Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 1, 2006
By: Christina Larson

METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING .... After a conference call with Bush's energy secretary, Knight Ridder's Kevin G. Hall reports:

One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.

UPDATE: Cross your fingers that Knight Ridder's Washington bureau survives its own corporate storm. This isn't the first bluff their reporters have called. (See also: WMDs) Christina Larson 11:44 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

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Comments

I suppose that the considered legal opinion of John Yoo, that whatever the President says is ipso facto the truth, has not yet reached wherever you live.

Posted by: lib on February 2, 2006 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if that means George wants to run things that long so he can see the objective met.

Posted by: opit on February 2, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

I knew it was too good to last. Wouldn't be surprised if this retraction was planned all along. Nobody reads retractions, donchaknow.

To the Update: Knight-Ridder is the last good newspaper chain left. Be a shame if anything wingnutty were to happen to them...

Posted by: HRlaughed on February 2, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

If by "cutting by 75%" you mean "triple" then . . .

Even that looks rosy. The administration's world petroleum production projections (from the EIA) seem especially deluded even in comparison to their deluded projections of a few years ago. They now have former Soviet Union, Mexico, South America, West Africa, North Africa, Eastern Europe, etc. continuing to ramp of production through 2025. Peak oil will occur around 3015.

Posted by: B on February 2, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

When he said "I'm a uniter, not a divider" what he really meant was "I'm a lying bastard and a sock puppet for corporate interests."

Posted by: craigie on February 2, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Metaphorically speaking...

The King's Booty, a wingnut tale by t-t-t trolls r us.

Once upon a time, the king shat,
the peasants pretended it didn't stink,
a royal deputy cleaned up the pooh,
and they all lived happily ever after.
Clap harder!

Posted by: t-t-t-trolls r us on February 2, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Reuters story the day after the SOTU:

Bush energy plan won't cut need for Mideast oil

Excerpt:

The big three U.S. automakers are each working on a hydrogen fuel cell prototype, but so far prices remain too high for commercial sale.

"But at a price range of $700,000 to $1 million, a lot of work needs to be done to get them to a price-point that's feasible," said Eron Shosteck, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Posted by: JS on February 2, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, so it's 'technically false' then.

Posted by: matt on February 2, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

There once was a President named Bush
Who claimed that he was no longer a lush
and yet it seems
his wide awake dreams
Made less sense than noise coming out of his tush

Posted by: murmeister on February 2, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Not being a math major, Bush may not even know what 75% means.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on February 2, 2006 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Off-topic but I sure hope Sheehan is going to sue the ass off the police for false arrest and imprisonment.

Posted by: murmeister on February 2, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Is our children learning math?

Posted by: Repack Rider on February 2, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Justice Alito!

Note that when you are wrong, liberalism covers up.

By the way, Canada is conservative and France is not threatening middle-east countries with nuclear retaliation.

You know whiney liberalisn is wrong when your 'model societies' hate your policies...

Posted by: McA on February 2, 2006 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

B.

World Peak Oil might come later than the experts think, but Peak Oil in the middle east might have already occured.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 2, 2006 at 6:44 AM | PERMALINK

Let's review: In 1973 the middle east brought the american economy to it's knees and has dominated it's politic and policy openly since. After 35 years or more of hot air, steaming rhetoric and trillions of lost BTU's... 7 toothless administrations, 35+ useless congressional sessions, we find ourselves yet again at the mercy of and make no mistake, spilling American blood for: middle east oil. LESSON...We will ween off middle east and other crude oil and develop alternative economy when and where the petroleum, petrochemical and auto industries say so, and not a minute sooner. Now, let's go spread some more "liberty".

Posted by: Ben Merc on February 2, 2006 at 7:30 AM | PERMALINK

coddling our enemies. go georgie, go.

Posted by: cleek on February 2, 2006 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

What occurs to me is that this is acknowledgement that we're now so deeply in hock to the Chinese that we're going to lose out in the competition for oil from all those risky places like Africa and Central Asia that the Chinese have no qualms whatever about exploiting.

Cross them and watch your currency tank.

Posted by: CFShep on February 2, 2006 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

So ... has anybody heard James Earl Carter screaming "I was fucking right!" from the mountain tops?

If so, lemme know - I'd pay good money to be able to record that in person.

How long's it gonna be before real conservatives start whispering to each other that Jimmy was right, how the fuck can that be, and how do we spin the fact that we've spent the last 30 years fucking our own grandchildren in the ass.

Nemesis is getting closer ...

Posted by: kenga on February 2, 2006 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

Addicted to oil ??? Who does Dubya think he is, Al Gore ??

I thought Cheney said the problem was that we didn't have enough refineries..

Posted by: Stephen on February 2, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Knight-Ridder doesn't have a chance. Producing good journalism means diddly squat to the penthouse pirates running things. They don't even talk to reporters.

While editors across the country try to figure out how to make do with less, the real bosses party hearty. Follow the link:

http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060129/NEWS01/601290438/1075&template=printart

Posted by: raybear7 on February 2, 2006 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

...the Chinese have no qualms whatever about exploiting.

Cross them and watch your currency tank.

Posted by: CFShep on February 2, 2006 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, we rule and you suck. You can sell us your slutty blond women as slaves for some forex if you want though.

The fact that liberalism realises this, if why they deserve to run the American government.
Real patriotic Americans would accept the inevitable.

That sounds so electable!

Posted by: McA on February 2, 2006 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Look, GW read exactly what they told him to read. Now they are taking it back and making him look like a fool.

Posted by: cq on February 2, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

KengaYou are correct, JC did have it right, just had a poor staff and did not know how to get re-elected. There also was no guarantee he would have been effective, although Carter was the staunchest opponent the oil industries had come up against. He was also as close as we ever got top a post war Populist, JC was a man for the people, therefore he had to go and he did, but as an ex-prez he has done many tasks for the folks around him and the world in general, a decent and good man.

Clinton was a push-over and the balance do not need any mention, it was business as usual with their oil over lords.

Posted by: Ben Merc on February 2, 2006 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

First, it doesn't much matter where we buy our oil, it all goes into a single market from which all countries must purchase their oil. Yes, this is a simpification, but it is largely true.
Second, beware of the gap between what Bush says and what he does. In Colorado, we are fighting major decreases in funding for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. These are being pushed by the administration. Cosequently, I was surprised to hear the President promote renewable energy only days after reading about the efforts of Udahl and other Democrats to stop the administrations cuts in this research.
Furthermore, I have had some contact with DOE officials on development of renewable resources and so far all they have created are some really dynamite powerpoint presentations.
And finally, its clear this proposal came from the political staff since the energy secretary has essentially disavowed the whole idea.

Posted by: NeilS on February 2, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

*By the way, Canada is conservative and France is not threatening middle-east countries with nuclear retaliation.*

France is threatening middle-east countries by reprinting silly cartoons featuring Mohammad.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on February 2, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

And the WaPo is similarly using cartoons to threaten the Pentagon now. Powerful stuff, eh?

*I thought Cheney said the problem was that we didn't have enough refineries.*

Yup. So if you give any weight to W's SOTU claims, you've been had - as Bodman now admits.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on February 2, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you aren't SERIOUSLY surprised that this idiot didn't mean something he said "literally" are you? My God, he doesn't even KNOW what he says...just practices the speech, delivers, and then takes the show on the road! Then they send out the gang to continue the mantra on our compliant media outlets...WELCOME TO THE NEW 1984 AMERICA via ANIMAL FARM!!!

Posted by: Dancer on February 2, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Bumper Stickers anyone?

Bush's SOTU = He didn't mean it.

Posted by: ckelly on February 2, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Uh oh, looks like McA is off his meds again.

Posted by: ckelly on February 2, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

You go to the State of the Union Address with the President you have, not the President you want.

Someone in the press corp should ask McClellan to go through the SOTU point by point and let us know which other items were "just examples".

Posted by: Sean Galbraith on February 2, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Hey man, Bush just reads the shit off the prompter he does not know what it means or it is true.

Posted by: j swift on February 2, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Concept - "replace the equivalent of 75% of current imports" is not the same thing as "reduce by 75%". The underlying difference is that, currently, our imports from the middle east are expected to grow significantly. If we import 100 units now, and are expected to import 200 in 2025, but ultimately only import 125 and use new sources for 75, we have "replaced 75% of current imports", yet imports increase.

As to the update, this is just an attempted "hit" piece by a reporter who is shocked and offended that the owners of a publicly-traded company have the gall to expect them to behave like a business, and not like a non-profit.

Anyone here from Boston who had their credit card info sent out in the local paper this week?

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=1567553

Posted by: rvman on February 2, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Yesterday's statement is inoperative." - Ron Ziegler

These incompetent jackoffs are singing a very familiar song.

Posted by: n.o.l.t.f. on February 2, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Look, I loathe Bush as much as the next lefty, but he didn't say he would "reduce oil imports from the Middle East by 75%." He said he would "replace" them. There's a difference. Granted, that leaves plenty of room for interpretation, but one of those interpretations would be pro-environmental, alternative energy options so beloved by us liberals.

The larger point, of course, is what's already been said here. Thirty years ago, our elected leaders thundered about an energy crisis that left us dependent on evil foreigners. How far have we come?

Posted by: wally on February 2, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Before tbrosz says it:

Come on. Maybe you liberals thought the President said something about reducing something, but that is your own fault.

We Libertarians, who actually took the time to study Math, know that because 75% is actually a fraction, literally 3/4, when you say you will CUT something by 75% what it really means is that you will GROW it by 4/3.

Besides, the one true religion, FreeMarket Libertarianism, will tell you that the more you are willing to pay for something the more of it will become available.

It's not my fault you stupid LIBERAL Arts and Sciences majors are too stupid to understand grade school math.

Now, watch me design this rocket!

Zoooom.

Posted by: Tripp on February 2, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

It's taken me a day to remember this but ethanol is a highly subsidized alternative fuel largely produced by agri-giant Archer-Midland-Daniels. When Bush talked about increasing alcohol production I think he meant granting even more subsidizes to one of his corporate buddies.

Posted by: beb on February 2, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Damn, rvman beat me to it!

I knew someone would explain how you can't take the 'plain-spoken' Bush at his word.

You need to take the third derivative of what he is saying and then compare that to the second derivative to find the ultimate, subtle truth.

For example, only stupid non-techies think that the statement

4 > 3

Is false.

Now watch me drive my RV at 3 MPG.

Vrooom.

Posted by: Tripp on February 2, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

lol...

Tripp, too funny, and yet sadly, true

Posted by: christAlmighty on February 2, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Knight-Ridder papers have been about the only MSM still behaving like a responsible press. I've been watching the changes there with trepidation.

Posted by: PW on February 2, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

The "trust me" mis-administration continues to demonstrate they cannot be trusted. We all know GWB is limited in his ability to perform any task requiring the use of his very limited intelligence so why are we surprised when staff members must correct his statements the day following the most important speech a president makes? Americans have grown weary of the "Ah shucks" hayseed approach to setting American policy. He is as lame a duck as ever existed in the WH. His failures have only made challenging his proposals a duty by both parties. GWB will not enjoy the remaining three years of his dictatorship.

Posted by: AZBob on February 2, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

'Tis said that we get 10% of our oil from the Middle East. Seems to me it's a non-event from the get-go. We need at the very minimum of 75% reduction in oil use across the board.

Posted by: PW on February 2, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

"expect to be run like a business"

Right, when some jerk takes money from others and "bets it on the farm", then reporters and staffing should do the honorable thing and have a mass "falling upon their swords" ceremony when the stock falls.

This, Sherman jerk, is like a tout forming a syndicate at the race track and betting the group's wad on the Pick 6. When long shots ruin their play, he screams that the racing secretary should be fired, perhaps a few horses and jockeys be destroyed so there will be shorter fields and more chalk, because after all, he is the "guru" of all race touts and he has a "fiduciary duty" to his clients.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 2, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

So that bit from yesterday about the National Review quote that "Whether you love or loath George W. Bush, you can not deny that he has learned how to read a teleprompter" isn't really operative anymore, is it?

Posted by: Stefan on February 2, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

It all depends on what your definition of "cutting imports from there by 75 percent by 2025" is. And remember, this is all just fuzzy math....

Posted by: Stefan on February 2, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Ben Merc: "Carter was the staunchest opponent the oil industries had come up against."

Oh but don't forget the Carter Doctrine, issued by President Carter in his State of the Union speech in January 1980, in which he declared that, An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

Posted by: Botecelli on February 2, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

When Bush talked about increasing alcohol production I think he meant granting even more subsidizes to one of his corporate buddies.

That, too, should not be taken literally. When Bush talked about increasing alcohol production he was really talking about increasing his own alcohol consumption ....

Posted by: Stefan on February 2, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

BUT, but, Bush read what he didn't really mean really good off the teleprompter!

Posted by: National Review on February 2, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

In a side note this morning, the White House announced that the thermostats, which had been lowered to 64 degrees on Tuesday, have been reset to 75.

In addiion, the contract to George Morlan Plumbing for solar panels has been cancelled in an effort to cut costs.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 2, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

cq- They may be "taking it back"... but they aren't "making" him look like anything. He really is one. Really.

Posted by: sigotter on February 2, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

It's no surprise they immediately back-pedal on this - the American people are too busy/lazy/stupid to hold them accountable.

Bush's SOTU speech the other night was pure fantasy:

> "We are winning in Iraq" - Yeah right. An ex-general's recent report said that we cannot maintain current troop strength and that Iraq is on the brink of a civil war.
> "We have to keep the economy growing" - Growing? For whom? CEOs? The last five years (i.e. Bush's presidency) has had the worst job creation since 1939. Average household income has fallen every year. More people are living in poverty and less people have health insurance than when Bush stole the election in 2000. The professions with the most gains in employment have been waitresses and bartenders. Some growth...
> "Your $880 billion in tax cuts has put more money into the hands of the American people..." No, actually their cuts (the Republican Congress) has saddled our children and grandchildren with crushing debt that will be a drag on U.S. economic growth for decades to come. Just so that a tiny minority of wealthy Americans get big tax refunds. Thanks for all the bad checks, George...

This brain-damaged incompetent fool and his corrupt, criminal Administration are the filthiest bunch of liars in American history.

Talk is cheap, isn't it???

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 2, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Before the SOTU: "Presidential adviser Dan Bartlett made a similar point in a briefing before the speech. 'I think one of the biggest concerns the American people have is oil coming from the Middle East. It is a very volatile region,' he said."

During the SOTU: "[Bush] pledged to 'move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.' "

After the SOTU: "...his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally. ...'This was purely an example,' Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said. ... Asked why the president used the words 'the Middle East' when he didn't really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that 'every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands.' The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he feared that his remarks might get him in trouble."

So Big Daddy Dubya was using words that we kiddies could understand but he didn't really mean 'em. Is that what happened? LOL!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 2, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

When Bush talked about increasing alcohol production he was really talking about increasing his own alcohol consumption ....

That reminds me; I've kind of scoffed at the idea that Smirky is drinking again, because his behavior resembles nothing so much as a very frustrated dry drunk's, but now I dunno. He is just so damn desperate looking all the time these days.

The other night, in between winking and grinning, his face would literally sag into a look of real despair and confusion. This happened over and over. The dude has zero coping skills and less than zero introspective ability. Not a good setup for staying sober.

Posted by: shortstop on February 2, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Palin: It was a pun.

John Cleese: A pun??

Michael Palin: No, not a pun. What's that thing that's spelled the same forwards and backwards?

John Cleese: A palindrome?

Michael Palin: Yeah.

John Cleese: It's not a palindrome. A palindrome of 'The Middle East' would be 'Tsae elddim eht.' It don't work.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 2, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

I never expected the Spanish Inquisition!

Posted by: Fred Flintrock on February 2, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Also interesting is the number of times I heard reference in news reports about the SOTU address that Bush's plan was to cut "Oil imports by 75% by 2025". Not Middle East oil imports. Just oil imports.

The press is worthless.

Posted by: snark on February 2, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop: That reminds me; I've kind of scoffed at the idea that Smirky is drinking again, because his behavior resembles nothing so much as a very frustrated dry drunk's, but now I dunno. He is just so damn desperate looking all the time these days.

Oh, of course he's hitting the sauce again. No doubt about it. The constant falling and passing out, the frequent cuts and scrapes and minor injuries to his face, the fidgeting, the blankness, the inability to get from A to B in a simple sentence, the irritability and sudden anger, the mood swings -- the signs are all there. Bush has never been very good at facing up to the world realistically, and now that his entire presidency is turning to ashes and dust in front of his eyes is it any wonder that he'd seek solace in the arms of his amber-colored mistress? (no, not Condi. I mean bourbon).

In ten or twenty years times we're going to get some very interesting memoirs about what went on behind the scenes in this White House....

Posted by: Stefan on February 2, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

For me, the beauty of this retraction is that it's going to compel the extreme rightwing, out of talking point discipline, to defend the idea that Middle East oil dependency is a good and necessary thing. For the Democrats speaking from the populist angle, it could be like shooting fish in a barrel. Harry Reid should speak out strongly in support of what Dumbya said Tuesday night. It's the only bold and valid thing the Chimperor said all night! Of course it was carefully vetted and approved for public consumption. The retraction on Day 2 didn't receive the same attention, so unless the Dems call them on it, it would be a net political gain for the bad guys.

--
HRlaughed
rktect.blogspot.com

Posted by: HRlaughed on February 2, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan: In ten or twenty years times we're going to get some very interesting memoirs about what went on behind the scenes in this White House...

Besides the bed-hoggin' spouse and dog, one of the things that keeps me awake these days is the thought that we may never get those tell-all books. In 20 years, keeping mum and staying loyal may still be the road to riches for the involved characters. The idea that we could go through this abject misery without ever getting the full story on it is way too depressing.

As for the falling down, scrapes, etc., I'm not doubting you, but some medical type here recently posted that sudden loss of consciousness is a symptom of some bizarre disease. Sounded convincing at the time. Can't remember what it was.

Ah, well, we're all free to speculate. Hey...who are all these black-suited men streaming into my office...!?!

Posted by: shortstop on February 2, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

As for the falling down, scrapes, etc., I'm not doubting you, but some medical type here recently posted that sudden loss of consciousness is a symptom of some bizarre disease. Sounded convincing at the time. Can't remember what it was.

Maybe his corset is cinched too tight. That always seems to be the explanation in 19th century literature, anyway.

Lovely, isn't is, to have a president who swoons dead away when confronted with stress....

Posted by: Stefan on February 2, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Ha! The vaporous president!

Posted by: shortstop on February 2, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Keeping it in the family" is certainly an alcoholic trait. It is also the trait for regular old paranoia and scientology though, so I'm not totally sure we can blame good old ETOH.

Posted by: Tripp on February 2, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Knight-Ridder is far and away the best news group left in the country since both the two "national papers," the NYT and WaPo, have imploded.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 2, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

"The people who cast votes decide nothing.
The people who count votes decide everything."
-- perhaps quoting Stalin

The person who gives the SOTU speech says nothing.
The person who corrects the SOTU speech says everything.

Who in the admin. actually can say the President misspoke or "didn't mean what he said"? Wouldn't that have to be Bush's boss?

Posted by: MarkH on February 2, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Botecelli...

Just remember that the cold war was still going on and Russia was starting to get very active in the region...that is what the Carter Doctrine was mostly about. Carter did not get alot off the ground when it came to alternative energies, in it's infancy here in the states...but he did get laws passed for energy conservation and was a supporter of mass transit while pushing strongly for alternative energy research. Don't forget Carter also was a nuclear physicist...something our current president can not even pronounce correctly. At any rate we will never know what Carter would of done or not done in a second term, but we do know he was working on the problem and had in fact made some headway.

Posted by: Ben Merc on February 3, 2006 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

all star

actor,actress,singer,super star

Posted by: star on February 3, 2006 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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