The Obama Administration announced that it is releasing 30 million gallons of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. ” Experts” are calling this an excellent change in policy that will certainly help to calm the volatile oil markets. But, other experts are saying why now? So, who can we believe? I am taking my cue from Treasury Secretary Geithner who when speaking at a Dartmouth College panel discussion said the release was not political. It was using the reserve for that which it was designed, to mitigate disruptions such as those brought about by the conflict in Libya. So, naturally if Mr Geithner says it is not political I must feel otherwise. Why might one feel that way? Let us see. For starters the reserve has 727 million barrels of oil and the President’s instructions released around 4% of that total. Next, Libya typically exports about 1.5 million barrels per day, a figure which is down to about 1/3 of that total. So, the amount of oil released was really not designed to replace lost production, etc but rather to what? Perhaps it was designed to occur in the midst of the ongoing decline in oil prices ( which leads to lower gasoline prices) thus causing a bit of an acceleration the decline. Then we have an end result of the Obama Administration claiming credit for the price of gasoline declining. A bit convoluted, perhaps, but just wait and see. But we must not drill for any additional oil, just pay Brazil to do so.
It seems that the battle has ben joined, so to speak. On one side, we have the Fox News Channel and on the other, the Obama White House. There is an interesting cast of characters as well as several interesting observers.
Ms Dunn is the point person for the White House and went on rival CNN on Sunday to launch a few broadsides. She told CNN’S Howard Kurtz that “ let’s not pretend that Fox is a News Network the way CNN is.” That’s a good line to start the assault. But there was more. She said that the way we( presumably the Administration) view Fox is as a wing of the Republican Party . What was almost hysterically funny is a promo that ran during her interview. It was publicizing Anderson Cooper 360 and here is what it said. A woman’s voice says , “I’m a lifelong Democrat and that’s why I watch Anderson Cooper.” The promo continued that Cooper is a person that can be counted on to hold “right-wing” conservatives accountable. Interesting slant on objectivity, is it not?
Ms Dunn serves officially as White House Communications Director and unofficially as the head of the Call ‘Em Out Patrol, aiming to counter what the White House considers wrong or erroneous reporting.
Outside observers from both political persuasions say that the battle the White House has enjoined is not necessarily a wise one. David Gergen, who worked in the Clinton Administration said it is a risky strategy and can easily backfire. Tony Blankley, a former press secretary for Newt Gingrich, agreed, saying that it was his experience that going after a new organization is always a losing proposition. A non partisan observer from Politico, Nia Malika Henderson opined that the administration’s approach would tend to only benefit Fox.
Even the president himself engages in the battle. On September 20, he appeared on five new shows, declining to appear on Fox’s Chris Wallace show. On Sunday, Dunn admitted tat it was a sort of payback. Just last week, Press Secretary Gibbs said Obama would not be on Fox until some time in 2010. Just a few months ago the President told CNBC’S John Harwood that there was one television station entirely devoted to attacking the administration. Bet it wasn’t ESPN to which he was referring.
This all brings to mind a couple of things. One is a quote by Bill Clinton, “Never pick a fight with people who by ink by the barrel.” And what Republican president had a paranoia with the press? Does the name Richard Nixon sound familiar? He would recognize the Obama approach and probably advise even stronger tactics.
One word to Anita Dunn and her folks, check out the ratings for any Fox News show-O’Reilly, Beck, etc and compare to Cooper, Olbermann, etc. The results may be worth your review.
One of the few things that our children share in common with my wife and I is a love of reading . Although I have no empirical evidence to support it, my theory is that a love of reading is the most crucial skill that one needs to acquire in school and nurture throughout one’s lifetime . Having said that, my observation as well as reputable surveys indicate that reading is on the decline . I read a survey recently that stated a significant percentage of adults do not read one book per year . I have wondered why that is so; our friend the internet, video games , tv , text messaging etc. Even so ,if one can come to view reading as a positive thing and not just a waste of time , the obstacles can be overcome . Remember, we dont always have to be doing something to be doing something . The scripture teaches us to be still and know . So, find a subject, find an author or two or three and consume that written word.
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