News Roundup for 12/30/08

Ridiculously giant SUV
Because gas will be cheap forever!

-Headline of the day-
"Truck and SUV Sales Up?"

I know what you're thinking and, yes, American consumers can be that stupid. CNN cites "low gas prices and fat incentives" as a reason for a recent increase in sales. Consumers, apparently, have the memory capacity of a goldfish, since the drop in sales was caused by the high price of gas.

What dropped the price of gas? Supply and demand -- people stopped buying stupid-huge trucks and SUVs and, as a result, stopped buying so much gas. So now that gas is cheap, everyone thinks they can afford these behemoths again, which will increase the demand for gas, which in turn will increase the price of gas, which will get people to stop buying trucks and SUVs. Then we'll do it all again because we're dumber than cold gravel and we think we need all-wheel drive to get to the Shopko down the street.

In a year, people will be driving their Hummers to rallies to protest gas prices and demand offshore drilling again.

I'd say this was some sort of merry-go-round, but merry-go-rounds are fun. (Donklephant, via reddit)

-Laziest. President. Ever.-
With Gaza going all to hell, you might wonder where George W. Bush is. If you guessed, "On vacation," you'd be right. With just three weeks left to his term, George has checked out to Crawford, because that brush isn't going to clear itself.

This vacation breaks the record for presidential vacations, previously set by some guy named George W. Bush. That record was set way back in March, when George spent his 879th day at his country mansion that he's somehow convinced everyone to refer to as a "ranch."

People who track this sort of thing tell us that President Absent (or would "Vacant" be a better choice?) has spent one third of his entire presidency either at a vacation spot or making his way to one.

You know what's weird about all this? Super-efficient George has still found plenty of time to really, really suck. Imagine how much worse off we'd be if he were a workaholic. We'd be fighting WWIII dressed in the skins of our vanquished enemies or something -- that is, if we actually managed to vanquish anyone.

Tell you what, Mr. President. Why don't you go and take all the time you want? In fact, take three weeks. I think we'd all be better off. (ABC News)

-The year in wingnuts-
How to be a right wing blogger; 1) get a blog, 2) lose your mind, 3) you're in business!

I usually hate year-end roundup lists, but Roy Edroso's The Top 10 Rightblogger Stories of 2008 reminds us of why the left seems to rule the internet -- because the only conservatives on the web seem to be insane Ann Coulter/Michelle Malkin types.

We're reminded that Fred Thompson was supposed to be a shoe-in, that hyper-kinetic Food Network star Rachel Ray loves her some terr'ist donuts, and that Michelle Obama wants to kill whitey. The idea that the recession is Obama's fault should be in here, but that'll easily last into next year and "top eleven" would be a screwy number.

My favorite rightie blog story that Edroso missed? Rich Lowry's creepily stalker-like Sarah Palin post at National Review.

Keep it in your pants, Rich. (Village Voice)

1 comment:

  1. Of the money we have seen thrown around thus far let me ask you this, that 168 billion that our country borrowed to give away to us in the form of an "economic stimulus package" ...did it do a darn thing to create jobs or stimulate our economy? NO, nothing. And we borrowed the money from China.

    This past year the high cost of gas nearly destroyed our economy and society. More people lost jobs and homes as a direct result of that than any other factor in our history.

    Fannie and Freddie continue to get all the blame. Of all the homes I have seen lost in my area SW FL and believe me I have seen many, none were due to an adjustable mortgage. They were due to lack of work.

    Families went broke at the pump alone. Then added to that most saw record rate hikes at their utility companies. The high cost of fuel resulted in higher production and shipping costs that were passed on to the consumer, in most cases higher prices for smaller packaging.

    Consumers tightened their belts, cut back, went out to eat less or stopped totally. Drove around on tires that needed replacing longer, some even quit buying medicines they really need.Unfortunately cutting back and spending less results in even more layoffs. A real economical catch-22.

    And, as we are doing the happy dance around the lower prices at the pumps OPEC is planning to cut production to raise prices. They are even getting Russia in on the cutbacks. Oil is finite. We have used up the easy to get to reserves already. It will run out one day.

    We have so much available to us. Solar and Wind are free sources of energy. Of course to get the harnessing process set up is somewhat costly it is still free energy.

    It would cost the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon to charge and drive an electric car. The electricity to charge the car could be generated by solar or wind at least in part and in most cases totally.

    If all gasoline cars, trucks, and suv’s instead had plug-in electric drive trains, the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota. What a powerful resources we have neglected.

    Jeff Wilson has a profound new book out called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. http://www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com Powerful, powerful book! Also, if you think electric cars are way out there in some futuristic lala land please check out the web site for a company Better Place. http://www.betterplace.com/ they are setting up infrastructures in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland as well as the state of Hawaii to accommodate electric car use.

    I think we need to rethink all these bailouts and stimulus packages. We need to use some of these billions to bail America out of it's dependence on foreign oil. Create clean cheap energy, create millions of badly needed new green collar jobs and get out from under the grip foreign oil has on us. What a win -win situation that would be for America at large