Saturday, July 12, 2008

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Saturday tried to pin the blame on Congress for soaring energy prices and said lawmakers need to lift long-standing restrictions on drilling for oil in pristine lands and offshore tracts believed to hold huge reserves of fuel.

“It’s time for members of Congress to address the pain that high gas prices are causing our citizens,” the president said. “Every extra dollar that American families spend because of high gas prices is one less dollar they can use to put food on the table or send a child to college. The American people deserve better.”

With gasoline prices above $4 a gallon, Bush and his Republican allies think Americans are less reluctant to allow drilling offshore and in an Alaska wildlife refuge that environmentalists have fought successfully for decades to protect. Nearly half the people surveyed by the Pew Research Center in late June said they now consider energy exploration and drilling more important than conservation, compared with a little over a third who felt that way only five months ago. The sharpest shift in attitude came among political liberals.

Democrats say they are for drilling, but argue that oil companies aren’t going after the oil where they already have leases. So why open new, protected areas? they ask. Democrats say there are 68 million acres of federal land and waters where oil and gas companies hold leases, but aren’t producing oil.
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o Transcript: President Bush’s Radio Address

“Americans are fed up every time they go to fill up and they’re right to demand action. But instead of a serious response, President Bush and his allies simply repeat the same old line more drilling,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said in the Democrats’ radio address.

“Democrats support more drilling,” he said. “In fact, what the president hasn’t told you is that the oil companies are already sitting on 68 million acres of federal lands with the potential to nearly double U.S. oil production. That is why in the coming days congressional Democrats will vote on ‘Use It or Lose It’ legislation requiring the big oil companies to develop these resources or lose their leases to someone else who will.”

“But we know that drilling by itself will not solve the problem of high gas prices,” Van Hollen said. “We cannot drill our way to energy independence.”

He cited Democrats’ calls to tap the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, because it is full and “America’s rainy day is now.” And he said the country must focus on new energy policies that focus on alternatives to oil.

Bush said that Democrats are at fault and that “Americans are increasingly frustrated with Congress’ failure to take action.

“One of the factors driving up high gas prices is that many of our oil deposits here in the United States have been put off-limits for exploration and production. Past efforts to meet the demand for oil by expanding domestic resources have been repeatedly rejected by Democrats in Congress.”

Bush repeated his call for Congress to lift the restrictions, including a ban on offshore drilling. A succession of presidents from George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton to the current president have sided against drilling in these waters as has Congress each year for 27 years, seeking to protect beaches and coastal states’ tourism economies.

Yes, the Democrats really do think we are stupid…

Fox News

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
Associated Press Writer

Bill Clinton-National Boob

Bill Clinton-National Boob

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton warned Saturday that the country is becoming increasingly polarized despite the historic nature of the Democratic primary.

Speaking at the National Governors Association’s semiannual meeting, Clinton noted that on the one hand, following the early stages of the Democratic primary, “the surviving candidates were an African-American man and a woman.”

Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, battled for the Democratic nomination into June with fellow Democrat Barack Obama, son of a white mother and black father.

But this achievement was overshadowed by a growing distance between Americans, said Clinton.

“Underneath this apparent accommodation to our diversity, we are in fact hunkering down in communities of like-mindedness, and it affects our ability to manage difference,” Clinton said.

Clinton developed his 44-minute speech from themes he said he drew from a new book, “The Big Sort,” by Bill Bishop.

He cited statistics compiled by Bishop that found that in the 1976 presidential election, only 20 percent of the nation’s counties voted for Jimmy Carter or President Ford by more than a 20 percent margin.

By contrast, 48 percent of the nation’s counties in 2004 voted for John Kerry or President Bush by more than 20 points, Clinton said.

“We were sorting ourselves out by choosing to live with people that we agree with,” Clinton said.

Clinton has often meshed big picture admonitions with new books whose ideas he admires. He drew similar conclusions in 2000 following the publication of Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone,” on the decline of civic engagement in the United States.

Among the approximately two dozen active governors in attendance Saturday were some of the 11 who backed Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Gov. Timothy Kaine of Virginia said he wasn’t worried about how President Clinton might view his support for Obama.

“We’re human beings, too, so there are feelings, but we understand this is a team sport, and we come back together as a team,” Kaine said.

After weeks of not speaking to each other, Obama last month reached out to President Clinton and asked him for help winning the White House. Clinton had portrayed Obama as too inexperienced to be president.

Clinton concluded his speech by reminding governors, who are marking the association’s centennial, that the issues they face today are similar to problems President Teddy Roosevelt grappled with a century ago.

Those include inequality among rich and poor, immigration and energy policy.

If those issues are dealt with, “We’re about to go into the most exciting period of human history,” Clinton said.

“If we don’t, in the words of President Roosevelt, dark will be the future,” he said. “I’m betting on light – I hope you are, too.”

(This version CORRECTS that some, not all, of the 11 governors who backed Obama in the primary were in attendance Saturday.)

The only people who pay attention to Bill Clinton are the folks at the AP..

AP

The second one is the best..

While some one like me should be reveling in the nomination fiasco the Donks find themselves in, there is a facet to the debacle that hasn’t been truly explored. No matter how many folks scream this election isn’t about race, they cant escape the fact that it is ALL about race. It is my opinion that Hillary’s wanton and willing destruction of the traditional Black American voter’s party, will have far reaching consequences, far beyond 2008.

You see, with the nomination and possible election of America’s first Black President, Black Americans will be well on their way to overcoming. It has the potential to put to rest lingering mistrust and dislike in these United States. By elevating Barack to the White House, the Nation will be saying, “enough is enough” and will demonstrating that it’s time to move on.

But Hillary, whose husband was once deemed “America’s First Black President”, is not budging. She feels the Oval Office is hers and will stop at nothing to get it. Even at the expense of setting race relations back several decades. How is the black American voter, who, on the verge of final equality, going to feel as he watches Hillary pull some stunt in Denver that robs Barack of the nod? It is high time for the Clintons to  be consigned to the ash heap of history, to quote a former President. Let Hill/Bill live the lives of exiles in Paris or Moscow which will give us time to prepare for Chelsea ’20.

Hank Shale is a retired miner and political observer from Montana.