indict” appears anywhere in the report.
  10. March 28 (“Backers [One Fewer Than Thought] Act to Aid Detroit Mayor”) — No one’s party affiliation was mentioned anywhere.
  11. April 15 (“Detroit City Council Snubs Mayor as Impasse Persists”) — No one’s party affiliation was mentioned anywhere.
  12. April 30 (“Detroit Mayor’s Messages To Ex-Aide Are Released”) — No one’s party affiliation was mentioned anywhere.
  13. May 14 (“Detroit City Council Votes to Request Removal of Mayor by Governor”) — Reporter Nick Bunkley said in the story’s fourh paragraph that “Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm — a Democrat, like Mr. Kilpatrick — has the authority to remove public officials, though that power has rarely been used.” Geez, I should hope so.
  14. August 8 (“Judge Orders Detroit Mayor Jailed”) — No one’s party affiliation is mentioned anywhere, including that of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.

The final tally of the 14 stories is as follows:

  • No one’s party affiliation was mentioned anywhere in eight of them.
  • Other people are identified as Democrats, but not Kilpatrick, in three of them.
  • There are only three clear references to Mr. Kilpatrick’s Democratic Party affiliation. In each case, readers needed four or more paragraphs to get to the party reference.

That’s a pretty poor performance, especially considering the fact that the Times has more international reach than the US TV networks.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

A Mea Culpa: It Looks Like I Was Wrong About OCS Oil Availability

When I’m wrong, I own up to it. It’s the right thing to do.

It seems that many of us have been relying on information provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) about how much oil is available off of US coasts other than the Gulf of Mexico (where drilling currently takes place) and Alaska.

I, along with many others, have been referring to the 200,000 barrel-a-day potential for just the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that EIA estimated in mid-2007. Even then, that excluded Florida, the Great Lakes and other lower-48 coasts, so the defenders of “The One“ I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas HusseinObambiObama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters) were already playing with a stacked deck by ignoring them.

But back to the OCS — Frankly I should have known better, but I trusted the government (that’ll teach me).

First, you must remember that the coastal drilling, before it was banned, occurred during a time when the barrel price of oil was 10% or less of its current level, and at a time when technology wasn’t as efficient or as effective in getting the oil out. For what they could get for their product, all the oil companies could sensibly do was get to the easiest deposits, “knowing” full well (not based on “proof,” but on years of experience elsewhere), that there was plenty more to be had if prices ever got high enough to justify the extra costs involved in getting to it. Intuitively, it wouldn’t have made any sense for the oil companies to do any more than “skim the cream,” so to speak, considering what prices were at the time, while so many other areas of the world had plentiful oil flowing like water.

My gut told me that this was the case, but did I listen? Noooooo. Who was I, one lil’ ol’ blogger, to challenge the “experts” at the mighty EIA?

It turns out that I was wrong to rely on them, and I am sorry that I did so.

You see, it turns out that the EIA estimate is indeed low — we don’t know how low, but clearly very, very low, according to the Institute for Energy Research (IER):

200,000 barrels per day is roughly equal to the daily production rate one new offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The Thunder Horse oil production facility, which will be on line this year, is designed to produce 250,000 barrels per day. The Atlantis oil platform currently producing in the Gulf of Mexico has a production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day.

It’s obvious that the OCS daily production potential is a multiple of the 200,000 EIA used. I’d guess, given 30-plus years of technological improvements and a 10 times or more higher barrel price in real terms, that an absolute minimum obtainable would be 600,000 barrels a day. (I have a call into IER, and will update the post if they are willing to give me a different most-pessimistic minimum.) I would be totally NOT surprised if the right number is over 1 million barrels a day.

It also turns out that the claim being bandied about that we couldn’t get oil from the coasts for at least seven years is incorrect — very, very incorrect.

Of course, it was wrong already, if you include Alaska. President Bush’s recent Executive Order will change that in somewhere between 17 and 53 months — or actually between 16 months and 24 days, and 52 months and 24 days (but who’s counting?). That timeline is based on the reference in this New York Times article to Alaskan coastal oil being obtainable by “2010 to 2012.”

But as to the OCS — Once again, I was wrong, and I am sorry. (This is getting very painful.) From the same link:

A report from Wall Street research house Sanford C. Bernstein says that California actually could start producing new oil within one year if the moratoria were lifted. The California oil is under shallow water and already has been explored.

In other words, there’s still a bit of cream left to skim — which makes sense, because the coastal bans went into effect before all the easy oil had been extracted.

All of this, of course, makes the claim by Obama last week — that “we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups” — all the more absurd.

The central points from my previous posts (here and here) can now be restated.

The 120,000 barrels a day (see previous posts) that could conceivably be saved if everyone had their tires perfectly inflated and their cars perfectly tuned is:

  • 20% or less — possibly a lot less — of what can be obtained on a daily basis from OCS coastal drilling (120 divided by 600). The old figure was 60%.
  • 7.6% or less — possibly a lot less — of what can be obtained from OCS coastal drilling AND Alaska coastal drilling (600,000 plus 986,000 from the previous posts; 120 divided by 1,586 is 7.6%). The old figure was 12%.
  • Far less than 1% of the now at least 29 million daily barrels that can be obtained from all coasts, shale oil drilling, and tar sands drilling/mining (1,586 million plus 27.3 million from shale and tar, rounded; 120,000 divided by 29 million is 0.41%. The old figure was 0.43%.).

I really should have done a better job at debunking the “The One’s” claim from the outset.

Please forgive me. I will do a better job next time.

Now in the spirit of forgiveness, I’m looking forward to the Barack Obama doing these things:

  • Owning up the fact that his tired and out-of-tune claim is wrong. Heck, if he wants to, he can blame the EIA, and say “it was just a big, uhhhhhhhhhhh, misunderstanding.”
  • Since that apology is too easy, Obama also must acknowledge that the country is not in a recession, contrary to what he said with only minor qualification (“Barack Obama said Saturday there is ‘little doubt we’ve moved into recession’”) in July.

Whew. That’s one less “tired” claim from a man, and lots more oil available for mankind. :–>

Positivity: Wife’s medical miracle helps husband survive heart attack, emergency surgery

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Morristown, New Jersey, via a Kansas TV station’s report (video is at link):

10:11 A.M. THURSDAY, JULY 10, 2008

The fact that John Seville can tell this story is incredible.

“Once I found out I did die, it was extremely terrifying,” the 41-year-old New Jersey police officer said.

Seville was in his garden three months ago when he felt something terribly wrong.

“My legs felt cold. It felt like I had snow blindness,” he said.

Minutes after arriving at this hospital, Seville went into cardiac arrest; he flat-lined, no heartbeat.

“At that particular point in time, he’s dead. The question is: Is he going to remain dead,” Morristown Memorial Hospital Heart Dr. James Slater said. “He’s fallen off the cliff. We reach, we grab, we pull him back.”

Injecting medications started Seville’s heart again. However, doctors discovered another emergency: A deadly tear in his aorta, the major blood vessel in the body. A five-and-a-half hour operation repaired that blood vessel, but by now, many of his organs were failing, including his brain.

Three days after the surgery, the patient was only minimally conscious, paralyzed on his left side and making a little progress.

“He was on a ventilator, and I was afraid he would never be off of it,” Seville’s wife, Connie, said.

That’s when Connie 40 weeks pregnant with their second child went into labor. In that very same hospital, two floors down Levi Seville was born. Within hours, Connie decided this baby might hold the key to her husband’s recovery.

“The nursery brought the baby down with Connie and held him up to his face,” nurse Vicky Dunn said. “And he just cracked the biggest smile on his face. The unit got quiet, and then you just heard people crying. It was a beautiful sight. Then we just knew: He’s gonna make it.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.