March 8, 2011

IBD on the Administration’s ‘Oil Hypocrisy’

Filed under: Economy,Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:59 am

Exactly (bolds are mine):

As the White House goes to court to defend its self-imposed drilling moratorium, it floats the idea of tapping our strategic petroleum reserve to lower rising prices. How about the oil offshore and in Alaska?

Listening to mainstream punditry, you’d think $4 gas is due solely to Mideast unrest and global demand. Those are factors, but so are our self-imposed restrictions on supply.

… “The issue of the reserves is one (option) we are considering,” (White House spokesman Bill) Daley said. All matters have to be on the table.” All options? Does that include opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, ending a de facto drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico and lifting a seven-year ban on drilling off our coasts?

We think not, for as Daley was uttering those words the administration was speaking out of the other side of its mouth by going to court to appeal a judge’s order to act on several Gulf of Mexico deep-water drilling permits. That appeal was made Friday, the same day the national average for a price of self-serve unleaded hit $3.51, up 32.7 cents from two weeks earlier.

[I]t is we who have dug the hole we’re in. We could in the short term start issuing those drilling permits being held hostage and in the long term exploit the domestic oil and gas reserves that dwarf anything Saudi Arabia and OPEC may have.

As Jane Van Ryan of the American Petroleum Institute states, the SPR “was established to protect the United States against an interruption of petroleum supplies, such as occurred after the hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”

It was not established to respond to or mask the consequences of a deliberate administration policy to have energy prices “necessarily skyrocket” in a futile pursuit of so-called “green” energy, a policy designed to create an artificial shortage orchestrated by an energy secretary, Steven Chu, who once said gas should be at $8 a gallon.

It’s almost as if this administration thinks that the economy will somehow recover without its fossil fuel-based sustenance available at affordable prices — or that it doesn’t really want a strong recovery.

Related, at RedState (“The Seed Corn Is What’s For Breakfast”):

Just releasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to temporarily knock down gas prices is akin to giving a cancer patient a couple of Advil so he won’t gripe so loudly over at the nurses’ station. It shows no regard for the future this administration supposedly has committed itself to winning. It shows an utter absence of regard for the people forced to live through this administration’s predictably dystopic future outcomes. It shows the utter absence of thinking we’ve grown to regard as typical from the man whose favorite solution to the crisis of the day is voting “present.”

Lucid Links (030811, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:25 am

It’s probably an editorial accident that the question at this Wall Street Journal editorial appears twice, but given what’s occurring, the utter incredulousness is understandable (bolds are mine):

Obama’s Libyan Abdication
Will the U.S. let Gadhafi slaughter his way back to power? Will the U.S. let Gadhafi slaughter his way back to power?

… Having loudly declared that Gadhafi “needs to step down from power and leave,” President Obama now seems to have retreated into a bizarre but all too typical passivity.

We say bizarre because the U.S. has already announced its preferred outcome, yet it is doing little to achieve this end. The greatest danger now to U.S. interests—and to Mr. Obama’s political standing—would be for Gadhafi to regain control. A Libya in part or whole under the Gadhafi clan would be a failed, isolated and dangerous place ruled by a vengeful tyrant and a likely abettor of terrorists.

Ghadafi can also only prevail at this stage through a murderous campaign that will make U.S. passivity complicit in a bloodbath.

We suspect the real reason for Mr. Obama’s passivity is more ideological than practical. He and his White House team believe that any U.S. action will somehow be tainted if it isn’t wrapped in U.N. or pan-Arab approval. They have internalized their own critique of the Bush Administration to such a degree that they are paralyzed to act even against a dictator as reviled and blood-stained as Gadhafi, and even though it would not require the deployment of U.S. troops.

Mr. Obama won’t lead the world because he truly seems to believe that U.S. leadership is morally suspect.

As far as I can tell, there is virtually no establishment press, leftist, or even Muslim pressure on the administration to do something about this.

Related, at the Weekly Standard: “Two Weeks Later, America Has a Plan: Do Nothing on Libya”

Also related, at Flopping Aces: “The Unholy Trinity: Obama, Wright-Farrakhan, Gadhafi”

And more, in today’s WSJ, via Bret Stephens: “If Gadhafi Survives; Other regimes in the region will wonder just what, exactly, are the benefits of an alliance with a diffident America.”

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David Steinberg at Pajamas Media (“What We’re Talking About When We Talk About Big Government”) makes an important moral point that bears repeating –

What is Big Government?

It is our time: It is oxidizing, the aging process applied to civilization and turning us to dust. Big Government is nothing less than the consumption of our very moment here on Earth, our lives spent creating and producing. Take our works and humanity, skim from the top, then the middle until we were not here.

It has been stealing our time without compensation for nearly 100 years. Presidents of both parties have failed to stop its economy-stifling growth. Instead, most presidents have thought to “leave their mark” by creating their own monstrosities, up to and including the big cahuna known as Obamacare.

You must scroll to the end to see Steinberg’s exhaustive/exhausting list of agencies. Tom Coburn’s estimate of $100-$200 billion in waste has to be low.

Steinberg’s parting question for so-called progressives should appear on the campaign trail in every debate where a leftist defends the indefensible:

Are you proud?

Because you seem to be proud. Conservatives did not want a government made of these agencies, you did, and we now have them, a hundred years of liberal lifetimes spent creating. It’s yours and we deserve to know if you are proud of this structure — not the principles behind the structure, the ideals, but the actual structure. This is the government, now, crushing and wasting us, and rational men cannot be proud of what you have done here.

Who said rationality had anything to do with it?

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Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web:

The top editor of the New York Times’s news pages is complaining about Fox News Channel again. At a New York Press Club question-and-answer session last week, Yahoo! News reports, Bill Keller “snarled” that “I think if you’re a regular viewer of Fox News, you’re among the most cynical people on planet Earth,” and that “I cannot think of a more cynical slogan than ‘Fair and Balanced.’”

When you run a newspaper whose slogan is “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” you open yourself up to ridicule by making fun of other news organizations’ slogans. Remember in 2009, when the Times was embarrassed by its torpid response to stories that embarrassed the Obama administration–the scandals involving Acorn and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the extreme views of Obama aide Van Jones?

… By putting down Fox viewers, he would appear to be engaging in an awfully odd marketing strategy. It’s normal to try to persuade consumers that a competitor’s product is inferior. Insulting the competitor’s customers, by contrast, seems an excellent way of ensuring that they stay away from your product.

Or at least staying away from paying for it, which is apparently on track to become a relevant matter (“New York Times online pay model details coming in ‘matter of weeks’”) shortly.

I would welcome locking up Paul Krugman, Mo Dowd, and the Times’s version of “journalism” behind a pay wall. This would necessarily mean less influence on the 2012 elections. My predix: They’ll try it for a year and drop it, especially if it appears that Dear Leader is in electoral trouble, just like they dropped TimeSelect in September 2007 in the interest of promoting Democratic Party interests in the run-up to the 2008 primaries and general election.

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At APExpect this story to stay relatively quiet:

United scraps expansion plans because of oil

United Continental Holdings Inc. is scrapping plans to add flights this year, and says it will drop unprofitable routes because of rising fuel prices.

… Frontier Airlines said it would reduce growth plans.

Properly worded, the headline would be “United and other airlines pulling back because of Obama administration-induced high oil prices.”

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If your far-left acquaintances are in a bad mood today, here’s why:

Obama Ratifies Bush
The Administration embraces military tribunals at Gitmo.

No one has done more to revive the reputation of Bush-era antiterror policies than the Obama Administration. In its latest policy reversal, yesterday Mr. Obama said the U.S. would resume the military tribunals for Guantanamo terrorists that he unilaterally suspended two years ago, and he may even begin referring new charges to military commissions within days or weeks.

If they’re not in a bad mood, they must not know about this. This is their equivalent of Bush 41 breaking his “no new taxes” pledge in the early 1990s. Update: Instapundit’s one-word reax: “Suckers.”

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Zero Hedge quotes Charles Biderman from a CNBC appearance:

When I was on your show a year ago I was saying the same thing: we can’t figure out who is doing the buying it has to be the government, and people said I was nuts. Now the government is admitting it is rigging the market.

Here’s another quote from the vid:

“You know, the Fed is supposed to, their task is full employment and stability of the money supply. It’s not to rig the stock market.”

Maybe it is if Team Obama says, “You’d better rig the stock market, Ben, or our guys in the press are going to make sure you get the entire blame for how the economy has gone during the past three years.”

Watch the vid, especially for the finding shown before the interview that 52% of hedge fund managers agree that “QE2 is responsible for (the) market’s rally.” English translation: “52% agree that the government is rigging the market.”

I wish I saw something that would refute Biderman’s and the hedge funds’ majority claim. I can’t.

ZH also deserves props for calling the manipulation when they saw it, and sticking to their guns (“this form of market manipulation by the Fed is precisely what Zero Hedge has been claiming since day one”).

Positivity: Yonkers firefighters rescue 2 workers dangling from high-rise after scaffold breaks

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Yonkers, NY (though there is video at link, it did not work for me):

12:20 AM, Mar. 5, 2011

Firefighters executed a dramatic rescue 13 stories above Nepperhan Avenue on Friday night after a collapsed scaffold left two workers dangling.

The two were doing cosmetic work on the 27-story apartment building for seniors when the scaffold broke about 4:45 p.m.

It was 95 minutes until both were rappelled to the ground in two trips by Yonkers Firefighter Mike Giroux. The daring rescue was witnessed by hundreds of bystanders, and thousands on live television with news helicopters hovering overhead.

Giroux, who is in his 10th year with the department, refused to be singled out as a hero, instead focusing on the combined efforts of fire, police and EMS.

“Everybody who was here did their job the way they’re supposed to, the way they’ve been trained to do it,” he said after the rescues.

Giroux said he had no fear during the operation and described his two 27-story rappels as “pretty fun.”

“I like this stuff. This is what I thrive on,” he said. “It may seem like it takes us a long time to get down to them, but we have to take our time … this is a dangerous thing we have to do.”

When rescuers arrived on the scene, they found the two men, said to be Spanish-speaking and of Mexican descent, reaching the point of panic and beginning to turn hypothermic, officials said.

“They were both conscious. They were scared. They were in distress, but they were not in any immediate danger,” said Assistant Battalion Chief Roger Vitolo. “We immediately assessed the situation, checked our options out and determined the best route to go, which was to go up to the roof and lower them, via the roof, down to the ground.”

Rescuers then performed what is known as a “pick-off,” which entailed Giroux’s repelling down and stopping just feet above each victim before transfering them onto his harness.

Go here for the rest of the story.