Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The Political Relm: A Rant
Hell has broken loose in the White House. Democrats are yelling a little less loudly about how "stupid" Bush is and yelling a little bit more loudly about the deficit and other policy issues. I can only hope that people are starting to listen. I think poll numbers show that they are.

What to do, what to do....

I know! Let's hold a press conference! Ok, we will do it during the day (when no one watches) and we will allow Bush limited amount of time to speak (a whole 8 minutes) and we will evade questions. It worked so well for Roberts after all....The press conference brought up quite a few interesting points.

1. Did you know we need more refineries? Yes, folks--we don't need to find other engery sources. Instead, we need to process more oil. Phew. Here I was...thinking we were going to run out of oil sometime... thinking our dependence on countries like Saudi Arabi and others to get our oil was bad (that whole supporting horrible regimes thing). Imagine my relief when I realized we just had to process and refine the supply of crude oil quicker. Bush even said:
"And one way to deal with tight energy supplies is to increase supply. And the only way to increase supply is to build refineries. Again, I repeat to you this amazing fact: We have not built a new refinery in America since the 1970s. And then we had the storm, and it took refinery capacity off, and guess what happens? It creates a tight supply situation, which causes price to go up. So Congress needs to deal with that. And I repeat, they need to get the Patriot Act to my desk. "
(Yeah, I don't get the Patriot Act thing either) Get out there and drive everyone. In fact, lets all buy Hummers.

2. The pesky war on terror. It seems people haven't been paying as much attention to terrorism lately. Over 60% of Americans are starting to doubt the war. More than that think that the war should be scaled back. I have noted other places (as have many others) that Bush is going to need some rhetorical savvy to get out of this PR problem. In the past he has linked everyting to terrorism. Faltering budget? Invading civil rights? It is in the name of fighting terror. Annnd, he's at it again. Today's press conference is a glaring example (as his previous speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition). He talks about obligations--both with the Gulf coast and the war on terror. He speaks of reforming the budget while keeping the Patriot Act strong. He can't go one sentence w/out bringing it back to terrorism. You know what? We get it. We also get that worldwide terror attacks are at an all-time high. We get that last month was the bloodiest in the entire Iraq conflict. We also get that you are incapable of multi-tasking. Not a lot of cognitive complexity around these parts.

3. I've been trying to chill about the judge nominations. Especially this recent one. I know that many presidents have nominated people with no judicial experience. I know that many presidents nominate people from within their administration. I know that you can be a good judge without having judicial experience. Sure, I have concerns about her extreme loyalty the president, her lack of work experience in general (save for those 6 or so years as head of the lottery) and her overall lack of name recognition. But it seems that my skepticism runs low compared to the conservative base of the GOP. I love, love, love that the conservatives are the ones backing Bush into a corner to defend Miers. (Of course, today Bush said that the Democrats are the ones in change of the tone and it is up to them to look at her credentials. hehehe) They are concerned that maybe she isn't conservative enough. Unlike Roberts, we don't know exactly where she stands on abortion (even though as head of the Texas bar she urged the courts to reconsider the decision), privacy and other key policies. So in an attempt to put Limbaugh's (and other's) mind at ease, he assured (repeatedly) that he "knows" the heart and mind of Miers (if it wasn't 11:00 am I would have played a drinking game to those phrases). He said (over and over) that he knows "exactly what kind of judge she will make." Of course, when asked a question about whether or not he knows where she stands on abortion (you know--since they are so close and all) Bush responded that "he didn't know." Wait, I'm confused. I'm going to reserve judgment until her hearings. I am almost pulling for her. I'm afraid if she doesn't get confirmed he will nominate someone worse. Sad commentary I know. The last thing I will say on this, and I echo a lot of conservative females when I say--Mr. Bush, you wouldn't have to be talking about things like Miers shoe size, her loyalty and her heart if you had chosen from one of the many overly qualified women on your short list. I would have liked to have seen a Roberts counterpart up for the job. Someone who has the glowing (albeit conservative) credentials. Never once did Bush feel the need to mention his shoe size or his "loyal and kind" personality. Give me a break....

I have to go get the mail. I'm going to drive to my mailbox.


Anonymous drew. said...

this might make you feel better:


Blogger Matt said...

I'm on board with you on point #2, but I'm at a bit of a disagreement with #1. Of course there should be a shift to cleaner energy, but we're talking about an immediate need here. I've read articles in the St. Louis Post about parents having to cut back on food for their kids in order to pay for gas to go to work. Providing further incentives to build/purchase cleaner cars would definitely be a good thing, but that does nothing for families that either need help today or don't make enough to buy those glitzy new cars.

Building more refineries to be operational in the next 12-24 months would help them. And naturally, that would be best followed up with reformation of emissions laws, tax incentives, etc, for cleaner technology.

(PS: This doesn't make me sound Republican, does it?)

Blogger kristen said...

you certaintly aren't saying that naturally this admin would shift to tax incentives, etc...or else, yes, you do sound like a republican. a very idealistic and inaccurate one. how long have the bush admin known that there was a problem with oil dependency? well before the prices went out of control b/c of katrina/rita. if anything, i think the high gas prices are good. (yeah, i'm that liberal) driving has decreased by 5%. people are finding other ways. they are carpooling, doing all their errands on one trip, taking advantage of public transportation. the really impoverished don't have cars (as evidenced by the lack of evacuation in NOLA). the answer is not to burn through the oil faster. the answer is to stop putting off the inevitable and DO SOMETHING about our dependency.

Blogger Matt said...

I like to think in the "best case scenario" mindset rather than the "what would the monkey-president do" mindset when approaching issues such as this one. So true, I highly doubt that the current administration would suddenly take legislative actions that would directly harm oil conglomerates. That being said, I think that expanded refinery construction can certainly be a short-term step that would help many people, as part of a comprehensive approach to decreasing dependancy in the long run. It may not help the dirt poor (like many NOLA residents), and it most certainly is of no immediate concern to the upper class, but the intersections of different social strata could certainly use some short-term relief.

Call me idealistic in a different sense though: perhaps expanded refineries by this administration could be coupled with *fingers crossed* better long-term solutions by more environmentally conscience candidates in 2008.

PS: If you don't support new oil refineries, you hate freedom. Freedom haters.

Blogger Matt said...

Also, the libertarian in me would say "keep building refineries until you reach the point where harvesting and refining oil is more expensive than the other alternatives. Then the market would take over and people would switch." A true market based approach (triggering less driving, more carpooling, etc. like you speak of) would be best achieved by decreasing the impediments to that market: namely legislation preventing the collection of oil.

But I'm wearing my Elephant Hat today. Sorry.

Anonymous Bill said...

I'm with you on this one, Kristen. Gas going to $5 a gallon is ok in my book. The only thing that I would do would provide some sort of oil assistance to the poor. Speaking of which, did you know Chavez offered such a deal? He offered to sell oil at his cost to the poor of the US. Hyperbole or not, it's a good idea.

Blogger kristen said...

Yeah, I had heard about Chavez. But Robertson would probably assassinate him first. Oh Mat....Mat, Matt, Matt--market based solutions? In a free market? Come ON. Don't make me go Marxist on your ass.

Jokes, Jokes. But I really don't trust this President to do anything. The only thing I know is that since the gas problem has really gotten bad, Ford as released their hybrid Escapes (and maybe others) at a faster rate. Sure, they are bitching about how Japan is "hogging" the parts (ie. Ford didn't order enough back in the day when they came on the markey) but American companies are finally getting serious about hybrids. Also, gas consumption is down. You're right--I feel bad for the people in the middle stratus of the economy--people like grad students who make 12K a year. However, I'm willing to see (even more) economic downturn b/c in the long run things will get better.

And you know what--I do hate freedom. I'm also "pro-abortion."

Anonymous The FBI said...

The free market is bad? Hate freedom? Pro-abortion!? I'm afraid we're going to have to commandeer this blog. See you in Gitmo.

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