Saturday, April 14, 2012

Each time you are at the Pump - Give thanks to Obama

Coming Soon: The Commercials that Obama Fears
By Ed Lasky

...There is no need to rehash all the steps that the Obama administration has taken over the last three years that have helped supercharge the price it takes to fill our cars. These would include slow-walking drilling permits, shutting down much offshore development, closing off federal lands, and killing Keystone XL. There are many more that could be listed and have been by others. The Republicans should also point out that Obama has wasted three-plus years on passing two very unpopular pieces of legislation (ObamaCare and the Stimulus) rather than taking the steps needed to bring us affordable gasoline.

But there is a delicious irony in taking advantage of Obama's Obama Obsession. He has been so busy bloviating over the last few years, so eager to display his omniscience when it comes to energy, that there is plenty of visual material to cull from the public domain that can and will be used against him as the campaign season rolls on, if the GOP has any brains. Call it divine justice that the man who seemingly can never stop talking can be hoisted on his own petard.

One can start with a graph of how gas prices have gone from $1.84 when Obama took office to $3.79 and climbing during March (and this is before the summer driving season spikes them upward). Then there's the voice we have heard so many times over the years that it seems to come straight from George Orwell's 1984: Barack Obama talking during the campaign about his wish to see higher gas prices.

Fade to Ken Salazar, Obama's choice to head the Department of Interior -- the department that has done so much to stop oil exploration and development on federal land. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell proposed a bill to encourage offshore oil drilling. Ken Salazar kept objecting to the bill even when McConnell suggested that the amendment be triggered when gas prices hit $10 a gallon at the pump. Even when gas prices hit $10 a gallon, Salazar was opposed to allowing more offshore drilling. The YouTube clip can be found here.

Then pair it up with Energy Secretary Chu telling us in 2008 that his desire is to figure out "how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." He is well on his way to accomplishing his goal. Nor is he showing much repentance in the face of high gas prices ruining people's budgets (it won't ruin his -- he doesn't drive). He recently testified before Congress that reducing gas prices was not a top priority for his department. Remind me again: why do they call it the Department of Energy? Then flash "Solyndra: $550 million wasted," "Beacon Power: out of juice," "Karma: The Cool Car that won't work no matter how many taxpayer dollars are bundled into it." Show Obama beaming inside a Volt on a factory visit, and then a Volt on fire.

There are many examples of wasted green energy boondoggles. Only the federal government using other people's money could produce as many disasters.

Follow with Obama's recent statement that while he is president, he will not ever give up on green energy -- not ever.

That should set the right tone.

Then fade to a new scene from last April during a town hall meeting. A father of ten children complains about the high price of gasoline. Obama has one of his Marie Antionette moments (see his suggestion to hard-up farmers that they grow arugula, for example, since it sells for such a high price at Whole Foods) when he gives this sarcastic piece of advice to the needy dad:

If you're complaining about the price of gas and you're only getting eight miles a gallon -- [laughter] -- you may have a big family, but it's probably not that big. How many you have? Ten kids, you say? Ten kids? [Laughter.] Well, you definitely need a hybrid van, then.

Being publicly ridiculed by the president of the United States on national television has to hurt. (Shades of his notorious Special Olympics joke on Jay Leno.) Who taught Barack Obama his sense of humor? Don Rickles?

Aside from the fact that no one sells a hybrid van in America, where is the empathy and fairness that the president wants voters to believe drive him? After all, high gas prices are regressive -- harming the less well-off disproportionally.

Then segue to all those convoys of gas-guzzlers that Obama takes to campaign events -- including Air Force One and that absurd armored bus (made in Canada) that drove him around the Midwest as he trolled for votes on our dime.

Next up: Obama deflecting calls for increased drilling by insisting that people just inflate their tires more. That is so reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's wearing of cardigans and turning down the thermostat in the White House. Here would be a nice opportunity for a split-screen comparison of the two presidents. Americans can be reminded that apropos of Jimmy, Obama also scolded us that we can't...well, be comfortable in our homes:

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.

"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.

There would be the added bonus of revealing the hypocrisy that is the center of ObamaWorld since, at the same time he was hectoring the rest of us to sacrifice warmth so other nations would not disapprove of our lifestyles, he was turning the White House into a hot-house during winter so he could be reminded of the carefree days of his youth in Hawaii. If only we could figure out a way to harness Obama's hypocrisy to generate energy.

Another commercial could feature his claim that increased drilling would not solve our high gas prices by showing how increased drilling for shale has produced so much natural gas that prices have plummeted, houses are far cheaper to heat than they had been for decades, and the parts of America than can take advantage of access to this bounty are becoming Boomtowns. That technology -- produced by the same private companies that Obama regularly attacks -- is now being used to tap vast oil riches in North Dakota. Drill, baby, drill may be derided as a bumper sticker by Obama, but not only is it sensible on an intuitive basis, but it works to lower the price of energy. The more Obama criticizes the concept that drilling leads to more energy, the more out of touch he appears to voters. His opposition to more drilling reinforces the perception (as with ObamaCare) that he ignores voters' concerns.

Obama constantly dismisses drilling as a solution to high prices by peddling the line that it takes too long to produce results. A commercial could point out that when President George Bush issued an executive order abolishing the moratorium on offshore drilling, oil prices started falling precipitously as it became clear to the market that the administration would be adopting policies likely to produce more crude oil and lower prices at the pump. Furthermore, the ad could point out the self-defeating nature of Obama's claim. If the reason to oppose more exploration and development is that results are in the future, there would never be a reason to encourage oil drilling.

Obama's claim that he is concerned about America's energy security can be belied by a clip telling Brazilian leaders how much he looked forward to America buying more oil from Brazil and video of his obsequious bow to the Saudi king.

And of course, saving the best for last, Obama's everlasting, God-awful obtuseness can be shown for all to see by comparing the vast increase of natural gas that has come from drilling more to his plan to fill our tanks with energy derived from algae or pond scum. This proud statement is so ridiculous that even the normally staid Charles Krauthammer was driven to a comic monologue.

And he says, as we heard, drilling for oil to relieve our dependency is not a solution, it's not a plan. He said we have to go to clean energy. He talks about something really revolutionary today. Algae. A $14 million grant for the development of algae. It's not oil. His solution is algae. And because we know that the Secretary of Energy is physicist that won the Nobel Prize, the president knowing this stuff said that one of the reasons we should do this is because we can grow algae here in the United States.

Now, it happens that algae will grow on anywhere on earth. I looked it up while I was away for those three days. You thought I was sunning myself. I did research. It grows in oceans, in lakes and ponds, in your swimming pool when the pool man is on vacation. In snow, in ice, on soil, on turtles, on sloths, the bark of trees and rocks. Why are we drilling for oil? We are the Saudi Arabia of rocks. We have a mountain range called the Rockies and we are allowing ourselves to be dominated by these oil producers. I think he's on to something here that is truly revolutionary. Why would you build a pipeline, the Keystone pipeline with real oil from Canada to put in real refineries and put in real existing cars when you can do algae? I think he is on to something. And I think this shows the vision, the hope and change he promised in 2008.

Humor always sells. Sadly, there is nothing funny about the people in charge of energy policy. Nor is there anything funny about the numbers we see spinning by as we fill our cars while emptying our bank accounts.

Read more:

The glamorous world of homemaking
By Cranky Housewife -
...Remember a few years back when President Obama suggested that all citizens should be required by law to volunteer their time and give back to their communities by participating in organizations like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps?

Okay. Motherhood is a little like that only there's no federal mandate involved and that's where you might be getting thrown off. We volunteer our time to our husbands and children of our own volition, work between 16 and 18 hours a day and give back to our families by keeping the house, cooking the meals, helping with the homework, caring for pets, volunteering at school and church, driving kids to soccer practice, making sure that they know right from wrong and by simply being there when we are needed. Me…right there for my own kids when they're sick, when they have a concert or a big game, when they have a bad day and just need a hug. It's neither a luxury to stay at home, nor is it a sacrifice. It's a choice and this is me - living up to the bargain that I struck with my husband many years ago when we said to each other, "I do." My husband in turn works about 16 to 18 hours a day, brings home a paycheck, and provides a roof over our heads, bon-bons, Frappuccinos, and security for our young family as an added bonus.

And oddly enough, it's not like it's a battle of the sexes in our house. I don't assume that I'm being kept down by the man just because the man leaves the house and I stay at home. I don't feel crushed by the glass ceiling or constrained by my biology because I don't get a corporate credit card and a lunch meeting with the crew. I don't view my life as me against my husband. I don't worry if we have divvied up the workload fairly. It's not a constant battle of "When is it my turn to do what I want to do." We are actually both doing what we want to do because we didn't enter into our marriage with an "I promise to honor and cherish you until something better comes along" attitude. We aren't caught up in some soap opera fantasy world where we expect to have all our needs and wants met at every moment of every day or else we will leave to start our own cosmetics company. Who do you think I am? Erica Kane?

We are a team.

And I understand this. To the Left, Utopia is when government provides everything that anyone could ever possibly need or want and makes certain everything is as equitable as possible so that no one person has anything more or less than any other one person at any given moment in time. Paradise for them is an EFT card to pay for their birth control pills, and Nirvana is a swift punishment for anyone who thinks they're going to rise above their assigned station in life to be more than anyone thought they could be. One person's paradise is another person's Hell, I guess.

Perhaps because Hilary Rosen is standing outside of the Romney family and looking in, it seems like life is unfairly perfect and should be held in disdain. Easy. Pampered. Pretty wife, handsome husband with a uniquely wrinkle-free forehead, beautiful family, big homes, lots of cars…and perhaps this just doesn't seem right, so perhaps Ms. Rosen feels justified in belittling Ann Romney for what Ms. Rosen has deemed to be "an easy life." Oh, I know. She apologized if anyone was offended by that sentiment…of course. Now, perhaps Rosen feels that she didn't have the same kind of choice that Ann Romney had to stay at home and raise her children, so she believes that this disqualifies Ann Romney from having an opinion about what women are worried about in this election.

But choice is precisely what is at the crux of the issue here. Choices. Good ones and not so good ones. It's also about working our way out of the mess we find ourselves in when we make the not-so-good choices. Maybe Hilary Rosen thinks that she didn't have any choice, but I suggest that this is because Hilary Rosen holds herself captive by her own preconceived notions and the limitations that she places on herself. There is no such thing as the empowerment fairy and no one will give you permission to have a happy life. You either do or don't do. There is no try.

It takes courage to look at one's own life and resist wallowing in resentment and envy long enough to say, "what if." Ann Romney of all people is a prime example of American Exceptionalism in action and what is possible if one just dares to dream. She has not only not "never worked a day in her life," (and how's that for the granddaddy of all double negatives?) she has been extremely successful in the work that she does because her children and her husband are her priority. From my perspective, that makes her eminently qualified to hold an opinion on this subject and I look forward to hearing more from her about the "what ifs" of freedom, choice and prosperity.

I also look forward to Hilary Rosen now keeping the promise that she made that she will wake up tomorrow and not be in the news…because from where I'm sitting, I've seen enough of the Class Warfare Show now and I'm ready to change the channel.

Time for a change...Vote Obama OUT!!!!

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