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Choice Snippets Of The Day

August 4, 2008

You know, I’ve never really done a thread where I simply pull a few choice excerpts of posts and/or comments I’ve stumbled upon on any given day, but I figured that it might be interesting, and today is as good as any.  And since memeorandum is buzzing about Obama’s “tire inflation” comments, and because I’ve taken a keen interest in maximizing fuel efficiency personally, I thought it’d make a good subject.  Plus, maybe it’d be neat to add links to Chamber entries that are closely related.  Perhaps I could make it a recurring theme.  Anyway, here I go…

First, I came across a great graph penned by Jazz over at the Moderate Voice:

In past, darker times, Americans grew victory gardens, did without meat in their meals, melted down pots and pans for the war effort and tolerated fuel rationing. They were not regulated or legislated into such action – they were inspired and led to it by their governmental leaders who showed them the value of sacrifice in the face of a national crisis. Yet today, with a new crisis looming, when a candidate for office so much as suggests that we could consume a bit less energy by the simple act of monitoring our tire pressure (an action hardly amounting to any real “sacrifice”) he is not only ignored, but made a subject of derision for broaching the subject.

Exactly.  Heaven forbid a presidential candidate come forward, assume a leadership role, and suggest that all Americans do something that would help everyone (almost immediately, it should be noted) and would in 99% of the cases involve almost no sacrifice.  Yes, better to mock him, certainly. 

Here’s what Obama said in Springfield that’s gotten so much attention:

There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!

Obama made the mistake of not using the word “like”, and providing more examples (of simple things).   If he had, he probably wouldn’t have to deal with all the mockery and calculator-wielding analysts.  He still has time to nip it in the bud and elaborate, but risks more mockery for simply revisiting the position (after everyone has it in their head that he deserved to be mocked).  Funny, the art of politics is. 

See Chamber thread: Is Conserving Gas An Act Of Patriotism?

Next, I’m going to pick on good ol’ Rush, and post the exchange between him and the last caller on today’s show.:

RUSH: John in Libertyville, Illinois. Hello, sir. We have one minute, but I wanted to get to you.

CALLER: Hi. You’ve always been a big proponent of the inefficient vehicle, the gas guzzler, the SUV, what have you, and you’ve steadfastly maintained that the only thing at work in the high gas prices is supply and demand. But if fuel-inefficient vehicles demand more fuel and therefore reduce the supply, isn’t the supply-demand argument roughly analogous to saying we’re all paying more at the pump because of the preponderance of inefficient vehicles?

RUSH: So, because I have a gas hog, and I use a lot more gas than you do, I am affecting supply and demand; therefore, supply would be much greater if I would join you in getting an efficient car and the price would come down? Is that your theory?

CALLER: Sure. I think we’re all paying more at the pump because of the preponderance —

RUSH: But then you don’t have a free market because somebody’s gotta apply pressure on me to get me to drive something I don’t want to drive. Besides, when that happens, sir, your gasoline taxes, state gasoline taxes, are going to go up, because they’re not going to be receiving as much revenue. There’s no win here, sir.

It’s really too bad that Rush didn’t reflect on the reason why he is so proud of his gas guzzlers (he thinks he’s “sticking it” to environmentalists), but it could be that Rush got saved by the proverbial bell here, because the caller didn’t get the chance to skewer him with it either (although he could have brought it up right away).  In any case, does Rush’s response even make any sense?  I mean, if we’re paying less at the pump, it means that we have more money to spend on discretionary things (that have sales taxes attached), so there may not be a real drop in revenue.  And even if gasoline taxes were to rise, there is no reason to believe that we still can’t “win” with a drop in the end price.  And even if the end price is stagnant, at least more of the revenue would go to your state and not to line some prince’s pockets abroad.  It really looks like Rush was heading for the ropes here, ’cause he was whipping out the “sir” in a very defensive manner.  Like I said, too bad.

See Chamber thread: Rush Limbaugh, “Sticking It” To All Of Us 

(I almost got the impression that John in Libertyville had read that post when I heard him live, but maybe its just obvious to a lot more people than just myself)

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22 comments

  1. Nice try.

    The basis for rationing during WWII was because those resources were needed for the war effort.

    Obama’s call to keep tires properly inflated is not based on conserving resources to keep the war machine rolling, as was the case during WWII, it’s about conserving fuel for domestic reasons.

    He does deserve to be mocked. His claim assumes that we are all idiots and that every car in America is being driven with completely underinflated tires.

    I think it was Power Line who did some number-crunching with some realistic figures (that even leaned toward the heavy side) that showed how rediculous Obama’s claim is. I will look for it tonight.


  2. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/07/021122.php

    Just for fun, I did the math. Properly inflating your tires can improve gas mileage by 3%. Of course, many people already keep their tires properly inflated, and many more are at least close to being properly inflated. Let’s be generous and assume that one-half of the total possible savings would be realized if we all inflated our tires properly; that’s a net gain of 1.5% fuel efficiency.

    Americans drive approximately 2,880 billion miles per year. If we average 24 mpg, we use around 120 billion gallons of gasoline in our vehicles. If, through perfect tire inflation, we improved our collective fuel efficiency by 1.5%, that would be 1.8 billion gallons. A barrel of oil produces around 20 gallons of gasoline, so the total savings available through tire inflation is approximately 90,000,000 barrels of oil annually.

    How does this stack up against “all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling?”

    ANWR: 10 billion barrels
    Outer Continental Shelf: 18 billion barrels (estimated; the actual total is undoubtedly much higher, since exploration has been banned)
    Oil shale: 1 trillion barrels

    So, on the above assumptions, it would take only 11,308 years of proper tire inflation to equal “all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling.”


  3. Red Pill-

    Obama’s call to keep tires properly inflated is not based on conserving resources to keep the war machine rolling, as was the case during WWII, it’s about conserving fuel for domestic reasons.

    Although the crises may be different in nature, the necessity for action and the consequences of inaction may be similar. i.e. the threat to our economy and therefore our way of life.

    I think it was Power Line who did some number-crunching with some realistic figures (that even leaned toward the heavy side) that showed how rediculous Obama’s claim is. I will look for it tonight.

    I addressed this in the post. I knew there were people who would dissect Obama’s statement word-for-word and grab their calculators. But another way of interpreting Obama’s statement is that “simple things” can add up to the oil gleaned from extra drilling. Tire inflation was one of those simple things. Tune-ups (or more accurately, routine maintenance like checking air and fuel filters) is another one. Slowing down and accelerating more gradually. Weight reduction. Heck, I’m getting 130% of the EPA ratings for my Cougar by doing all of the above.

    Could Obama have made that more clear in the delivery of his statement? Well, sure, I’ll concede that. But as long as people are popping blood vessels in their brains doing the math, maybe they should start including ALL of the simple things that Obama was alluding to. I think the number might raise an eyebrow or two.


  4. “Although the crises may be different in nature, the necessity for action and the consequences of inaction may be similar. i.e. the threat to our economy and therefore our way of life.”

    That comparison just doesn’t wash. As I said, in WWII we rationed things our troops needed. That was the only reason. Until our tanks and hummers start running low on fuel while in the field, this is apples and oranges.

    “Could Obama have made that more clear in the delivery of his statement? Well, sure, I’ll concede that. But as long as people are popping blood vessels in their brains doing the math, maybe they should start including ALL of the simple things that Obama was alluding to.”

    I love how we are all expected to figure out and respect what Obama is alluding to at any given time, while other candidates are held to exactly what they say. If he can’t manage to say what he means then perhaps he should get a new flunky to write up his 3×5 cards. These constant mulligans are rediculous.


  5. That comparison just doesn’t wash. As I said, in WWII we rationed things our troops needed. That was the only reason. Until our tanks and hummers start running low on fuel while in the field, this is apples and oranges.

    Let me put it another way. In both cases, we’re talking about voluntary sacrifice in the name of the nation’s preservation. The former was to avoid being overrun by Nazi’s, and the latter is to avoid being overrun by runaway energy costs.

    I love how we are all expected to figure out and respect what Obama is alluding to at any given time, while other candidates are held to exactly what they say. If he can’t manage to say what he means then perhaps he should get a new flunky to write up his 3×5 cards. These constant mulligans are rediculous.

    Well, I’m sure that you’d view it equally ridiculous if, in every single speech, Obama laid out his entire energy policy verbatim. He’d get mocked for that too, no doubt.

    With all due respect Red Pill, what is ridiculous is to pretend that the policy doesn’t exist and that this little paragraph represents the entire width and breadth of Obama’s plan. Its ridiculous to belittle a couple of the ideas that are actually proven to help, and risk sending a contradictory message that they aren’t worth one’s time. The only reason why Obama might want a “mulligan” is in the interest of combating that.


  6. Yeah, as I was saying. It’s time for Obama to update those note cards, because he was out toting the exact same message today.

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/08/obama-pushes-ba.html

    “You know the other day I was in a town hall meeting and I laid out my plans for investing $15 billion a year in energy efficient cars and a new electricity grid and somebody said, ‘well, what can I do? what can individuals do?’ Obama recalled.

    “So I told them something simple,” Obama said. “I said, ‘You know what? You can inflate your tires to the proper levels and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil we’d get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, or wherever he was going to drill.'”

    There it is again. “if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil we’d get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, or wherever he was going to drill.”

    No “like.” No “allusion.” No “nuance.”

    He says flat out that we could save more oil by inflating our tires than we’d get by drilling anywhere. Now, you can read all you want into that, but the fact is that the guy keeps saying the same thing.

    How many times does he have to say it before you all start to believe that he really means it?


  7. Sorry I thought I turned that bold off.

    [Fixed it for ya – CZ]


  8. Chen, we understand that this is not his entire plan for energy. The tire gauges are fun and games.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that the guy honestly thinks we can save as much gas by inflating our tires as we could gain by drilling. He has said the same thing over and over, now.

    John McCain said “why not 100 years?” one time and you all went on about how that is his policy for the Iraq war.


  9. But who’s really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right

    http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1829354,00.html?cnn=yes

    The worst part of this debate is that offshore drilling will do nothing to alleviate the energy crisis. According to the Energy Information Agency:

    The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017. Total domestic production of crude oil from 2012 through 2030 in the OCS access case is projected to be 1.6 percent higher than in the reference case, and 3 percent higher in 2030 alone, at 5.6 million barrels per day. For the lower 48 OCS, annual crude oil production in 2030 is projected to be 7 percent higher—2.4 million barrels per day in the OCS access case compared with 2.2 million barrels per day in the reference case (Figure 20). Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/archive/aeo07/issues.html

    It amazes me that the centerpiece of the McCain’s fascist energy plan is a complete lie, yet Americans are more focused on Obama’s tire gaffe instead. Read Obama’s entire plan, it’s not bad.


  10. “Fascist” energy plan? Only a complete dumbass would make a statement like that – oh, it’s King.

    Perhaps King instead of quoting from lefty governmental “hacks” and Time magazine of all things masquerading as experts, you ought to talk to the people that actually would explore and refine the crude. I think they know just a tad more than some flunkie socialist.

    They’d tell you and your links you’re completely full of shit…and this time, Americans have finally wised up and overwhelmingly don’t believe the fools like you. And we are laughing at you.

    But you keep telling your boy Obama to stay on message. Tell him I said to shout it from the mountain top, though I did note that your empty suit candidate has now held his finger in the wind as says “maybe we should drill offshore.”

    Tell me King. Since you’ve shown your ass on many an occasion here on the board about actively hating America, why you rooting for Obama so bad?

    That ought to tell anybody reading this that actually loves America not to believe a word you say. Because you’ve made it damn evident that you’re actively rooting against it.


  11. Red Pill-

    How many times does he have to say it before you all start to believe that he really means it?

    Well, I’m just glad that he’s finally saying it. I’ve been waiting for it for quite some time. Whether he’s 100% right on the math doesn’t matter to me that much. What matters is that it would be immediate, cheap, and easy, and that involves paying less while saving gas (drilling ultimately means buying more, right?).

    John McCain said “why not 100 years?” one time and you all went on about how that is his policy for the Iraq war.

    Hey now, I tried to be intellectually honest with that, where others on my side of the issue clearly were not.

    McCain was advocating a permanent presence in Iraq under the condition that the fighting would be over, and I was arguing that the fighting wouldn’t be over as long as the Iraqis were convinced that our goal was a permanent presence. To me, that disconnect is a fundamental policy flaw.


  12. McCain was advocating a permanent presence in Iraq under the condition that the fighting would be over, and I was arguing that the fighting wouldn’t be over as long as the Iraqis were convinced that our goal was a permanent presence. To me, that disconnect is a fundamental policy flaw.

    Dwight Eisenhower heard much the same criticism when the armistice was signed with South Korea on July 27, 1953 (55 years ago).

    We’re still there and South Korea is currently one of our largest trading partners for our troubles. And though there’s a bunch of the slacking loons in South Korea (like the American left), I’m not aware of any fighting as they continue to be our strongest ally in the region.


  13. General,

    A new name for your elected:

    OVEREXPOSED Obama

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080806/ap_on_el_pr/poll_obama_overexposure

    Buwahahahahahaha! We’re already getting sick of him and Labor Day isn’t even here yet. By November, Obama will become unbearable.

    Of course, I could say that about all politic. Frankly, I could cast my vote(s) to day and be done with it so we could talk about something else.


  14. Hot off the press for all the Bush bashers and the hatemonger King. Hypocrisy and foolishness on display…

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Democratic candidate Barack Obama criticized Republican John McCain on Tuesday for taking a page out of “the Cheney playbook” on energy, overlooking his own support of oil-friendly policies that the unpopular vice president helped to craft.

    Vice President Dick Cheney, a former oilman, early in the Bush administration helped draft an energy policy that Obama asserted is biased in favor of tax breaks and favorable treatment for big oil. Obama’s remarks were an attempt to capitalize on Cheney’s unpopularity. . . .

    However, Obama himself voted for a 2005 energy bill backed by Bush that included billions in subsidies for oil and natural gas production, a measure Cheney played a major role in developing. McCain opposed the bill on grounds it included billions in unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry.


  15. Tex, do you have a link contradicting the Energy Information Agency? And how is the EIA “lefty”?


  16. Why? I’ve got an even more amusing link showing you a walking billboard for stupidity. Maybe even you can understand this one:

    Put even more simply: If Democrats want us to believe their oft-stated aphorism that we can’t drill our way out of a supply crisis, then they’d be much better off not trying to convince us we can inflate our way out of one.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2008/08/04/why-the-tire-pressure-gauge-stings/


  17. I believe it was much more closely related to not being able to drill out of crisis with offshore oil. Anybody pick up on the share offerings for oil found in North Dakota ? How about Iran’s statement they just found a shitload more ? I’m in oil patch country – reasonably near Fort MacMurray actually too. Scuttlebutt is Alaska has more oil than people would believe – but it’s being kept secret for a national reserve.
    Then again, there hasn’t been an oil refinery built in twenty years.
    Try this on for size. There’s no oil shortage : but there is a fuel shortage.
    I can’t imagine why Texas oilmen running the country would want to drive the price of their stock in trade through the roof.
    Supply and Demand ? Monopoly ? Power ? Securing fuel for America’s military and denying it to others ?

    The Oil Drum is blogged by oil industry insiders. One contributor wrote this a while back, dealing with the way out of the energy pickle
    http://my.opera.com/oldephartte/links/


  18. Phoo. I’m still not used to the way Ubuntu operates sometimes compared to Windows. http://ergosphere.blogspot.com/2006/11/sustainability-energy-independence-and.html is the piece I had in mind. Check the main blog for a bunch more links.
    The guy is bright as hell but can be hard to follow at times.


  19. At the risk of double posting, here’s the link I meant to write
    http://ergosphere.blogspot.com/2006/11/sustainability-energy-independence-and.html


  20. I tried twice yesterday to correct for that link. Actually, I hadn’t checked out the Ergosphere for a while after the writer abandoned it and found new posts which would have made finding the sustainable energy outline more difficult.
    Let’s try again
    http://ergosphere.blogspot.com/2006/11/sustainability-energy-independence-and.html
    and it’s listed on the Links page under Energy.
    There’s some rather wild stuff in the del.icio.us files under Alternative Energy : Utilities > Opit’s Bookmarks in Del.icio.us


  21. King,

    Tex, do you have a link contradicting the Energy Information Agency? And how is the EIA “lefty”?

    I changed my mind – how about a link showing your facts wrong?
    http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2008/08/07/offshore-oil-production-estimate-illustrates-flaws-in-eia-forecasting/

    How’s that for refuting your lies?


  22. I can believe to you 🙂

    By the way, what do you think about this icons site?



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