Friday, August 29, 2008

Dems react to Palin: SOUR GRAPES

A quick roundup of reaction to the Palin selection:

Time Magazine:

"Is this really who the Republican Party wants to be one heartbeat away from the
Presidency? Given Sarah Palin's lack of experience on every front and on nearly
every issue, this Vice Presidential pick doesn't show judgment: it shows
political panic," he said.

My reaction: "Political panic"?! Are you serious? McCain had several excellent choices for a running mate. Why did he choose this particular woman? It's insane to try to claim that "Panic" was the inspiration for the decision. This is a man who has maintained a consistent cool attitude throughout the campaign. He's a man with over thirty years of experience and has survived any number of campaigns. He's a man who flew into combat, was shot down, captured and tortured for five years. And you think that kind of man is going to panic while facing a panty-waisted lightweight like Obama? Please.

CNN Paul Begala

Palin a first-term governor of a state with more reindeer
than people, will have to put on a few pounds just to be a lightweight. Her
personal story is impressive: former fisherman, mother of five. But that hardly
qualifies her to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

My reaction: Paul Begala's assessment of Palin is simply insulting. Note how he insults Alaska--and the Alaskan people--in the same way Obama did when he said that conservatives were just a bunch of bitter, angry people clinging to their guns and religion! The same elistist snobbery has surfaced again. And combine that with clear mysoginism. Palin is more than a person who enjoys fishing or her five children. She has won elections as mayor and ran her small city, then was appointed to an important energy commission and eventually became governor of the state. But apparently we don't need to even mention those accomplishments. Instead, the tact is a sarcasm-laden slight.

Echoes of the sexist insults that the democrat extremists heaped on Hillary Clinton? You BET.

Here's another blog linked on CNN:
Anonymous Democratic blogger said, "shame on you, John McCain, for thinking
America is stupid!"

This same sentiment was echoed on an Air America broadcast, during which the following astonishing statement was made:

"John McCain must think that American women are stupid, that he can just trick
them to vote for Palin, instead of a real candidate like Hillary."

Yet another form of bigotry revealed by the liberals: A woman is not a real feminist or reasonable choice as a candidate, unless she's an abortion supporting liberal! The assumption is that real "wymyn" are hardcore supporters of infanticide. Nothing else could be farther from the truth. Here is a woman who truly has it all: a successful career and a large family.

So, let's talk about McCain's choice.

Every choice brings risks. But there's a huge difference between Barack's inexperience and Palin's alleged inexperience: although she has had a short career in politics, she has a list of successes she can point to. Barack CAN'T.

I think it's a home run for McCain. No one is even talking about Obama's speech anymore. In fact, I just heard the classic sour grapes statement on Air America. A guy was stating how no one was talking about Obama today, even though he 'gave such a great speech' and the AA talkshow host said, "yeah, but you know, I'm glad it's like this! that speech was so good, no one even needs to talk about it!"

You have to love that! A speach that was so one needs to talk about it.

That kind of describes Obama: a candidate so important...he doesn't even need coverage.

Wiley experience versus unsteady charisma: McCain Vs. Obama

On August 28, 2008, Democratic Presidential Candidate and apparent wanna-be Caesar Barack Obama gave the speech of his life at the Denver Invesco stadium to a huge crowd of nearly 80,000 fans. Fans, I say, because it has become clear that Obama is more of a celebrity than a candidate. The mainstream media treats Obama like a Rock Star: ignore his foibles, pretend that he is not frightfully lacking in experience, do not draw attention to the confused and conflicting policies he has put forth, try to cover for his arrogance and haughty attitude that reinforces the feeling from many Americans that he is either totally out of touch or woefully elitist.

So today, August 29th, it would be natural to expect that Obamania would cover the pages of the electronic media. But no. Look at, and you don’t see Obama today. Nor will you find his Lordship gracing the cover of the more liberal No, instead you see McCain—and his newly announced running mate.

Just at the time when the press was all giddy about Obama—McCain may have just upstaged him!

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been tapped to be McCain’s VP, surprising most people who thought that Romney or Pawlenty would have been the natural choices. Was this a brilliant strategic move by McCain? Palin is young, relatively inexperienced, could this have been a mistake?

Coming out of the Democratic Convention, CNN talking heads proudly pronounced that “76% of Democrats said that the convention unified the party.” Interesting spin on a statistic that we already knew weeks ago: about 30% of the Hillary Clinton supporters were bitter about how she was treated by the Obama campaign and surrogates, and were not likely to vote for Obama. Many women in the country, who are likely to be the swing voters and turn the tide in this campaign, felt deeply disappointed that Clinton was not the Democratic nominee, or at the very least, Obama’s choice for VP. So saying that 76% of Dems feel that the party has unified is just another way of saying that 24% are still not happy. And that 24% equates to hundreds of thousands if not millions of votes.

Whenever I analyze this situation, the most logical analogies that come to mind seem to be either Chess or military strategies. I am a fan of chess and in chess there are three principal elements to the game that must be mastered in order to win the game.
They are Space (territory on the board), Momentum, and Material.

Once upon a time, Obama had all three of these to his advantage.
Voter support, translated into votes, won states, and thus delegates, is the territory. And according to most polls, Obama appeared to ahead. But he has slowly leaked that support away through a number of missteps. Obama gave up territory.
In order to win—Chess or war battles equally—combatants sometimes must sacrifices territory in order to gain either momentum or material.
Obama apparently decided that, by nominating Joe Biden to be his running mate, he could use Biden’s years in Senate to counter the attacks on Obama’s lack of experience, and hopefully come out of the convention with increased momentum. But this didn’t seem to work. Many who had hoped that he would choose Hillary were disappointed. And while Biden is a fairly serious choice, back when Biden was one of the Democratic candidates opposing Obama, he had made a number of stinging criticisms about Obama’s lack of experience.
This gave new ammunition to the GOP, and facilitated the attack on Obama’s lack of experience—and judgment: Obama's choice actually undermined the weak flank he had hoped would be reinforced. And Obama left the convention without gaining in momentum.

McCain’s choice of Governor Palin appears to be a classic flanking maneuver. McCain had attacked Obama on experience, which forced Obama to choose Biden over Clinton, since Clinton—in spite of her popularity—could not claim many years of experience as anything other than the wife of a former President. The choice of Biden reinforced the public’s suspicion that Obama was inexperienced, but it also reinforced the resentment by Hillary’s supporters, and the women who had so wanted to see a woman in the White House in a role other than first lady or sexy intern.

That third element in chess, material, is usually the “pieces” that empower the player. Rooks, Knights, Queen, etc. Without material, the player simply cannot control the board or the momentum. In politics, it can be equated to financial support, and that intangible support that is media attention and buzz.

The Palin choice, announced the day after Obama’s biggest speech, has taken that advantage away from him, and with it will come momentum. After all, on the day when everyone should have been talking about Obama’s great speech, they are instead talking about VP candidate Palin. Women callers to the Laura Ingraham show this morning were energized, excited, and without an exception said that this decision will encourage them to donate to the McCain campaign. In other words, McCain has now gained additional material to propel his campaign forward.

On all three fronts, material, momentum, and space, McCain has slowly whittled down the Obama advantage. We are witnessing a classic example of a battle led by two very different generals: an older, experience statesman, and a young, brash, charismatic celebrity.

And it is becoming very clear, that while there is a romantic attraction to the young and charismatic leader, unless that charisma is enhanced by some real street smarts, he can easily be outclassed by the wily old man.

In my opinion, barring some unforeseen disaster on the McCain camp, Obama just lost the lead, and may be headed toward doom.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The bullshit in reporting on domestic oil drilling

Just a quick note about the oil drilling question.

I’m getting infuriated by the clear distortion by reports who appear to want to downplay the positive impact of domestic oil production here in the USA.

Take for example the following article “Oil: what the drilling advocates say”. In this article, the author Steve Hargreeves (CNN), basically makes the argument that increases of US oil production by drilling in ANWR and offshore would be a “drop in the bucket” and would not bring down fuel prices by more than a few cents per gallon.

However, if you look carefully at the presentation, you see what should be considered to be a distortion.

The “experts” that the article quoted give a “very conservative” estimate that the mentioned additional production would increase US supply by about 1.5 to 2 million bpd. This, they argue, is the “drop in the bucket” because the total daily worldwide production is 73 million bpd. 2 million barrels compared to 73 million barrels really is a drop in the bucket.

But the question is not “What impact will US domestic production have on the world supply.” The question is, “What impact would 2 million barrels per day of domestic production have on fuel prices here?” The net daily US importation of oil is 12,036,00 bpd. So, if we produced an additional 2 million barrels per day and this fuel was consumed domestically, that would imply a petroleum import reduction of nearly 17%.

With fuel prices at $4.00/gallon, that might imply a price reduction of at least $0.68 per gallon. Now we’re down to $3.32 gallon.

So, consider additionally that even OPEC leaders have said recently that there is no under-supply of oil, and that the current oil price is WAY over inflated and should be selling at a considerably lower price per barrel.

Take a moment to read what Ralph Nader had to say in a recent article:

“Oil was at $50 a barrel in January 2007, then $75 a barrel in August 2007. Now at $130 or so a barrel, it is clear that oil pricing is speculative activity, having very little to do with physical supply and demand. An essential product—petroleum—is set by speculators operating on rumor, greed, and fear of wild predictions. “

“In an ironic twist, the major price determinant has moved from OPEC (having only 40% of the world production) and the oil companies to the speculators in the commodities markets. What goes on in the essentially unregulated New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)—without Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforced margin requirements, and, unlike your personal purchases, untaxed—is now the place that leads to your skyrocketing gasoline bills. OPEC and the Big Oil companies reap the benefits and say that it’s not their doing, but that of the speculators. Gives new meaning to ‘passing the buck.’”

Since oil is traded on a futures market, the price understandably fluctuates depending upon what influencing factors are anticipated in the future. This is why the mere threat a possible military conflict in the Straight Of Hormuz can send prices skyrocketing—even though nothing has even happened yet.

Well, folks, the same principal applies in the opposite direction: if the US government signals that it is implementing a MAJOR change in policy that will give the US an increase in productivity, the speculators in the futures market will see a less lucrative future in oil, and the product will be less attractive, and the price will fall.

So by simply declaring that we Americans will reduce our imports by 17% will cause an almost immediate reduction in market price for oil.
But let’s not stop there. If T. Boone Pickens is right, and we can use alternative energy sources such as improved solar and wind technology to reduce our energy usage by an additional 15%-20%, then petroleum will fall again.

Keep in mind that the proponents of domestic drilling are not saying that is the only thing that has to be done. Not by a long shot. McCain, for example, is calling for increased support for a number of energy sectors including; nuclear, coal, domestic drilling, and ALTERNATIVE sources of energy such as solar and wind.

So, to have a truly "comprehensive" energy policy, we have to include all of these. It's ironic that the green movement often quotes the efforts taken in Europe but conveniently overlook the fact that much of Europe is powered by nuclear energy.
Guess what will happen if we declare that we will build more nuclear power plants, and reduce our energy imports even further? yep. Oil prices fall even further, and it will NOT take 10 years to see a benefit! That is the key lie in the Democrat position. The don't think we know about futures markets.

The point is, that these idiot journalists--and idiot liberals among the democrats--keep poo-pooing the notion that we should begin to drill for oil because—by itself—this one tactic would not have a major strategic impact. But the point is, it is just one tactic in an overall, badly needed strategic change.