Headline on CNN Money: Oil prices: back up a week after SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve] release.

On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude edged lower to $94.27 a barrel. But that’s still nearly $5 higher than last week, when prices fell over 4% following the oil release announcement.

As the article notes, the weakening value of the dollar is causing an increase in gas prices: it takes more American dollars to buy the same amount of oil, since those dollars are worth less.  Given that the Federal government has monetised over a trillion dollars since Obama took office, it should come as no surprise that the American dollar is weak. Furthermore, the United States needs a strategic petroleum reserve, so investors and speculators believe that the government will simply re-purchase the oil that it is putting out onto the market right now – therefore negating the increased supply.

The bigger issue is the anti-energy Obama Administration polices.  Obama’s moratorium on deepwater drilling resulted in a loss of 360,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the Institute for Energy Research; once the moratorium was partially lifted, it resulted in a loss of 150,000 barrels per day. Pro-energy groups have been encouraging development of AWNR since the 1970s and 1980s.  Had we developed that area in the 1980s, it would have been producing oil for the last fifteen or twenty years. Alaskans support development of ANWR by a margin of almost four-to-one. At a minimum, ANWR contains twenty times the petroleum as was released from the SPR.

Ultimately, the blocked production far eclipses anything that could be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is why the price of oil will not go down and why we will continue to be dependent upon foreign nations for our oil  Further, the SPR is functionally borrowed oil – oil borrowed from future consumers.

When you spend more time flooding the market with currency that is not backed by value than by increasing oil production, the price of oil will go up.  No surprise to anyone except for the people who thought that the SPR would create a magical reduction in gas prices.

Update (Hat tip: Da TechGuy himself!): Drill, baby, drill!  Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, aka Sarah Palin’s successor of “pass the basketball” fame, announced that Alaska will open up state-owned land for drilling.  The state owns three miles of ocean along the Arctic Coast, near ANWR, which could allow access to the oil deposits in the field.  The procreating caribou were too busy emulating rabbits to be reached for comment.

To be serious: Alaska has long used its Tenth-Amendment given powers to produce energy.  Energy production in the lower 48 is regulated by the federal government (through FERC); the rationale is that since electricity passes through state lines, it’s an element of interstate commerce.  That rationale doesn’t apply to Alaska and Hawaii; free from onerous federal oversight, Alaska has become one of the nation’s leaders in traditional and renewable energy.

Stephen Colbert decided in his running gag about forming his own PAC to highlight both Turn Right USA and their initial Janice Hahn video. (Note I am breaking my own rule concerning this ad because it is only a brief clip within the Colbert Report.)

His own priorities not withstanding thanks to Colbert, the play count for the ad and the hit count for Turn Right USA should soar. I’m sure the Hahn campaign will love the attention. In fact let’s take a look at what happens when you search for “Janice Hahn” on Youtube as of 7 a.m. this morning EST:

Count da hits

Count the hits, that adds up to 700,000+ including the MSNBC report which played the entire ad. That’s sure to keep people unacquainted with the charges in the ad.

And it gets worse for Hahn. If you look at the top 10 results only two of them are not directly speaking to the ad and one of those is the initial news report that the ad is based on.

Now I object to the ad because I consider it (and still do) sexist and I don’t care for the language, but idea that Stephen “I’m whiter than wonder bread” Colbert is accusing two black rappers of racism against blacks is rather interesting.

At least one of the rappers in question Uncle Head, objected on twitter.



Splack Pack btw is the name of the Rap group in the video.

So the end result of all of this is:

A whole new set of people not acquainted with the ad or the charges have been introduced to it.

The primary association for Janice Hahn on YouTube is this video.

Turn Right USA has been granted instant national credibility by one of the left’s attack organs and will likely result in an influx of contributions

And of course I’m sure the both the Hahn campaign and Turn Right USA are absolutely thrilled that Colbert has done this the day after Turn Right USA released this follow-up video:

With a 75%-25% advantage D vs R in the primary, the odds of Hahn losing her special election in CA-36 are long, but she is damaged and democrats have been forced to use resources, including money and national airtime to counter that damage. What do you think will happen if Ladd Ehlinger and/or Turn right USA is turned loose on a closer campaign?

If the left is not worried, they ought to be, and if Ehlinger wasn’t stopped by death threats like this, what will they end up doing next?

Update: Colbert was granted his PAC by the government today on two votes 6-0 & 5-1. Turn Right USA couldn’t buy this kind of publicity.

…and they were right:

with apologies to Glenn Reynolds who invented the meme

Update: Added the link to the entire “if I voted for John McCain” collection

Update 2: Take a look at the video and make note of this. He didn’t say it off the air and didn’t mean to say it off the air. He meant to say it on the air and be seen saying it! That speaks volumes

Update 3: They told me if I used the “If I voted for John McCain” meme concerning this Morning Joe business I would be able to snarf an instalanche and they were right!

Update 4: They told me if I voted for John McCain reporters who dared insult the president would be suspended and they were right

“Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst,” said the network in a statement.

Ed Morrissey comments before the news of the suspension news came out

the fuss seems a little overblown. “Dick” isn’t a word that needs to be censored; for one thing, it’s a proper name used by a number of politicians, including Dick Durbin, who’s second in Democratic leadership in the Senate. It’s also a playground word for “jerk” or “penis,” but hardly an obscenity. Either way, the producer shouldn’t be blamed for missing the delay button.

Halperin should be apologizing for a lack of imagination. He’s right in that the President acted like a pouting, sullen adolescent during the press conference

Hey insulting the president on MSNBC is VERBOTEN even if almost nobody watches it.

Update 5: Just saw the Halperin suspension reported on CNN (11:54 a.m. EST), they said it was a “word beginning with D”. Can somebody tell me how many people at CNN or MSNBC were suspended for calling Tea Party members “Teabaggers”?

Update 6: Stacy McCain notices that the left has decided it’s proof of conservative media bias:

Benen expects Democrats to employ class-warfare rhetoric, and expects liberal journalists to praise Democrats who do so. And while Halperin is a liberal in good standing, his accurate assessment of Obama’s press-conference performance — which was off-putting, in that the president seemed peevish and petulant — permits the Left to renew their bizarre claim that the media has a right-wing bias.

Of course why didn’t we think of that before!

Update 7: How crazy is this punishment? So crazy that even Greg Sargent gets it

Of course what Halperin said is inappropriate. Of course it’s inevitable that MSNBC had to mete out some kind of punishment. But it could have been a three-day suspension or on-air rebuke or something. To be clear, I don’t really care about Halperin’s fate. The point is that an indefinite suspension obscures the fact that crass and dumb and “uncivil” statements aren’t the real problem here.

Most of his piece if nonsense but he is right that the punishment of Halperin is excessive.

So says the Huffpo:

The passage of historic legislation legalizing same sex marriage in the state of New York last Friday was owed in large part to a compelling political motivator: money.

Although New York’s legislators were already disposed to approving gay marriage because of the more progressive disposition of the state and a major grassroots campaign in support of the bill, LGBT activists from both parties turned to a simple, poignant argument: Lawmakers not only stood to gain the support of well-funded gay-rights supporters if they backed the bill, they would suffer if they opposed it or shied away from the spotlight.

As a catholic I remember Matthew 6:24 on not being able to serve God and Money but for those on the left who don’t like that example let me tweak an old David Frye Joke:

I’m a liberal and I believe the use of money to influence our elected officials by activists groups is wrong, but in this case I’m willing to make an exception.

If nothing else the vote in NY seems to have taught Tim Muldoon the error of his ways. Too bad he didn’t come to his new conclusion when it might have done some good.