Obama: “Drill there, drill now!”

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**Posted by Phineas

This continuing self-inflicted wound on the American economy via the administration’s refusal to tap our own resources has to be deliberate, a matter of ideological choice. How else does one explain Obama’s demand that others pump more oil, but not us?

Amid a surge in the cost of gasoline, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is calling on major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia to increase their oil supplies and lower prices, warning starkly that lack of relief would harm the global economy.

“We are in a lot of conversations with the major oil producers like Saudi Arabia to let them know that it’s not going to be good for them if our economy is hobbled because of high oil prices,” Obama said in an interview with a Detroit television station.

His remarks signaled a broad new appeal in the face of skyrocketing gasoline prices in the United States and they came on the same day that he reiterated a call for Congress to repeal oil industry tax breaks.

This comes on the heels of Shell’s decision to abandon drilling in Alaska because of the EPA’s refusal to grant needed permits:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

If the EPA and the Obama administration are so concerned about polluting our own shores, what kind of rank hypocrisy is it to demand more oil from places where environmental standards are far lower? And how mean a con to pull on the American people, to say with one breath that we have to do something about higher gasoline prices out of one side of the mouth and then block any attempts to develop America’s own resources?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a president or administration more hostile toward its own nation’s interests, nor more sanctimonious in the surety of its own superior wisdom.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Final proof at last: Obama *is* Carter II

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**Posted by Phineas

Leading from behind??”

The reliably liberal New Yorker magazine isn’t usually in the habit of presenting gifts to the Republican Party, but it has just published three little words that may prove central to the GOP effort to defeat President Obama next year. Those words are “leading from behind,” and they appear at the end of a Ryan Lizza article on Obama’s foreign policy.

Lizza didn’t coin the phrase. “Leading from behind” is a direct quote from of “one of [Obama’s] advisers,” who is describing his boss’ policy on Libya. That same adviser goes on to say that the effort to lead from behind is “so at odds with the John Wayne expectation for what America is in the world. But it’s necessary for shepherding us through this phase.”

And there you have it: the 2012 campaign against Obama’s foreign policy in a nutshell. By the time Election Day rolls around, if the GOP knows what’s good for it, the phrase “leading from behind” will be the “yes, we can” of 2012.

The reason the phrase is so devastating is that “leading from behind” wasn’t intended as criticism but rather as a sympathetic, even proud, defense of the administration’s approach and goals.

Lizza describes it thus: “It’s a different definition of leadership than America is known for, and it comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the US is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the US is reviled in many parts of the world.

Wow. EU-style “soft power” in all its spineless glory. It’s the perfect implementation of a worldview that sees American power as the problem and seeks its deliberate weakening. Only you don’t let on that that’s your plan; rather, you couch it in terms of “inevitable decline” versus the latest threat(1) and the need to make ourselves more liked in the international community (all bow).

Oh, heck, This isn’t just Carter. It’s Carter’s “malaise” speech wrapped up in Dukakis’s tank ride with a bow made from Kerry’s “global test.”

The article is right: if Republicans don’t use this like a club to whack Obama at every opportunity in the coming campaign, they don’t deserve to win.

LINKS: A British view — Obama looks “weak and confused.”

TANGENTS:

(1)Now it’s China. Remember the 1980s when Japan was going to eat our lunch?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Breaking: Obama releases long form birth certificate

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Multiple news outlets, including CNN and the Associated Press, are reporting that President Obama has released a copy of his long form birth certificate, and will make a statement on the “birther issue” at around 9:45 Eastern Time this morning. The USA Today has a brief story on the release:

President Obama released copies of his birth certificate today, hoping to silence questions about his Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Obama himself plans to make a statement about the so-called “birther issue” at 9:45 a.m.

The release is a response to Donald Trump and other critics who have questioned whether Obama was born in the United States, and is therefore eligible for the presidency.

The White House also released letters from this month in which Obama requested copies of his birth certificate.

“The president believed it was becoming a major distraction from the issues we are having in this country,” said communications director Dan Pfeiffer, calling it a “fake controversy” and “a sideshow.”

Obama faxed a letter to the Hawaii Department of Health on April 22, requesting two copies “of my original certificate of live birth.”

The health department replied that it would make an exception for Obama and make two certified copies from their bound volume of birth records; normally the department would generate computer copies.

I haven’t seen what was released today – don’t care to as I’ve never believed that he wasn’t born in the US. As I’ve said before, the issue fascinated me only from the standpoint of an armchair investigator who loves to dig for overlooked details and missed clues/facts. Like my co-blogger, I believe the President has used the issue in order to try and denigrate conservatives as out of step with the mainstream and I’m genuinely surprised that he is trying to “end” the controversy surrounding his birth certificate well before Campaign 2012 kicks into high gear. It’s interesting, though, that he’s only releasing it after Donald Trump made such a fuss about it. Average citizens doing so apparently didn’t matter to our celebrity Prez. This was about political one-upmanship, and nothing more.

In any event, I hope this resolves the issue, though I doubt it will.

Update – 10:22 AM: Here’s the computerized version of the BC and the long form version.

Phineas butts in, 11:48 AM: ST beat me to it (the curse of being a PST blogger), but, for anyone interested, here’s my take.