Obama: “Drill there, drill now!”

April 27, 2011

This continuing self-inflicted wound on the American economy via the administration’s refusal to tap our own resources has to be deliberate, a matter of ideological choice. How else does one explain Obama’s demand that others pump more oil, but not us?

Amid a surge in the cost of gasoline, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is calling on major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia to increase their oil supplies and lower prices, warning starkly that lack of relief would harm the global economy.

“We are in a lot of conversations with the major oil producers like Saudi Arabia to let them know that it’s not going to be good for them if our economy is hobbled because of high oil prices,” Obama said in an interview with a Detroit television station.

His remarks signaled a broad new appeal in the face of skyrocketing gasoline prices in the United States and they came on the same day that he reiterated a call for Congress to repeal oil industry tax breaks.

This comes on the heels of Shell’s decision to abandon drilling in Alaska because of the EPA’s refusal to grant needed permits:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

If the EPA and the Obama administration are so concerned about polluting our own shores, what kind of rank hypocrisy is it to demand more oil from places where environmental standards are far lower? And how mean a con to pull on the American people, to say with one breath that we have to do something about higher gasoline prices out of one side of the mouth and then block any attempts to develop America’s own resources?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a president or administration more hostile toward its own nation’s interests, nor more sanctimonious in the surety of its own superior wisdom.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Advertisements

Final proof at last: Obama *is* Carter II

April 27, 2011

Leading from behind??”

The reliably liberal New Yorker magazine isn’t usually in the habit of presenting gifts to the Republican Party, but it has just published three little words that may prove central to the GOP effort to defeat President Obama next year. Those words are “leading from behind,” and they appear at the end of a Ryan Lizza article on Obama’s foreign policy.

Lizza didn’t coin the phrase. “Leading from behind” is a direct quote from of “one of [Obama’s] advisers,” who is describing his boss’ policy on Libya. That same adviser goes on to say that the effort to lead from behind is “so at odds with the John Wayne expectation for what America is in the world. But it’s necessary for shepherding us through this phase.”

And there you have it: the 2012 campaign against Obama’s foreign policy in a nutshell. By the time Election Day rolls around, if the GOP knows what’s good for it, the phrase “leading from behind” will be the “yes, we can” of 2012.

The reason the phrase is so devastating is that “leading from behind” wasn’t intended as criticism but rather as a sympathetic, even proud, defense of the administration’s approach and goals.

Lizza describes it thus: “It’s a different definition of leadership than America is known for, and it comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the US is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the US is reviled in many parts of the world.

Wow. EU-style “soft power” in all its spineless glory. It’s the perfect implementation of a worldview that sees American power as the problem and seeks its deliberate weakening. Only you don’t let on that that’s your plan; rather, you couch it in terms of “inevitable decline” versus the latest threat(1) and the need to make ourselves more liked in the international community (all bow).

Oh, heck, This isn’t just Carter. It’s Carter’s “malaise” speech wrapped up in Dukakis’s tank ride with a bow made from Kerry’s “global test.”

The article is right: if Republicans don’t use this like a club to whack Obama at every opportunity in the coming campaign, they don’t deserve to win.

LINKS: A British view — Obama looks “weak and confused.”

TANGENTS:

(1)Now it’s China. Remember the 1980s when Japan was going to eat our lunch?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama releases birth certificate: now can we get down to serious business?

April 27, 2011

The big news this morning is that President Obama has released his long-form Hawaiian birth certificate, perhaps (we hope) finally settling the (ridiculous) question of whether he was really born in the US and is thus a “natural born citizen,” qualified to be president. From CNN:

President Obama released his original birth certificate Wednesday, saying the controversy surrounding the issue had become a “sideshow.”

(…)

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do,” said Obama.

The surprise release follows recent and sustained remarks by businessman Donald Trump, among others, that raised doubts as to whether the president was born in the United States.

“Over the last two and half years, I have watched with amusement. I have been puzzled with the degree with which this thing just kept going,” Obama told reporters Wednesday.

I’m not sure which is more cynical or self-serving: that last statement of Obama’s or Donald Trump’s crow of victory and vindication:

Donald Trump, who helped drive questions over President Obama’s birth certificate, said the release Wednesday was a victory for him because he made the president act.

“I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue,” he said, though he said more investigation has to be done. “Now we have to look at it, see is it real, is it proper.”

Oh, please. Let’s get one thing straight: the only reason Obama finally released the birth certificate was that Trump was gaining traction with his grandstanding charges and private investigators, and so withholding it no longer served Obama’s purpose.

Yes, you read that right. When a desperate Hillary Clinton campaign first made the allegations of foreign birth during the Democratic primaries, the Obama campaign realized they had a gold mine on their hands. By refusing to release it, they knew it was like waving a red flag in front of conspiracy-theorist bulls — they wouldn’t be able to resist.  Obama, Axelrod, Emanuel, Plouffe, and the rest knew they could use the Right-wing equivalent of 9/11 Truthers to tar legitimate opponents with the brush of lunacy, and they did just that. As William Jacobson wrote back in 2009:

Who are the primary beneficiaries of the conspiracy theory? Not the people pushing it; they remain on the fringe. Not the Republican party.

No, the primary beneficiary of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory is Obama. He is running the country into the ground at break-neck speed, but the conspiracy theory has handed Democratic operatives like Media Matters, Think Progress, and all the left-wing blogs which jump when the whistle blows, a great way of distracting the public from the damage being done.

(…)

So stop looking for the birth certificate, and start reading the health-care-reduction bill, the cap-and-tax fiasco bill, the unemployment numbers, the national debt and deficit analyses, and the latest Obama speech apologizing for who we are. And contact your Congressman and Senator and demand they read legislation, and give the public opportunity for comment, before they vote on it.

Well, two years later we now have the long-form certificate. Happy? Can we now get back to the serious matters of policy Professor Jacobson listed? Can we deal with real analysis of what shaped Obama’s character and political beliefs? Can we deal with the issues facing the nation with the seriousness they deserve(1)?

Barack Obama is on a fast-track to going down as one of the worst presidents of the last hundred years, and maybe even since the immortal trio of Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan. The birth-certificate controversy has been a sucker’s trap for the Right and the gift that keeps on giving for Obama. Now that he’s released the certificate, can we let it go and concentrate on the real work of getting rid of the man who wants to fundamentally transform America… into Greece?

Let’s hope so.

LINKS: My blog-buddy ST beat me to the punch. Curse that Eastern Time Zone!   Ed Morrissey goes off on The Donald. If we’re lucky, Trump’s candidacy will now fade. Memeorandum has tons of links.

TANGENTS:

(1) Some will never give up, sure that the released long form is a fake — a fake I say!! After all…