Washington is aflame with gas-price idiocy
By Jonah Goldberg
I've been studiously avoiding news of late, with merely a cursory overview daily. Truth be told, the media and Congress are so thoroughly on my nerves with their hutzpah (i.e. good economy, "but".... gas prices the fault of oil companies... the wait for the Iraqi civil war they just can't seem to start... the era of "corruption" only being Republicans.... etal)
Fact is, I just can seem to dignify the BS and scandal laden crap that's being passed off as news today with even a simple post.
But, ya know... I can never resist Jonah. If anyone could make a "whale of a case" for the idiocy of the gas price wars in DC, it's him. Sure nuff, he doesn't disappoint.
I’d planned on ignoring the inferno of idiocy raging in the nation's capital over gas prices, but it's looking like an eternal flame.
First came the Democrats. For more than a decade their leading lights have extolled higher gas taxes, and hence higher gas prices, to pay for everything from school roofs to the development of alternative energy sources that would usher in the economic Shangri-La of "energy independence"—whatever that is. "Look how enlightened Europe is! Gas prices there are two or three times ours," they'd holler. In 1993, when the Democrats controlled Congress and the White House, and the economy was believed to be in much worse shape, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and the rest of the Democratic leadership pushed gas taxes as the solution to our woes. Now even Sen. Chuck Schumer—who voted for gas-tax hikes in 1982, 1990, and 1993—believes that "high gas prices are going to be the final nail in the GOP's coffin this year." So the Democrats want to repeal federal gas taxes in order to bring the price down at the pump. They say the repeal would only be temporary. No kidding!
Instead of forming a bucket brigade to put out this bonfire of buffoonery—as is their historical obligation and divine writ—Republican leaders threw their own rhetorical gasoline. The GOP leadership called for the 12th investigation since 1979 into allegations of "price fixing" and "collusion" by American oil companies. These investigations—occurring on average once every three years—have all concluded much the same thing: Market forces determine the price, not some cabal of tuxedo-wearing fat cats.
At a time when a) the second-largest oil producer in the world—Iran—is engulfed in nuclear messianic nationalism; b) Iraq is, shall we say, a somewhat unstable oil producer; c) we have few oil refineries, and many of them are undergoing maintenance that was postponed because of Hurricane Katrina; and d) China's economy grew at an oil-sucking 10 percent in the first quarter while our own grew at an astounding 4.8 percent, the brain trust in Washington is stunned—stunned!—that gas prices are going up. It must be a conspiracy!
No doubt we can soon expect a major investigation into the disturbing reports that bears are using our woodlands as a toilet.
All of this brings to mind T.S. Eliot's observation that no causes are ever truly lost because no causes are ever truly won. Although poverty is the natural human condition whose only proven remedy is the market, whenever enough voters get mad at the market, politicians can be counted on to play up popular paranoia about powerful "unseen forces" exploiting ordinary folk.
snip... continue reading at link above
Jonah, as usual, nails it and pulls no punches.
And while we're on the subject of energy woes and Congressional hypocrisy, one can't resist regurgitation the MA windmill debacle still churning under the radar of the media types. One would think that the abject refusal by Ted Kennedy (and a few other unlikely allies across the aisle) to support windmill power off his Nantucket Sound compound clearly highlights the problem we citizens see in the nation's Capitol.
This "for the common people" Congressional rhetoric contrasts sharply with the obvious NIMBY attitude demonstrated by the elitists drawing their pay and pensions off the backs of the middle class. (gawd... felt good to use that phrase against those who play off it every chance they get!) Should not a story that goes hand in hand with the whys and woes of oil prices not be played up more?
Then, of course, the McKinney story is another that will never go away. As the world observers the disintegration of yet another Kennedy denizon in a drunken/drugged car accident, Rainbow Push's southern director, Joe Beasley, bemoans the double standard between being a Kennedy and a southern black Congresswoman with a forgettable mug.
Beasley said he admires Patrick Kennedy. But he said Capitol Police appear to have responded in one way to Kennedy's accident; and in a different way when McKinney first walked past a security checkpoint on March 29 -- an incident in which the police charge McKinney struck an officer who challenged her.
Beasley said the Capitol Police turned a routine check into an "international incident" in the way they challenged McKinney at the checkpoint -- even before she responded.
According to Beasley, the Capitol Police often give members of Congress some slack; and he said it appears they were protective of Kennedy.
"Cynthia McKinney is a Congressperson, too," said Beasley. "Let's protect all of them. That's what we think -- one standard. If they could do that courtesy to Kennedy, certainly, they could look again at what's going on with Cynthia."
I don't know about you, but Beasley lost me at "... admires Kennedy". Why? Obviously the man has been drunk and/or drugged at his public servant job for quite some time. Any commoner at any other job would have been booted out.
But if you're a Kennedy, evidently performance on behalf of constituents ranks second to having a New England Kennedy occupying a chair in the dome for what... prestige? Makes one wonder what goes thru the head of New Englanders on voting day.
As far as the double standard, I'd say there was a difference between not intentionally aiming at a Capitol guard with a car, and a ego-wounded Congresswoman deliberately taking a swing at a guy just trying to do his job.... sober.