March 14, 2012

AP Ignores Chu’s Indifference Towards High Gas Prices, and His Retraction; NYT: Call For Euro-Level Prices Was ‘Inconvenient’

On February 28, as reported at the Politico, Obama administration Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a House panel the following in response to a question he interrupted about his interest in having an “overall goal” of lowering gas prices: “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy.” Yesterday, also as carried at the Politico, Chu effectively retracted that statement, as well as his more infamous September 2008 assertion that he would like to see gas prices in the U.S. resemble those seen in Europe.

A search on Chu’s full name (not in quotes) at the Associated Press’s main national site and through Google at its site returns nothing relevant to either story. It would not be unreasonable to assert that the Politico, with little or nothing in the way of direct subscriber or member outreach, it the place where many negative stories about the Obama administration get posted — and go no further.

I should also note that most of the coverage of Chu’s retraction alludes to his 2008 comment but not his Congressional testimony two weeks ago. I guess discounting what was said four years ago is easier.

Here’s an example from the Green Blog at the News York Times via John M. Broder:

An Inconvenient Statement, Retracted

Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday walked away from his oft-quoted pre-Cabinet statement that the United States should deliberately raise gasoline prices to discourage consumption.

In a 2008 interview with The Wall Street Journal before he was appointed President Obama’s energy secretary, Dr. Chu, then the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe.”

Dr. Chu, a winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, has spent much of his career seeking alternative forms of energy to try to mitigate the global warming effects of the burning of fossil fuels.

His views on gasoline prices, while endorsed by many scientists and environmentalists, are politically off-message today, when gasoline prices are spiking and Mr. Obama is seeking to avoid political blame for them. The president has repeatedly said he has no “silver bullet” to bring prices down but adds that he is doing everything he can to increase domestic oil supplies, including opening large areas of public lands and waters to drilling.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has called on Mr. Obama to dismiss Dr. Chu because of his stated view on gasoline prices.

So in a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, Dr. Chu walked away from his earlier comment. “I no longer share that view,” he said. “Of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up. We want it to go down.”

“Of course” that’s not what you said two weeks ago, pal — and especially since his original statement was made shortly after a high gas-price bout that was a bit worse (so far) than the current one, it’s more than fair to question Chu’s level of sincerity.

An “advanced” search on Chu’s full name (in quotes) at the Times, which I believe only lists items appearing in print, indicates that the Old Gray Lady didn’t permit its print subscribers or digital subscribers who aren’t inclined to visit its blogs to learn of Chu’s retraction through them.

Cross-posted at

Soledad’s Prism: O’Brien Called Jeremiah Wright’s Oddball April 2008 NAACP Speech a ‘Home Run’

In her syndicated column today (at NewsBusters; at her home blog), Michelle Malkin runs down how CNN news anchor Soledad O’Brien has an affinity for the work of the late Harvard Professor Derrick Bell, particularly his “critical race theory” (CRT) that she has to this point not disclosed to her CNN viewers.

O’Brien also had a guest professor on her program who told the audience that CRT has nothing to do with, in Michelle’s words, “bashing America as a white supremacy-ruled government.” Trouble is, the professor has written that CRT “highlight(s) the ways in which the law is not neutral and objective, but designed to support White supremacy and the subordination of people of color.” As Michelle wrote: “Oops.” An NB tipster noted that O’Brien’s O’Babbling should not have surprised anyone given her supportive reaction, noted at the time at Media Bistro, to a particularly odd and pathetic speech (transcript here) the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ (y’know, the guy whose inflammatory, anti-American sermons Barack Obama never heard despite almost two decades as a TUCC member) gave at an NAACP dinner in Detroit on April 26, 2008 (internal link was in original):


‘Little Obama Can Do’ About Gas Prices? Four Years Ago, Bush’s Move to Drill Dropped Barrel Price — And Media Covered It Up

The New York Times told us about three weeks ago that “there’s little President Obama” can do about the current pump price of gas. Since then, it has become a well-established media meme. Poor guy.

Well, not really. Four years ago, another U.S. president did something which caused the barrel price of oil to drop by over $6, and the press spent the rest of the day trying to pretend that the drop had nothing to do with his actions — and almost succeeded. What follows is from my related NewsBusters post on July 15, 2008 (“Oil Drops Over $6 a Barrel; I Wonder Why?”):


Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (031412)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:45 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Runner thanks doctor who saved her life after race

Filed under: General,Positivity — Tom @ 7:40 am

From Huntington Beach, California:

A woman and her family go to Riverside hospital to thank the doctor who saved her life after her heart stopped at the Surf City Marathon finish line.

Published: March 6, 2012 Updated: 1:02 p.m.

More than two hours of her life are missing.

Suzanne Maldonado-Rael, 33, recalls standing at the start line of the Surf City Marathon on Feb. 5 and taking pictures.

“I remember telling my sister, ‘see you at the end,’” she said.

But Maldonado-Rael never met her sister.

The La Mirada resident woke up at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach several days later and learned her heart had stopped just after she crossed the finish line.

“They said it was a perfect storm of dehydration, exhaustion and low electrolytes,” she said.

She also learned that a doctor who had been competing in the race had seen her collapse and stepped in to help.

Steven Kim, medical director of the Emergency Department at Riverside Community Hospital, saved Maldonado-Rael’s life.

The two met on Friday for the first time at the Riverside hospital.

Maldonado-Rael cried and hugged Kim. Her parents were also there and repeatedly thanked the doctor and credited him with their daughter’s recovery.

“This is the happiest day of my life,” Maldonado-Rael said.

She handed Kim a blue gift bag that held a stone figurine with the words “You’re my angel.”

As the two talked they discovered that a series of chance decisions had put them in the same place at the same time on race day.

“It all sort of fell into place,” Kim said. “I guess there was a reason, a higher power that had me there.”

Go here for the rest of the story.