First, keep an eye on Austin Bay’ channel at InTheArenaUSA as AB snagged an interview with General Petraeus yesterday. The triumph of American arms and strategy in Iraq is a world changing event, and though MSM wants to chase rainbows with Barack, long form interviews with the commander who led the victory should be widely noted and studied.
Because pundits thrive on campaigns, we inevitably end up trying to invest them with meanings and messages they simply cannot carry. Thus David Brooks “Barack as a sojourner” offering this morning. Beautifully written, as always is the case with Brooks, but c’mon. Sometimes a stiff is just a stiff, and the growing amount of Obama buyers’ remorse can be put down to increased focus on what Obama is actually saying as opposed to the crowds he has been drawing or the wonderful comeuppance he was delivering to Hillary and Bill.
Yesterday’s energy speech by Obama was a perfect example of the almost astonishing emptiness of the Obama platform on this and other crucial issues. John Hinderaker posts on the speech —here and here— begin to explain the deep dishonesty of the pose Obama struck, and John hasn’t even gotten to the absurd promises Obama made.
Obama declared that, as president, he would direct $15 billion a year into an effort that would end our import of oil from the Middle East and Venezuela while creating 5 million new jobs over 10 years.
No specifics were provided. Details to follow, I guess.
This is the sort of stuff that high school debaters wouldn’t dare try as even a sleepy judge would flunk them for offering up magic machines that work on sugar as the answer to our energy problems. Obama dares not offer any specifics on any element of his plan because none are possible or even capable f passing the laugh test.
First, look at how carefully constructed the promise is: Obama promises to end our use of Middle East and Venezuelan oil.
First question –how much do we use from the Middle East and Venezuela? Obama didn’t say, but the U.S. keeps pretty close tabs on such matters, and May ’08 imports are listed here.
Saudi Arabia is sending us 1,579 thousand barrels per day. Venezuela, 1,030 thousand barrels per day.
Algeria 492 thousand barrels a day; Iraq 452 thousand barrels; and Kuwait 179 thousand barrels a day.
So even if Obama’s “ten year plan” leaves untouched our daily doses from Canada (1,876 tbd) Mexico (1,467) Nigeria (1,048) and Angola (581), his new sources still have to come up with the energy equivalent of 3,752 thousand barrels of oil a day.
That’s a big number. Obama opposes almost all new drilling, so it is fair to assume that he means to find this energy somewhere else, and for only $15 billion dollars a year.
Nonsense on stilts. Obama knows it and any serious observer knows it, but Obama prattles on unchallenged by MSM, but not by voters.
Obama’s overreaching surely sparked a reassessment of his inevitability among many voters, but there is a focusing underway here that accounts for his sliding poll numbers as well: Voters have heard all this stuff before, from McGovern and Carter especially, and better packaging and better delivery doesn’t improve the basic product which is massive public spending that penalizes productivity while undermining economic growth. A tax on oil company profits is a tax on production and on shareholders –many of whom are retirees getting pension checks from large funds invested in the energy sector– and they aren’t keen to tax themselves and the markets to blow money on a vague agenda of magic new energy production schemes.