As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nobody Likes A Whiner

You know you're trying to bluff with a really bad hand when the AP opens its story with this lede:

President Bush put politics ahead of the facts Tuesday as he sought to blame Congress for high energy prices, saying foreign suppliers are pumping just about all the oil they can and accusing lawmakers of blocking new refineries.

Even I'm embarrassed for Bush trying to pull this switcheroo. But he didn't stop with gas prices, he blamed Congress for the farm bill, stopping nuclear power plants, foreclosures, the economy, and I think Miley Cyrus' photo spread. If Truman said "The buck stops here," then Bush's mantra must be "Who wants this buck?"

It goes without saying that his remedies for the nation's domestic ills are ill-chosen and ridiculous, but the AP went ahead and nicely summarized them.

Bush renewed his call for drilling in an Arctic wildlife refuge, but his own Energy Department says that would have little impact on gasoline prices [...]

Blaming "the lack of refinery capacity" for high energy prices, [Bush] said Congress has rejected his proposal to use shuttered military bases for refinery sites.

FACT: Global oil supplies are tight, in part because OPEC nations including Saudi Arabia are refusing to open their spigots. But Saudi Arabia has considerable additional production capacity. It's pumping a little over 8.5 million barrels a day, compared to about 9.5 million barrels a day two years ago and has acknowledged the ability to produce as much as 11 million barrels a day.

On refineries, Congress has ignored Bush's proposal to use closed military bases. But the oil companies haven't shown much interest in building refineries either and have dismissed suggestions that military bases might be of use [...] When top executives of the country's five largest oil companies earlier this month were asked at a House hearing whether they wanted to build a new refinery, each said no.

And it just got worse from there. I hate to even give these little temper tantrum press conferences even the most minor notice, since they all come down to a series of wild charges with no basis in fact, and the country has tuned this guy out already and can't wait for him to leave, anyway. But the thing is that the Republican Party is desperate to get out from under the impression that they broke the economy, and are starting to raise this whole "Democrats in Congress did it" approach, so it's important to get out in front of the spin.

Now on the farm bill, I don't totally disagree with the President in theory about subsidies, and Congress is responding, though I can't help but think that Bush doesn't really want to stop payments to wealthy farmers so much as to transfer them to agribusiness.

Labels: , , , , , , ,