John Hinderaker at Powerline discusses what Dale, Michael and I talked about briefly on the podcast last night – i.e. how the left (particularly the Obama campaign) continues to get “clobbered” on Twitter.
If you’re not a denizen of Twitter, you may be unaware of the “streams” represented by hashtags. Twitter followers know to follow certain streams to keep up on particular conversations/events even if they don’t follow everyone participating in that convo.
Literally thousands will watch a particular Twitter stream represented by a hashtagged word. Think #Olympics2012 for instance. Or #WorldSeries2012. Dancing with the Stars has its own #DWTS hashtags. And fans flock to read what is said in that stream. Hashtags are added to the end of Twitter messages and direct them to those particular streams for everyone to read.
That’s what the Obama administration and the left in general has been trying to use for some time to use to establish narratives or conversations they think will be beneficial to them. And for the vast majority of them, it has blown up in their faces because almost immediately, the hashtag they publish becomes a target of the right and, frankly, it ends up being highjacked.
The most recent examples are given by John:
Maybe it’s because Twitter puts a premium on brevity and cleverness. I don’t know. But for some reason, it seems to be a natural medium for conservatives. We saw it when the Hilary Rosen interview (“Ann Romney never worked a day in her life”) prompted a Twitterstorm. We saw it again when #ObamaEatsDogs exploded, and when #Julia blew up in the White House’s face like an exploding cigar. Currently, the White House is promoting #AskMichelle, where loyal Democrats can go to ask the First Lady a question. Only nearly all of the questions have come from conservatives. A sampling:
-When you vacation in Hawaii, can you see the rise of the oceans beginning to slow?
-What’s up this week for the @BarackObama campaign and “Operation Change the Subject” (to anything except the economy)?
-Do you still exchange May Day cards with Bill and Bernadette?
-Do you think your daughters should request affirmative actions preferences?
-Do you still get Christmas cards from the Rezkos and Blagojeviches?
-So who succeeded you at that critical, highly important $300k/year community outreach job at UC hospital?
-I have several friends who specialize in relocation. Shall I give them your number so they can help you relocate in January?
You have to know that such attempts and the result must really frustrate the on-line types at the Obama Campaign headquarters. It is like they set them up on a tee for the right.
One of the things I asked last night was how such a supposedly net savvy campaign staff could repeatedly do these sorts of things and expect different results? How many times do you have to see the same thing happen before you figure out that the strategy is fatally flawed?
The answer? When you figure out it isn’t 2008 anymore. I’m not sure his staff has figured that out yet. In 2008, they likely could have gotten away with this. But 2012 brings us what? Oh, yeah, a president with a record, something he lacked 4 years ago.
And, as we’ve seen, he’s reluctant to talk about it, certainly isn’t touting it and provides few venues for others to question him about it.
Except with his clueless Twitter gang.
Long may they continue to flail away trying to find some hashtag that won’t provide the usual . They at least provide some comic relief to this travesty.
While President Obama tries to keep the subject on anything but the economy (and I think he miscalculated on the gay marriage thing), the economy continues to take its toll whether the center of media attention or not.
Americans are growing more pessimistic about the economy and handling it remains President Barack Obama’s weak spot and biggest challenge in his bid for a second term, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
And the gloomier outlook extends across party lines, including a steep decline in the share of Democrats who call the economy "good," down from 48 percent in February to just 31 percent now.
And yet we’re engaged in discussions about whether Romney was a bully and Obama was bullied or gay marriage.
The economy is the No. 1 issue in the presidential race, thanks to the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression and one of the shallowest-ever recoveries.
While the recession officially ended in summer 2009, unemployment remains stubbornly high, at 8.1 percent in April. Some 12.5 million Americans are out of work.
The increasing skepticism toward the recovery tracks a weakening overall economy as measured by the gross domestic product, and matches economic growth downgrades by many economic forecasters.
We keep hearing the “economy is the No. 1 issue in the presidential race” but we rarely hear about it in that regard.
Instead we’re continually diverted and distracted by the latest “issue du jure”.
You’d almost think it was a strategy.
I am on record saying that Joe Biden is full of crap when he tried to sell Obama’s decision to okay the raid that killed bin Laden as “gutsy”. Biden’s claim is that had the raid failed, his presidency would have been over.
Nonsense. We’d have simply never heard about it. There was no risk to Obama or his presidency to okay the raid and tremendous upside (which he continues to try to cash in on) if it succeeded. Most reasonable people know and understand that. It is the usual Biden hubris.
But, this new claim which has been floated by Big Peace is also nonsense. The claim is a memo that authorized the raid also was used to cover the President’s rear if it failed. Here’s the memo that is being touted as proof:
Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault.
The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.
The decision to shift operational command to McRaven is being characterized as a CYA move by the president who, if the raid failed, would or could throw McRaven under the bus.
What was done is exactly what should have been done by standard operating procedure for any operation – unless, of course, you want people who have no situational awareness, haven’t been in on the planning and are thousands of miles away, making minute-to-minute operational decisions. You know LBJ designating targets in North Vietnam or Jimmy Carter trying to run the Iranian operation.
Of course you give operational control to the operational commander for heaven sake. He’s the guy who has planned, rehearsed and is most familiar with the operation. He knows the operators, he knows the terrain, he has helped configure the force, he knows the best time to go in.
He is the guy best qualified to have operational control and the shift noted at 10:45 am means at that point it was up to the best qualified man to make the call “go”.
The sort of nonsense that Big Peace is running is, unfortunately, done out of apparent ignorance. This is not a story. It has nothing to do with CYA. It is how operations are done. When the command authority, who retains the right to make the decision of “go” or “no go”, makes the decision to proceed they then hand the operation off to the operational commander.
That’s what was done here. It was the correct thing to do.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am no fan of Obama’s. And I remember when he criticized another campaign for using bin Laden to “score political points”. But this sort of attack is just nonsense.
I ask because I have found the coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting and death to be sensationalist and, many times, based in rumor later found to be incorrect.
Or, to put a finer point on it, the coverage of the case has been anything but objective and fact based.
For instance, the original reports that said the incident was a white on black killing. In fact, Zimmerman isn’t white. He’s Hispanic. ABC then published a video from the police station claiming there was no evidence of injury. A closer look revealed ample evidence of injury, but that meme had already traveled the world twice. MSNBC, not to be out done, made the claim that Zimmerman uttered a racial slur that was caught on the 911 tape. Again, when examined more closely, it appeared clear that it wasn’t a racial slur at all, but a comment on the weather.
Meanwhile, the race baiters, attracted to the killing like sharks to chum, had picked up on the story as presented by the media and converged on Sanford FL, the site of the killing, to seek “justice” for Trayvon Martin.
Well, apparently some of it was served yesterday … in Mobile, AL:
Mobile police need your help to catch a mob that beat Matthew Owens so badly that he’s in critical condition.
According to police, Owens fussed at some kids playing basketball in the middle of Delmar Drive about 8:30 Saturday night. They say the kids left and a group of adults returned, armed with everything but the kitchen sink.
Police tell News 5 the suspects used chairs, pipes and paint cans to beat Owens.
Owens’ sister, Ashley Parker, saw the attack. "It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed." Parker says 20 people, all African American, attacked her brother on the front porch of his home, using "brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on."
And, according to Ms. Parker, as they were leaving something else occurred:
What Parker says happened next could make the fallout from the brutal beating even worse. As the attackers walked away, leaving Owen bleeding on the ground, Parker says one of them said "Now that’s justice for Trayvon." Trayvon Martin is the unarmed teenager police say was shot and killed February 26 by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.
The left is fond of trying to blame the right for inciting incidents of violence. The Gabby Gifford shooting is the most recent example.
I have to wonder if the news media who sensationalized the Martin shooting and the race hustlers who inflamed the situation are willing to take the blame for this beating?
UPDATE: Ace points to two more beatings that appear to have been motivated by the Martin case.
Yesterday I talked about the horrendous coverage of the Trayvon Martin case by much of the mainstream media. How, now, they’re walking a back much of what they claimed in stories they aired or wrote. About how both NBC and ABC had abused anything called objective and/or unbiased reporting with NBC’s purposeful re-editing of a 911 tape to make Zimmerman sound racist and ABC’s false claims concerning a lack of injuries to Zimmerman as well as claiming he made a racial slur on the 911 call.
Not to mention the NY Daily News’ claim that Neo-Nazis were patrolling Sanford FL, a completely false rumor a simple check with the Sanford Police Dept. would have revealed (as a blogger proved).
It took only two minutes. An unfounded report on a little-known blog claiming that Gov. Nikki R. Haley was about to be indicted rocketed from South Carolina political circles into national circulation, along the way becoming the latest lesson in the perils of an instantaneous news culture.
Well, no, that’s not the peril. The peril is forgetting to do what journalists and editors are supposed to do and that is check their sources and get confirmation before going with a story.
But again, at numerous main stream media organizations, those three levels of editors came up with a big #FAIL.
But journalists from news outlets that reposted Mr. Smith’s report on Twitter — including establishments old and venerable (The Washington Post, CBS News) as well as new and widely read (The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed) — had no way of knowing that in the minutes after it went online, and did not stop to check first.
March 29, 12:52 p.m.: The Palmetto Public Record publishes an article online with the headline “Haley indictment imminent? Stay tuned. …” It cites two unidentified “well-placed legal experts” who said they expected the federal Department of Justice to indict Ms. Haley “as early as this week” on charges stemming from her involvement with a local Sikh temple.
12:54 p.m.: A blogger for The Hill, a Washington newspaper that focuses on government and politics, sends a Twitter post about the article to his 1,500 followers, who include several prominent political journalists with large Twitter followings that reach into the tens of thousands. Some then repost the item — BuzzFeed just two minutes later; The Washington Post 18 minutes after that.
1:03 p.m.: The Daily Beast posts a short article, which it later removes, about the Palmetto Public Record report, becoming one of many online outlets to write lengthier items, including Daily Kos and The Daily Caller. Headlines like one on the Atlantic Wire’s post, “Nikki Haley Probably Won’t Win Republican Veepstakes,” are common.
1:12 p.m.: A USA Today reporter contacts Ms. Haley’s office with a request for comment, the first of dozens of such inquiries that will deluge the governor and her staff for the rest of the day.
1:22 p.m.: The Romney campaign, which is reported to be considering Ms. Haley as one of many possible vice-presidential choices, receives a request for comment from ABC News.
1:25 p.m.: Mr. Smith seems bemused by all the attention his report is getting, posting on Twitter: “Well, now I know what it’s like to watch a story go viral in real time.”
3:29 p.m.: Matt Drudge, whose heavily visited Drudge Report can help drive decisions in newsrooms around the country, links to a Daily Caller article under the headline “REPORT: DOJ targets S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.”
And none of it was true.
Not everyone pushed it out there though:
“I saw the original Tweets, and my first thought was that I’d never heard of the Web site that reported it,” said Byron York, the chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner. Mr. York, a prolific Twitter poster, decided not to send the item out to his 30,000 followers. “It was a pretty easy decision to stay away from it,” he said.
Uh, no it wasn’t that easy, Byron … see the rumor mongers above who couldn’t resist. Not that repeated failures by the main stream media will at any point lesson the condescending lectures we’ll continue to get from them about why they’re so superior to blogs. Will these repeated failures on the part of the media prompt any soul searching? Has it in the past?
More importantly, given their part is spreading a false rumor one has to ask, where does Gov. Haley go to get her reputation back, media?
If you’ve been following this incident at all, you know that much of what was initially reported was wrong and some of what has been reported since was false, manufactured and/or misleading.
American Thinker has a good round up of the story to this point. In the article, Jeff Lipke outlines the “myth” as it was perpetrated by the media.
The two worst offenders in my opinion have been NBC and ABC. NBC aired an edited 911 tape which was clearly meant to depict George Zimmerman as a racist. They continue to try to defend it as a “mistake”. No one with any common sense is buying that nonsense.
ABC used footage of Zimmerman’s arrival at the Sanford police station to claim that it didn’t support his claim he’d been attacked as there was no evidence of blood or contusions. Never mentioned was the fact that Zimmerman had been treated by EMTs who are not in the habit of leaving visible blood on a patient they treat. Subsequent enhancement showed that initial claim by ABC to have been incorrect. Additionally, ABC claimed that Zimmerman had used a racial slur when talking to the 911 operator. Again, enhancing the audio makes it clear he didn’t and instead seems to be remarking about how cold it was that night. In fact, for central Florida, it was a cold night. But ABC jumped to the conclusion because it supported the desired evolving story line – it was a racial killing.
The unraveling of the myth seems to have the whole story losing steam. That may be why Al Sharpton decided to be a no-show at this weekend’s rally. And there have also been incidents that have done little to gain sympathy for Trayvon Martin. HIs parents attempt to copyright his name obviously hoping to capitalize on his death. Then there was the rally for Martin by members of the school he attended which turned into a flash-mob looting of a local drug store.
But for the media, this has been anything but its finest hour. One of the reoccurring criticism of blogs by the media is they’ll publish anything and have no editors to check them. Yet it is the media, especially the two networks named above, who’ve seemed to fall into that category, editors notwithstanding.
Take the latest story circulating. Supposedly “Neo-Nazis” are patrolling Sanford, FL. The NY Daily News reports this as a fact. But Legal Insurrection’s Professor Jacobson has actually tried to confirm it (wait, isn’t that what editors and research assistants are supposed to do in the media?). And, according to his inquiry to the Sanford Police Department, there’s no evidence of any neo-Nazi group patrolling the city:
My initial e-mail (which included an embedded link to the Memeorandum thread):
“There are a number of reports in the media that Neo-Nazis are conducting armed patrols in Sanford. Can you confirm or deny whether this is true, and provide any information you have on the subject? If someone is able to get back to me as soon as possible (and before Monday) that would be appreciated, since such rumors are spreading.”
Response from Sanford Joint Information Center:
“At this time the City of Sanford has not confirmed the presence of Neo-Nazis groups.”
My follow up:
“You say “not confirmed.” Is there any indication of such patrols that the Department is aware of?”
Further Response from Sanford Joint Information Center:
“We have no indication of any such patrols at this point in Sanford. The only large gathering was the children and their parents at the Easter egg hunt.”
How poorly are we being served by a media which now seems to be engaged in precisely what it criticized blogs for? And how ironic is it that a blog is doing the work the media should be doing? That’s not to say blogs are in the clear. Every left wing blog of any size has been parroting the rumor as well.
But the fact remains this case, no matter how you feel about it, has shown the media in a very unflattering light. Sensationalism, poor journalism, lousy and false editing, conclusion jumping, and rumor mongering have all been evident in their coverage.
And the industry wonders why so many Americans don’t trust them any more?
I sometimes wonder what world the editorial board of the New York Times calls home. It certainly isn’t the one the rest of us live in. But I guess it is necessary to live in an alternative world to be able to push narratives like it pushes in an editorial today. The NY Times has decided, to use a poker term, to go “all in” on Obama’s “right-wing extremism” and “dishonesty” meme.
Referencing the Obama speech yesterday, the editorial board says:
Mr. Obama provided a powerful signal on Tuesday that he intends to make this election about the Republican Party’s failure to confront, what he called, “the defining issue of our time”: restoring a sense of economic security while giving everyone a fair shot, rather than enabling only a shrinking number of people to do exceedingly well. His remarks promise a tough-minded campaign that will call extremism and dishonesty by name.
Remember Obama, who’s answer to the “defining issue of our time”, submitted each of the two years (I’m talking about his budgets) has gone a collective 0-511. That’s right, the two budgets he’s submitted to address the “defining issue of our time” hasn’t garnered a single vote in two years.
Why? Primarily because neither of the budgets convinced a single legislator of either party, to include the President’s own, that they addressed that issue at all.
Yet he presumes to lecture the GOP on the failure to confront this issue? And the NYT somehow manages to buy into that nonsense?
The GOP budget at least passed the House. The NYT presumes that no negotiations are possible because, again, it buys into the Obama claim that the GOP won’t compromise. Nonsense. Compromise doesn’t mean wholesale capitulation. In an negotiation or compromise there are lines drawn over which the two parties won’t give in. Each side has them. The NYT and Obama, naturally, want to characterize the lack of movement as GOP intransigence. But the Democrats are equally intransigent. They want more money in taxes. The GOP continues to point out that taxes aren’t the problem. The problem is spending.
Says the NYT:
Mr. Obama has, in recent months, urged Republicans to put aside their destructive agenda. But, in this speech, he finally conceded that the party has demonstrated no interest in the values of compromise and realism. Even Ronald Reagan, who raised taxes in multiple budget deals, “could not get through a Republican primary today,” Mr. Obama said. While Democrats have repeatedly shown a willingness to cut entitlements and have agreed to trillions in domestic spending cuts, he said, Republicans won’t agree to any tax increases and, in fact, want to shower the rich with even more tax cuts.
Ronald Regan agreed to raising taxes in return for what from the Democrats?
Spending cuts. In fact as I recall, his deal was 1 1/2 to 2 times the spending cuts to the tax increases. Guess what never happened?
That’s right – spending cuts.
So call it a lesson learned. What the GOP is pointing out that until the spending cuts are implemented and take effect, there is no reason to discuss revenue increases.
That’s a common sense approach that best safeguards the citizenry’s money and is based on a history that says the Democrats don’t keep their word about spending cuts.
I don’t blame the GOP for refusing to compromise on taxes.
Finally, and I’ve flipped the paragraph order in the editorial, consider the NYT lede:
President Obama’s fruitless three-year search for compromise with the Republicans ended in a thunderclap of a speech on Tuesday, as he denounced the party and its presidential candidates for cruelty and extremism. He accused his opponents of imposing on the country a “radical vision” that “is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity.”
There has been no search for compromise with President “I won”. None. And it is amazing to see smaller and less intrusive government being characterized as a “radical vision” that is “antithetical to our entire history”. It is the basis of our entire history up until the welfare state came into being.
“The land of opportunity” was such because of a lack of government interference, not because of it. Obama and the left continue to attempt to rewrite history in a manner in which they redefine the words and key phrases that characterized our nation differently than they’d like prior to the institution of the welfare state.
The radical vision is that which Obama, the NYT and the Democrats continue to push, not the GOP. They don’t seem to understand that the majority of the American people have come to understand that we just can’t afford their radical vision and that government control of more and more of our lives is not a “good thing”.
If there is anyone out of touch with the American people it is Mr. 0-511. He hasn’t a clue.
And neither does the New York Times editorial board.
UPDATE: A further thought sparked by a comment by The Shark. If compromise is what Obama and the Democrats really want, they’ve had two opportunities to actually force that or at least make the argument they attempted it. For two years the GOP House has passed a budget. The way the Congress works is the Senate then passes its version of the budget and the two houses of Congress get together and hash out the differences (known commonly as “compromise).
Except the Democratically controlled Senate hasn’t passed a budget in over 1000 days. So who isn’t interested in compromise, Mr. President? And why aren’t you exerting a little leadership and confronting the Senate about its dereliction of duty? If “compromise” is so all fired important to you, why are you neglecting the easiest way of forcing it?
I was reading TIME’s “Battleland” blog about the Sergeant that allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children.
The reporter/blogger wrote this before the Sergeant had been identified to the press and the reporter produced a long list of extenuating and mitigating circumstances that might work in the favor of the then unnamed Sergeant. All of them, says the reporter were from his defense attorney, or strong rumor or innuendo or, in some cases fact:
– He was suffering from marital strife.
– He was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder
– He was suffering from a traumatic brain injury he got in Iraq in 2010.
– The Army inadequately tested him and permitted his redeployment despite those conditions.
– He’d been promised he wouldn’t have to go back to war after his third tour in Iraq.
– He was ordered to Afghanistan overnight for his fourth tour in December.
– He saw a buddy’s leg blow off hours before the massacre.
– He got drunk before leaving his southern Afghanistan post at 3 a.m. to kill 16 men, women and children.
The reporter then says:
Army mental-health and legal officials aren’t surprised by the expanding roster. That’s what defense attorneys do. And – to avoid the death penalty, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said is possible in this case – proving only one of these extenuating conditions may be sufficient to keep him alive at Fort Leavenworth, albeit for life.
I don’t disagree. That’s what defense attorneys do.
However, speaking of trying to introduce extenuating and mitigating circumstances, you have to understand that the reporter is trying to excuse the press for reporting rumors and innuendo.
To do that, the reporter breaks out the BS flag and waves it from the top of Mt. Hood:
It’s also what reporters do, especially when the press lacks a name so they are unable to dig into the suspect’s childhood to see what role his parents, siblings, elementary-school teachers and fellow Boy Scouts may have played.
No it’s not. Proof? Two words: Barack Obama
Tell me about his Harvard days, Mr. Reporter. Or heck, his Columbia days. ACORN days? Community organizer days (and not just quotes from his book, thank you very much)? Tell me about his association with Derrick Bell, Bill Ayres and Jeremiah Write and what effect they had on his life. You dug into all of that, right? Tell me about others with whom he associated throughout his life and the role they played in his life. Got a clue?
Yeah … I know … never mind.
But that shouldn’t come as a particular surprise for anyone who has watched this economist turn into a political hack over the years.
To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil. And with prices at the pump on the rise, so is the chant of “Drill, baby, drill.” More and more, Republicans are telling us that gasoline would be cheap and jobs plentiful if only we would stop protecting the environment and let energy companies do whatever they want.
You’ll not see such a broad field of strawmen erected in such a short paragraph for quite some time.
Anyone know any Republicans who are calling for “more tax cuts for the rich” (as I recall, Republicans are saying no tax increases for anyone)? That’s the first strawman.
Second? Not a single “Republican” I know is claiming that we should “stop protecting the environment” and “let energy companies do whatever they want”. I defy Krugman to produce them. Instead what I see are those that want more drilling point out that the technology exists to do it safely and in an environmentally friendly way and thus there’s no real reason to stop it other than ideology. Nor do I know of any who oppose the pursuit of alternative fuels. They just are realistic about the fact that none of those being pursued are anywhere yet ready for prime time, unlike our President. So they naturally look to what we have as the main staple of our economy’s energy demand now and in the near future.
It’s called “common sense” for the Krugman’s of the world who seem to have not been blessed with much of it.
As for jobs and cheaper gas, you should be able to ask an economist if increased supply of a commodity would have the effect of downward pressure on cost and expect to get an honest answer – unless it’s this guy.
Oh, and you’d also expect an economist to understand that if you expand production of any such commodity which is labor intensive, you’re going to create a lot of jobs. You may expect that, but you too can read this so-called economist’s words. When the choice is between political hackery and economic integrity, guess which he chooses?
Charles Krauthammer lays out a little ground truth about why “drill, baby, drill” hasn’t been able to have the effect it might have had if allowed. Yes, “allowed”:
President Obama incessantly claims energy open-mindedness, insisting that his policy is “all of the above.” Except, of course, for drilling:
●off the Mid-Atlantic coast (as Virginia, for example, wants);
●off the Florida Gulf Coast (instead, the Castro brothers will drill near there);
●in the broader Gulf of Mexico (where drilling in 2012 is expected to drop 30 percent below pre-moratorium forecasts);
●in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (more than half the size of England, the drilling footprint being the size of Dulles International Airport);
●on federal lands in the Rockies (where leases are down 70 percent since Obama took office).
But the event that drove home the extent of Obama’s antipathy to nearby, abundant, available oil was his veto of the Keystone pipeline, after the most extensive environmental vetting of any pipeline in U.S. history. It gave the game away because the case for Keystone is so obvious and overwhelming. Vetoing it gratuitously prolongs our dependence on outside powers, kills thousands of shovel-ready jobs, forfeits a major strategic resource to China, damages relations with our closest ally, and sends billions of oil dollars to Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin and already obscenely wealthy sheiks.
The opportunity to see gas at a lower price, plentiful jobs created and supply increased have been squandered by this administration and Krugman, as if channeling our President, is trying to pass this failure off on the GOP. He’s essentially trying too claim the laws of supply and demand have been suspended.
The irony here is that these claims come just as events are confirming what everyone who did the math already knew, namely, that U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.
Again, a half-truth. The boom is a boomlet compared to what it might have been had Obama and his merry permit slow-walkers gotten out of the way. The only thing that has saved Obama is the boom on state and private land. What Krugman won’t say is it is most likely true that had that boom not materialized on non-Federal land, gas prices would be even higher. And so would unemployment. Don’t forget the tens of thousands of jobs lost due to the Obama administration’s Gulf “permatorium”.
Krauthammer points out what should have been obvious to an economist but are inconvenient truths to a political hack:
“The American people aren’t stupid,” Obama said (Feb. 23), mocking “Drill, baby, drill.” The “only solution,” he averred in yet another major energy speech last week, is that “we start using less — that lowers the demand, prices come down.” Yet five paragraphs later he claimed that regardless of “how much oil we produce at home . . .that’s not going to set the price of gas worldwide.”
So: Decreasing U.S. demand will lower oil prices, but increasing U.S. supply will not? This is ridiculous. Either both do or neither does. Does Obama read his own speeches?
Obama says of drilling: “That’s not a plan.” Of course it’s a plan. We import nearly half of our oil, thereby exporting enormous amounts of U.S. wealth. Almost 60 percent of our trade deficit — $332 billion out of $560 billion — is shipped overseas to buy crude.
Drill here and you stanch the hemorrhage. You keep those dollars within the U.S. economy, repatriating not just wealth but jobs and denying them to foreign unfriendlies. Drilling is the single most important thing we can do to spur growth at home while strengthening our hand abroad.
It is truly wondrous to me how poorly Krugman comes off in these sorts of debates. He concludes his hack job with:
And intellectual bankruptcy, I’m sorry to say, is a problem that no amount of drilling and fracking can solve.
The irony is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Over at United Liberty, Louis DeBroux articulates something that has been driving me crazy:
It truly is almost unbelievable. Our national debt is at $16 trillion and rising, with annual deficits of more than $1.5 trillion. Our national debt is now greater than our GDP, and at a level greater than what Greece was at when its economy collapsed. Our lauded entitlement programs are bankrupt, yet our politicians seek to expand them. Unemployment is still well above 8%, the longest such period of sustained unemployment at that level since the Great Depression. We’re barely past Valentine’s Day and gas is more than $3.50 per gallon, and expected to rise above $4, and possibly as high as $5/gallon, by summer. Iran appears the be rapidly closing in on getting a functional nuclear weapon, and has been threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil supply flows. We have a president hell bent on destroying the fossil fuel industry, much like his signature achievement, ObamaCare, is crippling the health care industry.
Our own government has been selling assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels, and is now directly responsible for the deaths of dozens of Mexicans and Americans, yet they act as if it were of no more import than having incorrectly filled out some government form (actually, they’d probably find that a much more grievous sin). The dollar is weak and the economy anemic, despite the trillions spent on the stimulus, auto union and Wall Street bailouts, and slush funds for the politically connected.
Yet with all of this, what stories are dominating the headlines? That would be the religious beliefs of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum regarding birth control, and now the furor over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about a college “coed” called to testify before Congress on the topic of birth control.
It is enough to make you tear your hair out. There is so much that should be at the forefront of the news and we’re talking about what? Go look at Memeorandum for the past few weeks. It’s appalling.
And who benefits by these diversionary and divisive discussions?
Well certainly not the nation. In the case of the current diversion of the day, we see the usual hypocrisy from both sides as Rush Limbaugh is crucified for calling a woman a “slut” while one of Obama’s major donors is given a free pass by the same people for calling Sarah Palin a far worse name (and worse, won’t condemn the use of the word). After all, he’s one of theirs.
It is a cycle of wash, rise, repeat. On just about any given week you can find someone on one side or the other saying something outrageous and the other side whipping themselves into a frenzy of outrage and condemning it while demanding the other side condemn it too. Tit for tat politics. Juvenile nonsense.
Why any of this is seen as major news can only be understood in a “reality show” culture. We’ve become a nation of voyeurs who like scandal and enjoy watching the lives of “celebrities” whose only claim to fame is their screwed up life. And that apparently now translates to our politics.
Instead of paying attention to the important things about our political world, most are more interested in the “he said, she said” stupidity of situations like that of the Limbaugh debacle. Apparently politics has become just another reality show where we prefer to be entertained by the unimportant but controversial instead of doing the hard but boring work of understanding our real problems and looking for solutions.
Unemployment, economics, energy, government … boring!
Limbaugh calls someone a slut. That’s the ticket.
And, naturally, aiding and abetting all of this is the “if it bleeds it leads” media who have decided that sensationalism trumps substance.
We’re 16 trillion dollars in debt folks and that number is going to go higher if we don’t do something.
B..b…but Limbaugh called someone a “slut”!
Turn up the volume and get the popcorn.