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Dude, where’s my bounce?

Dude, where’s my bounce?

Ed Lasky
Gallup reports  that Barack Obama’s 7 point bounce after presumably clinching the nomination has all but vanished into a statistical tie with McCain at 44-42. Fifteen percent of those polled do not back either, with 8 percent stating they will not vote for either.

Richard Baehr adds that Rasmussen also shows the Obama lead softening, from 6 points Sunday to 4 today. Gallup and Rasmussen both use rolling averages. [corrected.]


The Big O

The Big O

By Christopher Chantrill

Like Peggy Lee in “Is That All There Is,” conservatives keep wondering if they are missing something about the Democratic presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).  Meanwhile, we hum to ourselves, in a rich contralto,

If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
It seems tailor-made to be a McCain campaign song, especially if, as everyone thinks, Republicans are going to get hammered anyway this November. Of course, these days, my friends, “binge drinking” is frowned upon by educated, evolved people and only practiced by bitter people after a Saturday afternoon trip to the gun club.


The song makes sense.  There’s nothing in Obama’s “Blueprint for Change” except the usual liberal laundry list of new programs and subsidies for Democratic interest groups.  But then you’d expect that in a document prepared for the Democratic Party primary season.


Now that Obama’s the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party it is time to check his agenda for a heartbeat, and figure out if there is anything there beyond the Big O.


You’d think his big speech of Tuesday, June 3, 2008 would give us a clue, and it did.  On Iraq, he’s beginning to walk back towards the center:


We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in — but start leaving we must. It’s time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future.


It’s an artful statement that could mean anything, but is certainly meant to reassure independent voters, hinting that an Obama administration would continue the Bush policy of standing-up the Iraqi government.


Then, on health care, Obama in his speech wants to:


…pass a health care plan that guarantees insurance to every American who wants it and brings down premiums for every family who needs it.


To understand what that means you need help, and the June 6, 2008 edition of The Wall Street Journal has an analysis of the candidate’s position (available online) that mandates that large companies provide health insurance for their employees.  Obama would “increase regulations and spend tax dollars” to guarantee health insurance to every American.


On education, the Journal says that Obama would add more money to support No Child Left Behind but relax its punitive aspects.  Says Obama:


[W]e owe it to our children to invest in early childhood education; to recruit an army of new teachers and give them better pay and more support… a college education should not be a privilege for the wealthy few, but the birthright of every American.


In other words, on education it’s liberal business-as-usual. There will be more money for the liberal education blob and more subsidies for liberal colleges.


It’s on energy that Obama most closely honors his promise of “unity,” but that’s only because Republican John McCain buys into the liberal “consensus” on global warming.  Obama “supports subsidies for solar and wind energy,” and doesn’t want nuclear power before “storage and safety issues are resolved,” according to The Wall Street Journal. 


Many conservatives are anxious to paint Barack Obama as a radical left-winger, and maybe he is.  But plenty of liberals have flirted with the left, in a youthful experiment with a bit of radical rough trade.  They return in their years of political viability to the liberal mainstream, and they propose a new top-down expert-led program here, or ratchet up a subsidy for Democratic voters there, just like every other liberal.  Radical or mainstream, the difference is merely one of degree.


Sooner or later, after you’ve brought more and more of American life under the knout of compulsion and after you have provided every Democratic voter with a four-course dinner of government services you’ll get to the day where the American people cry Uncle, break out the booze, and decide they can’t take it any more.


Until then, here’s an audacious hope.  When you listen to Obama’s rhetoric you may think: I’d have to be born yesterday to believe this!  No taxpayer could buy into the notion that this is


…the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal,


or that college is a “privilege for the wealthy few,” not when government in the United States spend north of $900 billion a year each on health care and education.


Maybe there’s a clue here.  Maybe Obama is the candidate for people born yesterday and the people that don’t pay taxes.  For the rest of us, the meaning of Obama seems to be symbolized in his ubiquitous “O” logo.  He seems to add up not to “change,” not to “unity,” but to a Big Zero. 
Christopher Chantrill ( is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his and usgovernmentspending.comHis Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring gasoline prices

Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring

gasoline prices

By William Tate

This started out as an attempt to create a light and humorous, Letterman-esque Top 10 list. But the items on the list, and the drain Americans are seeing in their pocketbooks because of Democrats’ actions (sometimes inaction) are just too tragic for that.

10) ANWR  If Bill Clinton had signed into law the Republican Congress’s 1995 bill to allow drilling of ANWR instead of vetoing it, ANWR could be producing a million barrels of (non-Opec) oil a day–5% of the nation’s consumption. Although speaking in another context, even Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, no proponent of ANWR drilling, admits that “one million barrels per day,” would cause the price of gasoline to fall “50 cents a gallon almost immediately,” according to a recent George Will column.


9) Coastal Drilling (i.e., not in my backyard) Democrats have consistently fought efforts to drill off the U.S. coast, as evidenced by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s preotestation against a failed 2005 bill: “Not only does this legislation dismantle the bi-partisan ban on offshore drilling, but it provides a financial incentive for states to do so.” 
A financial incentive? With the Chinese now slant drilling for oil just 50 miles off the Florida coast,  wouldn’t that have been a good thing?


8) Insistence on alternative fuels  One of the first acts of the new Democrat-controlled congress in 2007 was an energy bill that “calls for a huge increase in the use of ethanol as a motor fuel and requires new appliance efficiency standards.”  By focusing on alternative fuels such as ethanol, and not more drilling, Democrats have added to the cost of food, worsening starvation problems around the word and increasing inflationary pressures in the U.S., including prices at the pump. 


7) Nuclear power   Even the French, who sometimes seem to lack the backbone to stand up for anything other than soft cheese, faced down their environmentalists over the need for nuclear power. France now generates 79% of its electricity from nuclear plants, mitigating the need for imported oil. The French have so much cheap energy that France has become the world’s largest exporter of electric power. They have plans in place to build more reactors, including an experimental fusion reactor.


The last nuclear reactor built in the United States, according to the US Dept of Energy, was the “River Bend” plant in Louisiana. Its construction began in March of 1977


 Need I say more?


6) Coal   “The liquid hydrocarbon fuel available from American coal reserves exceeds the crude oil reserves of the entire world,” writes Dr. Arthur Robinson in an article on The U.S. has approximately one-fourth of the world’s known, proven coal reserves. Coal would be a proven, and increasingly clean, source of electric power and–at current prices–a liquified fuel that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Yet Dems and their enviro friends have fought, and continue to fight, both coal-mining and coal plants. 


5) Refinery capacity  “High oil prices are still being propped up by a shortage of refinery capacity and there is little sign of the bottleneck easing until 2010,” according to Peak Oil News.  And, while voters in South Dakota have approved zoning for what could become the first new oil refinery in the United States in 30 years,  the Dems’ environmentalist constituency vows to oppose it, just like environmentalists opposed the floodgates that could have saved New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. 


4) Reduced competition  With consolidation in the oil industry, has come reduced competition. Remember, most of the major oil company mergers — Shell-Texaco, BP-Amoco, Exxon-Mobil, BP-ARCO, and Chevron-Texaco — happened on Clinton’s watch.  The number of oil refiners dropped from 28 to 19 companies during Clinton’s two terms.


3) The Global Warming Myth  At a Group of 8 meeting this week, host and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari “described the issues of climate change and energy as two sides of the same coin and proposed united solutions … to address both issues simultaneously”.   As a result of Global Warming hysteria, the Al Gore-negotiated Kyoto Protocol created a worldwide market in carbon-emissions trading. Both 2005  –the year that trading  was initiated–and this year  –when the trading expanded dramatically — saw substantial and unexpected price spikes in the cost of oil, leading us to reason Number…


2) Speculation  “Given the unchanged equilibrium in global oil supply and demand over recent months amid the explosive rise in oil futures prices … it is more likely that as much as 60% of the today oil price is pure speculation,” writes F. William Engdahl, an Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.  According to a June 2006 US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report, US energy futures historically “were traded exclusively on regulated exchanges within the United States… The trading of energy commodities by large firms on OTC electronic exchanges was exempted from (federal) oversight by a provision inserted at the behest of Enron and other large energy traders into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.” The bill was signed into law by Bill Clinton, in one of his last acts in office. 


1) Defeat of President Bush’s 2001 energy package   According to the BBC, “Key points of Bush(‘s 2001) plan were to:


-Promote new oil and gas drilling


-Build new nuclear plants


-Improve electricity grid and build new pipelines -$10bn in tax breaks to promote energy efficiency and alternative fuels


A New York Times article, dated May 18, 2001, explained:


“President Bush began an intensive effort today to sell his plan for developing new sources of energy to Congress and the American people, arguing that the country had a future of ‘energy abundance if it could break free of the traditional antagonism between energy producers and environmental advocates.
Mr. Bush’s plea for a new dialogue came as his administration published the report of an energy task force containing scores of specific proposals… for finding new sources of power and encouraging a range of new energy technologies.” 

[The Bush plan] “mentions about a dozen areas including land-use restrictions in the Rockies, lease stipulations on offshore areas attractive to oil companies, the vetting of locations for nuclear plants, environmental reviews to upgrade power plants and refineries that could be streamlined or eliminated to help industry find more oil and gas and produce more electricity and gasoline.”


The article went on to quote some rather prescient words from the President, “this great country could face a darker future, a future that is, unfortunately, being previewed in rising prices at the gas pump and rolling blackouts in the great state of California” if his plan was not adopted in 2001.


The Times account continued:


“Mr. Bush talked not only of blackouts but of blackmail, raising the specter of a future in which the United States is increasingly vulnerable to foreign oil suppliers…Mr. Bush was praised by many groups for laying out a long-term energy policy. His report contained 105 initiatives…”


Just as President Bush’s predictions have been born out, the article quoted from that most sage of Democrats, former President Jimmy Carter:


“World supplies are adequate and reasonably stable, price fluctuations are cyclical, reserves are plentiful,” he (Carter) argued. Mr. Carter said “exaggerated claims seem designed to promote some long-frustrated ambitions of the oil industry at the expense of environmental quality.”


But, as a later Times article notes, “the president’s ambitious policy quickly became a casualty of energy politics and, notably, harsh criticism from Democrats enraged by the way the White House had created the plan.”


In other words, Democrats refused the President’s plea to “break free of the traditional antagonism between energy producers and environmental advocates.”


Remember that the next time you pull up to the pump … or the voter’s booth.


William Tate is a former award-winning journalist and the author of the new ovel, A Time Like This  (