I just finished reading Larison’s remarks on the Larry Hunter piece we linked earlier, and Nancy Pelosi is on my tv screen babbling about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
She seems to be dedicated to fooling people into thinking that releasing some of that oil would matter, and the only thing going through my mind (other than wanting to scream at Pelosi) is that it really says something that the Democratic Party is probably going to win a lot of seats based on the fact that many people have come to the simple judgment that the Democratic candidate is “not completely evil” and “not a total moron.” As one of Larison’s commenters noted, “That Obama isn’t McCain may not make the most compelling blog commentary, but I’m afraid for many of us that truth is compelling enough.”
Don’t know why, but I had high hopes for Nancy when she became speaker of the house. What a disappointment that turned out to be.
It’s almost enough to make me want to switch sides. Sure it’d be as amoral as hell, but I wouldn’t have to feel like such a wuss all the time.
Despite Pelosi’s best efforts to level the playing field.
A little OT:
TOS, can you add any background/knowledge about this, being you’re in the field? Can’t figger out if author’s tin-foil hat’s on too tight, or if s/he’s onto something huge.
I am voting for Barack Hussein Obama because after all the Republicans have done for me over the last 8 years it is the very least I can do for them.
The strategic national reserve is supposed to be *stategic*, not “I need cheap gas in my SUV” reserve.
I suppose we should all be glad that Democratic leaders are as incompetent at stupidity as they are at everything else.
This is the Democratic response to ANWR: not a legit policy proposal, not something that would help, but something that makes sense at a superficial level and that the other side can not allow without alienating their base (the oil companies). So be it.
Pelosi looks like JFK and FDR rolled into one compared to Harry Reid.
I think the average voter is more likely to get the joke in the New Yorker cover than the point of Larison’s article.
But didn’t she just take offshore drilling off the table — won’t come up for a vote? One step forward, one back, I guess. But at least the strategic reserve is less of a boondoggle than offshore drilling.
Hey! I need gas for my car to get to work, that’s strategic, because if lots of people can’t get to work, the economy is going to suck way worse than now.
Seriously, though, would it be too much to hope that when the Dems capitulate on drilling, (ANWAR, we hardly knew ye) we could get increased incentives for solar panels, wind power, hybrid cars, conversion of hybrids to plug-in hybrids, public transportation and such?
No, I thought not.
John, can we get an open thread? Where else can we mock this list?
As you can see, I’ve bolded only the ones that fall in the South and/or Appalachia. Apparently the Bible offers no chapters on calorie restriction.
Just saw a cartoon, a husband and wife sitting on the couch. She’s reading a newspaper and saying (paraphrase) “I’m still undecided, I don’t know if I’m voting FOR Obama or AGAINST McCain”
Okay, help my ignorance here.
Presumably the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would be to increase the supply of oil going to the US refineries? The resulting surplus of oil would… what? I mean I might result in a drop in gas prices if we can get past the capacity bottle neck.
I mean, it’s about as logical as offshore drilling; I guess. Is there any precedent for this?
If Bush can (attempt) to convince the country that the housing decline is a temorary thing that we’ll all just have to ride out, why can’t he do that with oil prices? (Simple answer: the adivce he’s getting from his oil buddies says otherwise..)
I do have to give it to the American conservative, they are one of the few right wing sites whose commentariat don’t sound like complete raving lunatics.
ANWR has been gaining a bit of traction and Pelosi is still running in the ’04 mindset that assumes Rovian bullshit like this will fly. I can’t blame her for pitching her own flavor of pander.
And, to weigh the merits of a bad idea versus a worse idea, we should consider what would instantly reduce the price of gas. Drilling in ANWR won’t give us a drop of oil for a solid five or ten years. Emptying the strategic reserve would fill my gas tank inside a weekend.
What’s more, gas is selling at $4 / gallon and we’re running several hundred billion dollars in the red. Perhaps selling off some of the reserve isn’t the worst idea. We’ve got 706 million barrels in our 727 million barrel large reserve, and I honestly can’t think of a single instance in which we’ve actually tapped it.
Either way, Pelosi’s “tap the reserve” idea is clever for two reasons.
Firstly, the President has to give the order to tap the reserve. Since its not his idea, he’ll sit on his hands like the petulant child that he is and scream “ANWR! ANWR! ANWR!” till he’s blue in the face before he so much as thinks of agreeing.
Secondly, because we all know Bush is an intractable little gremlin, this gives Democrats the perfect weapon to hammer down the ANWR demands with. Why lease drilling rights for ten years from now when we can release oil right away? Because the Republicans are intractable and too bought-out by Big Oil, that’s why.
You’ll notice this is Pelosi pitching the idea and not Obama. Pelosi has room to take criticism for pitching a rather short-sighted idea. Obama gets to keep his hands clean while dodging the ANWR nags.
It does look a lot like Larison and a good portion of his readership are just getting themselves used to the idea of voting for McCain for the purposes of having a divided government.
And this, of course, is why the McCain campaign is so scared of McCain being linked to Bush, because once that happens, “that Obama isn’t McCain” is enough to assure a blowout, not just enough to make Obama the favorite to win.
As for Pelosi’s silliness on the SPR: at least it’s not as dumb as a gas tax holiday or drilling in the ANWR. Sure, releasing some SPR oil won’t do a thing, but it won’t do any real damage either.
That wasn’t directed to me but since I am and attorney and do nothing but real estate and finance work (but not foreclosures or much residential) I will take a stab at it. Sounds like BS. First the banks don’t coordinate what they are doing on something like that and I can think of all kinds of reasons why it would not be in their best interest (but having said that I wouldn’t rule it out for just that reason).
Any ways on Tuesday a big group of us real estate attorneys get together at lunch and the one of them is from the biggest foreclosure firm in town (and I am in Cleveland, ground zero of the foreclosure crisis). Maybe I will pick his brain to see if anything is going on.
Perhaps. But it still strikes me as piles of stupid.
So-cal is another ground zero. It’s a mess here too.
I just don’t understand Pelosi’s stupidity. Some people could easily be led to the conclusion that if releasing the strategic reserve would be good, then drilling for oil would be even better and would give the US lots more oil. Also, the word “strategic” could lead some to believe that Pelosi somehow wants to make the US more vulnerable by getting rid of oil that we might need for military or defensive purposes.
And it is easy for more reasonable people to dismiss jibber jabber about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as pandering, on the same level as the gas tax holiday, since current estimates indicate that the reserve is about equivalent to 33 days of oil at current consumption levels.
Both sides (Democrats and Republicans) seem to be avoiding any coherent energy policy. So for example, here would be my pander:
Incentives and job credits for US auto makers to quickly ramp up production of more fuel efficient vehicles, including conventional and hybrid cars, a mandate that the average mileage for most vehicles be raised to 50 miles per gallon, a compromise which would allow drilling in ANWR but not allow offshore drilling, and an increase in the number and capacity of US refineries. And throw in McCain’s proposal for a $300 million bounty for a better battery for hybrid cars.
Hillary Rettig / www.lifelongactivist.com
Nancy Pelosi is one of the biggest recipients of campaign donations from Occidental Petroleum.
Pelosi’s campaign contributors, with Occidental right at the top, can be seen here.
There, cut that excessively long blog post down to the bare essence for ya.
Like it or not, politics dictates that when the need for oil reaches a crisis point, we will drill wherever we have to so we have oil to function. This reality is one that environmentalists ignore at their own peril. No matter how against drilling in any given place people will be, the ‘drill now!’ people will reach a critical mass that will be political suicide to ignore.
People in this country will raise hell if this keeps up, and the average politician is in the game to save their skin at all costs. We have few leaders on the left who will lead and say ‘screw it’ to worrying about the next election as most Democrats in office are just as craven as the right when it comes to saving their political necks.
The political repercussions of drilling in sensitive areas will be non-existent when enough people demand oil, and politicians will act accordingly.
Sad, but true.
Even when the oil drilling would be nearby offshore? I don’t see Florida, California, Washington, Oregon, Maryland going North or even Texas going for it. Maybe there is a point where the interior states can impose its will on the coastal states, but that would have to be a very interesting set of political developments to allow that to happen. Fisheries and Tourism being sacrificed for the culture of happy motoring?
Yes, I could even see it reaching the point that the government acts ‘in the interest of national security’ and forces the coastal states to allow drilling by withholding federal funds or the like. I am sure that the ‘no drilling’ politicians will cover their asses by offering all kinds of perks to develop alternative energy sources or some other kind of sugar coating that is supposed to make it easier to swallow.
I don’t look forward to this eventuality one bit, but if we need oil to keep the nation running then the politicians will do whatever the public demands. Right now the demand is not there for drilling in verboten places, but you can bet that will change if oil prices keep going up or it gets scarce.
Politics is a popularity contest of sorts, and if something is popular (like the perception of cheaper or more oil to burn) you can bet politicians will pimp it as if it was their own idea if it will pay off with a win in the next election.
Sad to say, but IMO the only reason the government is not fully funding research and development into oil alternatives right now is so they have that chip to play later when they want to open more areas to drilling. Why give something away now when they can dicker for something in return at a later date?
Anyone who thinks that the spineless Democrats will stand up and block drilling in sensitive areas to the bitter end is only deluding themselves into feeling they are safe. They will sell us out in a second to save their political careers if the need arises.
No doubt about it.
In my brief reading of both Hunter and Larison’s remarks, I came away confused: will they support Obama as a way of punishing the GOP, or will they hold their nose and pull the lever for McCain?
I also found it remarkable that Larison, an “antiwar constitutional conservative”, still contemplates the need for another wholly preemptive attack against Iran.
I’ve stopped by Amconmag for years, and have long had a kind of grudging respect for (channeling Hunter Thompson) Cruel Crazy Patrick Buchanan. In fact, if there were a true “antiwar constitutional conservative” candidate with a reasonable chance of winning, that might be where my vote would go this fall.
In one of the most perceptive comments about the current outbreak of mass insanity ever made, Tim F. remarked: The American political spectrum used to be divided between conservative and liberal; today, it’s divided between sane and insane.
The American people have been reduced to the frantic tail end of grasping at the straw that Demos are “not insane.” That’s now enough to get elected. “Not crazy.” If you don’t believe Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to church, you’re in. If you’re not still claiming Saddam had nuclear weapons, you get the votes. If you think wearing a condom isn’t the same thing as abortion, people pull the lever for you. If you think it’s not a good idea for your daughter to die screaming in agony with cervical cancer because vaccinating her against HPV would “encourage teenage sex,” the voters will go for you. If you think the earth is more than 3,000 years old, you’ve got a good shot of beating the other guy, who thinks we need to nuke Iran right now because the Rapture is at hand and the dead are about to arise in Megiddo because Jesus Christ is returning to earth 3 weeks from now and the seas are going to turn to blood and the Beast with a thousand heads from the Book of Revelation is going to eat us all for brunch. That’s the level we’ve reached.
I remember during the bitter dregs of the final years of the Reagan maladministration when the senile sociopath in the White House sent up new nominees to the congress, the best they could up with for why the new guy should be attorney general was “Hasn’t been indicted.” We’re now scraping that bottom of the barrel again today. When voters pull the level in the voting booth, they now mutter to themselves, “Not insane,” and then vote to re-elect Pelosi et al.