The Half-Truth…More Politically Expedient Than A Lie

At a presser yesterday, the President once again put St. Alinsky to the test, and decided to not let a crisis go to waste.

Speaking about the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, he crafted together falsehoods, half-truths, and the images of oil slicks and darkened beaches and sea life to make a cynical statement in support of alternative energy.

“The fact that oil companies now have to go a mile underwater and then drill another three miles below that, in order to hit oil, tells us something about the direction of the oil industry,” he said. “Extraction is more expensive and it is going to be inherently more risky.”

This conveniently ignores the matter of what entity and its increasingly onerous and nonsensical regulations make deepwater drilling necessary. 

“And so that’s part of the reason you never heard me say drill, baby, drill. Because we can’t drill our way out of the problem,” he said.

Because the years of practical experience he has in making energy policy and in oil exploration has made this abundantly clear to him.

The president said that “the easily accessible oil has already been sucked up out of the ground” – which means that “moving forward, the technology gets more complicated, the oil sources are more remote, and that means that there’s probably going to end up being more risk.”

Except that it hasn’t. 

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimates the Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) contains between 66.6 and 115.1 billion barrels (10.59×10^9 and 18.30×10^9 m3) of undiscovered technically recoverable crude oil, with a mean estimate of 85.9 billion barrels (13.66×10^9 m3). The Gulf of Mexico OCS ranks first with a mean estimate of 44.9 billion barrels (7.14×10^9 m3), followed by Alaska OCS with 38.8 billion barrels (6.17×10^9 m3). At $80/bbl crude prices, the MMS estimates that 70 billion barrels (11×10^9 m3) are economically recoverable. As of 2008, a total of about 574 million acres (2,320,000 km2) of the OCS are off-limits to leasing and development. The moratoria and presidential withdrawal cover about 85 percent of OCS area offshore the lower 48 states. The MMS estimates that the resources in OCS areas currently off limits to leasing and development total 17.8 billion barrels (2.83×10^9 m3)(mean estimate).[6]

And that’s just offshore.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates undiscovered technically recoverable crude oil onshore in United States to be 48.5 billion barrels (7.71×10^9 m3) [7] [9] The last comprehensive National Assessment was completed in 1995. Since 2000 the USGS has been re-assessing basins of the U.S. that are considered to be priorities for oil and gas resources. Since 2000, the USGS has re-assessed 22 priority basins, and has plans to re-assess 10 more basins. These 32 basins represent about 97% of the discovered and undiscovered oil and gas resources of the United States. The three areas considered to hold the most amount of oil are the coastal plain (1002) area of ANWR, the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska, and the Bakken Formation.

Putting aside the concern for Alaskan wildlife (Remember how the pipeline was going to mean the end of the caribou?  Except that it didn’t.)  the Bakken Reserve is worth exploring.  Huge.  Onshore. Reserves.  In the continental U.S.

In April 2008, the USGS released a report giving a new resource assessment of the Bakken Formation underlying portions of Montana and North Dakota. The USGS believes that with new horizontal drilling technology there is somewhere between 3.0 and 4.5 billion barrels (480×10^6 and 720×10^6 m3) of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in this 200,000 square miles (520,000 km2) formation that was initially discovered in 1951. If accurate, this reassessment would make it the largest “continuous” oil accumulation (The USGS uses “continuous” to describe accumulations requiring extensive artificial fracturing to allow the oil to flow to the borehole) ever discovered in the U.S.[9]

Never one to be deterred by inconvenient facts, the President pressed on to shill for a bill that will generate billions in B.S. tax dollars in the trading of carbon credits that will not lead to energy independence, nor will it affect climate change in any significant fashion, but it will make those who have invested in the carbon trading scam rich beyond the dreams of avarice as it weakens this country, thrashes our economy, and lowers our standard of living.

The president pointed to the Gulf disaster to make the case for the climate and energy bill being considered in Congress.

“More than anything else, this economic and environmental tragedy — and it’s a tragedy — underscores the urgent need for this nation to develop clean, renewable sources of energy,” said the president. “Doing so will not only reduce threats to our environment, we’ll create a new, homegrown American industry that can lead to countless new businesses and new jobs.”

Open and transparent.  From DAY ONE.  Except when he isn’t.

Video: NRSC Web Ad On Obama Oil Spill Response Packs A Powerful Punch

This NRSC web ad kicks Obama right in the nuts, using his own words about George W. Bush against him. To add insult to injury, the ad highlights the fact that it’s left-wingers who have turned on Obama most because of his lackadaisical approach to the BP oil spill:

We dyin’ down hee-ah!

Hat tip to Ruby Slippers who links to a downtrodden Peggy Noonan piece, and sums it all up nicely:

I am not ruling out the media rallying to his defense when the reality of a GOP takeover becomes a little too much for them to contemplate.  The lesson for Noonan and the rest of the media should be obvious, however.  You can’t cheerlead a political lightweight to competence.  Never Again, indeed


The Story Behind the Viral “Don’t Touch Me” Video

In case you haven’t seen it, yet:

After watching that, I had to know the back-story. As someone who also cringes when touched by strangers, I was in total sympathy with that reporter. So I googled up “Marc Slavin Laguna Honda” and found the back-story at Asylum:

The Backstory
Dan Noyes was doing an investigative report on San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital. According to his reporting, the hospital administrators had been using the patient gift fund for extravagances like gourmet meals, barbecues and airline tickets for themselves and staff.

Dan went to Honda Laguna Hospital to confront the administration about the report. Noyes tells Asylum that “in 25 years as an investigative reporter, this is pretty much the strangest reaction I’ve ever had from a public official.”

He notes the viral popularity of the clip, and says that commenters on his blog counted the number of times Slavin touched him, versus the number of times Noyes warned him to stop. “I think the final count was 41 for the pats, and 18 for the times where I said ‘Don’t touch me,’ so it was very odd.”

So, was Slavin ever in danger of having the Noyes brung on him? “Well, as a reporter, and as a professional, you have to act a certain way. Of course, as a guy, I wanted to push him, but I wasn’t going to do that because it really wasn’t personal, it was business to me. It was definitely frustrating, because I told him not to touch me, he kept on doing it, and that’s just wrong.”

Read the rest at Asylum. It’s good stuff, including the links to Noyes’ previous work pwning Gavin Newsom’s former sock puppeteer press secretary.

Hat tip: Hot Air Headlines


What? No longer on YouTube? No Prob, Hot Air has the Liveleak video.

And thanks for the link, Allahpundit.


Okay, I found another YouTube video. We’ll see how long it stays up.


Sestak’s Statement Today Does Not Square With His Original Story

Sestak’s statement today was orchestrated to jibe with the White House’s statement:

Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value  of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I’d say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families.

PA working families 1 Obama administration 0.

(What about families that are out of work due to “challenges facing PA”? Doesn’t he fight for them, too?)

Neither here, nor there. How does any of that square with what he originally said on  Larry Kane’s radio show February 18:

(Kane): During the taping of my Comcast Network Voice of Reason show, which airs Sunday night at 9:30, I asked Congressman Joe Sestak: “Is it true that you were offered a high ranking job in the administration in a bid to get you to drop out of the primary against Arlen Specter?”

Sestak looked a little surprised by the question. He said, “Yes.”

I asked him if the job was Navy Secretary. He said, “I can’t comment on that.” In the next few seconds, he admitted that it was a “high up’ job, that it came from the White House, and that he didn’t accept the offering. He proceeded to say that nothing will stop him from completing the race against Specter for the Democratic nomination.

Was I surprised?  A little. After all, I was just probing.

Two hours later, I called the White House press office. I played the tape, and asked for a reaction. They never called back. That didn’t surprise me. If it did happen, and if they did try to get Sestak out of the race, how could they deny it?

Who would call an unpaid position on an advisory board a ” high ranking” “high up” job?

And this may be splitting hairs, but  he reportedly told Kane the offer came from the White House…not from an intermediary speaking on behalf of the White House.

Anyone buying this whitewash? Besides the MSM, that is?


Dick Morris says the whitewash won’t be enough to keep the WH out of legal trouble:

But these evasions will not blunt the force of the law. If Clinton acted at Emanuel’s request, he was Rahm’s agent and the Chief of Staff is still on the hook. And, an unpaid position is still “something of value” within the meaning of the bribery statute which prohibits the offering of something of value in return for a vote.

And, remember why they wanted Sestak out of the race. The White House needed Specter’s vote to kill filibusters and could only get it if he would switch parties, a move he conditioned on getting Sestak to drop out and assure him a clear field for the nomination of his new party. So the bribe offer to Sestak was made by an agent of a government employee, it involved something of value, and it was to procure a vote in the Senate — all the elements needed for a felony to have taken place.


Expect A Friday News Dump From White House On Sestak (with updates)

Breaking – Jobgate II: Sestak Not The Only Dem Candidate Bribed By Obama White House?…

The Latest On The Sestak “Jobgate” Scandal: Who’s Going Under The Bus?

An Impeachable Offense (With Updates)

Joe Sestak, the Inartful Dodger

Video: So Who’s Wrong Part 2 – The Sunday Morning After

Video: Joe Sestak Answered Honestly


Expect A Friday News Dump From White House On Sestak (with updates)

Byron York spoke to Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, who had this to say about Obama’s curt answer to Major Garrett’s Sestak question, yesterday:

The way Issa sees it, the White House has to thread the needle when it finally responds to Sestak’s charges. A retired Navy admiral, Sestak is now the Democratic candidate for Senate from Pennsylvania, and the White House wants all the Democratic senators it can get. So they can’t come out and call Sestak a liar or a hack. On the other hand, they can’t admit that what Sestak is saying is true, because that would be, in the words of top White House adviser David Axelrod, a “serious breach of the law.”

So what can the White House do? “They can say we’re sorry, that the job offer was not intended to be a quid pro quo,” Issa says. “They can say that we offered a job to a person who was in the process of running for a Senate seat but who we felt he was better suited to be secretary of the Navy, and we never intended for it to be a quid pro quo but rather to fill our Cabinet with good people. That’s the only thread-the-needle that I see.”

“Everybody is going to ask [Emanuel], Did you talk to the president about this?” Issa says. “What happened when [Sestak] turned you down? Did you believe he would get out of the race for this job? Did you talk to Arlen Specter about this? All those questions are inevitable.”

All seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wed. to ask for a special prosecutor to be appointed.

I fully expect the White House and Justice Dept. to continue to stonewall unless a media firestorm erupts over the matter. And we can be sure that certain media outlets, like Time Magazine, for example, won’t be joining a firestorm anytime soon:

Newsbusters picked up on this droll moment from Morning Joe, yesterday:

There was a classic moment on Morning Joe today when Mika Brzezinski asked Time editor Rick Stengel whether the magazine’s current issue contains anything about the allegations that the Obama admin offered Joe Sestak a top federal job in return for getting out of the Senate primary against Arlen Specter.  Hat tip NB reader sarainitaly.

A flat-footed Stengel seemed totally stumped.  He stammered and stumbled until Mika gently explained she was talking about “the Sestak controversy.  Joe Sestak.”  Finally the penny appeared to drop: “oh, Sestak. No. No.  There is not. There is not.”

Here’s how Time online covered the story: A Sestak Offer? Criminally Stupid, Not Criminal

If it’s true that the White House offered Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak a job to try to clear the Democratic Senate primary for incumbent Arlen Specter, that’s disturbing.

But not because anyone is “participating in the cover-up of a possible crime.” This doesn’t sound like a “potentially devastating accusation of political corruption,” much less an “impeachable offense,” no matter what nonsense Michael Steele or Sean Hannity are peddling. Republicans may be calling for a special prosecutor, and even Democratic Senator Dick Durbin wants to know what happened. But it’s called politics, and it’s not uncommon. News flash: Sometimes the politics of political appointments and political races can get political.

No mention in the entire article about the federal laws that may have been broken….no mention that even David Axelrod acknowledged that if White House officials offered a job to Joe Sestak to keep him  from challenging incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, that would “constitute a serious breach of the law.”

The article could have been written by one of the hacks at Media Matters. Pathetic. No wonder no one reads Time Magazine, anymore.


NRO: You Know What this Sestak Thing Could Use?

Oh, I know! How about a fine dusting of William Jefferson Clinton:

Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he’d be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Read the rest at NRO. This is apparently what the WH will release later, today.


Michelle Malkin: Why did the White House contact Joe Sestak’s brother?

Is Bob “The Silencer” Bauer hard at work fixing the Sestak scandal for Boss Obama?


Roll Call reports that somebody at the White House dialed up Joe Sestak’s brother and campaign manager, Richard, yesterday in preparation for the “official statement” that the president promised would be released soon

See also:

Just One Minute: Sestak – The Cover-Up Is Coming Together

Hot Air: The Silence of the Sestak: The Big Me involved?; Update: WH memo released

Update II: What kind of unpaid position would be attractive enough to get Sestak out of the Senate primary?  That’s a darned good question, and I’ll bet the Obama White House is scrambling to make up find an answer.  If Sestak challenges this spin, though, I’d be very surprised.  I think he’s looking for an exit from this scandal at least as hard as Obama and his staff.

Update III: Marc Ambinder has the White House memo.  Shouldn’t this have been released at 5 pm or so?  And the memo itself seems to be evidence of potential wrongdoing, rather than an exoneration:

Read it at Hot Air.

I’m not buying the “unpaid advisory” line at all. Bullcrap. Quit a Senate race  for some unpaid bs position with the WH? I don’t think so. This is how they avoid looking like they crossed a legal line. But no doubt they’ve got all their ducks in a row — all their stories are going to match up very neatly.

Time for them to start working on the Romanoff case, now..


Byron York is so on this story: GOP: White House Sestak story not believable

In a statement, Rep. Darrell Issa, who has been pursuing the Sestak issue in his role as ranking Republican on the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, said the Bauer memo just doesn’t match up with Sestak’s public statements.  “After more than ten weeks of outstanding questions, the White House has offered a version of events that has important differences from what Congressman Sestak has been saying for months – that he was offered a ‘job’ by ’someone in the White House’ in exchange for leaving the Pennsylvania Senate race,” Issa said.

“I’m very concerned that in the rush to put together this report, the White House has done everything but explain its own actions and has instead worked to craft a story behind closed doors and coordinate with those involved,” Issa continued.

Pretty much a nicer way of saying what I just said, above: “bullcrap”.

In addition, the brief White House statement — it doesn’t quite fill a page and a half — leaves many questions unanswered.  “This doesn’t give a full accounting of what Rahm Emanuel’s role in this was, what [deputy White House chief of staff] Jim Messina’s role was, or whether any of the techniques used in the Romanoff matter were used here,” says the investigator.  (That is a reference to reports that the White House offered another candidate, Colorado’s Andrew Romanoff, a job if he would not challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet.)  Also, the investigator notes, the offering of uncompensated advisory positions would still violate laws prohibiting exchanging jobs for political acts.

Cool, Issa’s on the Romanoff case, now too. Good to hear.

Michelle Malkin has Issa’s full statement on the WH memo.


Michelle now has Sestak’s statement up, as well.

He writes that  Clinton “said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no”.

Who would call an unpaid spot on a “Presidential Board”, a job?

Doesn’t add up.

Ace has some thoughts on that Sec. of Navy job that some are saying couldn’t have been the job bribe –   This is why AoSHQ is considered a “smart military blog” (scroll down):

But It Could Have Been the SecNavy Job

The claim about it being impossible to be the Secretary of Navy job relies on timing — the job wasn’t open at the moment, therefore it couldn’t have been offered.

But that assumes a direct, explicit immediate quid pro quo — don’t jump into the race and we appoint you Secretary of the Navy.

That’s not how this would have been done — everyone knows that that is illegal on its face.

Keep reading at Ace’s.


Breaking – Jobgate II: Sestak Not The Only Dem Candidate Bribed By Obama White House?…

The Latest On The Sestak “Jobgate” Scandal: Who’s Going Under The Bus?

An Impeachable Offense (With Updates)

Joe Sestak, the Inartful Dodger

Video: So Who’s Wrong Part 2 – The Sunday Morning After

Video: Joe Sestak Answered Honestly