Wednesday, April 4, 2012


April 4, 2012

A gallon of gas costs $4.11 and folks are honking angrily at the guy in the White House. It’s on his watch, so it’s his fault; he should have done something about it and still could, so why doesn’t he? Shame on the guy, he cares nothing for the American people, that mean ol’ President...
Check. That was July 2008 with Dubbya still at the helm; Fox News scrambled to get the truth out. Expert Cal Thomas told anchor Jon Scott: “The facts are as you suggested. No president has the power to increase or to lower gas prices - those are market forces.”
Cheryl Casone said: “It really is tough on this president because he really does not have any control with the market and with the economy. And with oil prices and with supply and demand on gasoline. It really is out of this president’s hands.”
Sure, we get the point: the president doesn’t control it. But for good measure let’s hear from the great Bill O’Reilly himself: “The Republican Party pretty much lets Big Oil do whatever it wants and refuses to rein in corrupt speculators who drive up the price of oil. So the next time you hear a politician say he or she will bring down oil prices, understand its complete B.S.”
Today, those slimy Fox tongues all ooze the exact opposite because – well, because we have a president they’re eager to tear down, not bolster up. That’s why President Obama suddenly becomes accountable when of course he isn’t. They’ll risk being called out on the lie, for we the people have such short memories, don’t we.
As president (in her dreams) Michele Bachmann promised us $2.50 gas (in her dreams). Can anyone beat this? Yep, our old friend the ethically-and-fidelity-challenged Newt Gingrich, Georgia’s dishonest darling whose Republican colleagues drummed him out of office for lying. Newt’s been pledging to get it down to $2. Tells that to O’Reilly, who knows full well we’re all hearing classic high octane B.S. but never questions him on it. So much for “fair and balanced”.
No blame for Bush? And none for Obama either, unless you swallow Karl Rove’s attack ads that seek to hoodwink the public with this untruth.
 “The solution is to drill here and drill now!” That was Sarah Palin on Fox last month and we the motorists are being suckered in by this silly Republican chorus. Parrot Palin is doing Big Oil’s bidding. Drill baby drill? More like shill, lady, shill.
However the Wall Street Journal, also owned by oligarch Rupert Murdoch, finds itself unable to go along with the Truthtwisters repeatedly lecturing that gasoline prices are determined by global market forces. Period.
Fact is that under Obama the U.S. sucks more crude out of the earth today than it has since 2003. Perhaps ever. In a month-by-month study dating to 197 the Associated Press notices that greater production at home has actually pushed our prices higher.

But the distortions and flip-flops continue. Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney agrees that the international market sets the price, then tells Fox viewers that we can lower it if we drill here. That was on March 16. A week later he admits: “Of course, gasoline prices are high and have stayed high over the years, and I'm not predicting they're going to go down to $2 a gallon."

We see a textbook example of political dishonesty last week from Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell who pocketed $200,000 from oil and gas lobbyists just in 2011. He characterized the move to stop giving the petrochemical companies $2 billion each year in subsidies as an attempt to “raise taxes” on them. The bill was killed: our taxes continue to feed the multinational firms that also punish us at the pump. And for every dollar they spend on lobbying they get back $30.

More industrial strength B.S from another whose palm the Oilies grease - John Boehner the House Speaker. He, too, is betting Americans don’t care for facts.

He owns stock in companies involved in the Keystone XL pipeline and therefore he keeps claiming “tens of thousands” of jobs will be created. More like 500 – 1600, Mr. Boehner.

And no way will it lower filling station prices. Boehner knows that. Once refined on the Texas coast all the oil goes out into the world to be sold to the highest bidder, and that’s not necessarily us

What do we pay? Even at $4.11 it’s less than half the cost to Europeans. In China and India where it’s cars over oxcarts and rickshaws: rising demand has them paying a third more than we do

Oh, and BP, the company that drove ol’ Dixie’s coastline down, claim they’ve paid compensation of $5 billion – one quarter of their obligation. But Boehner’s Republicans want the American taxpayer to share the financial burden... as though we’re somehow co-responsible for BP’s reckless greed. BP’s profit last year was $25.7 billion. The Big Five oilies made $137 billion: another boffo year for them.

Anyone notice how the cost of a gallon rises with the temperature, skyrocketing every summer with more motorists on the roads, more planes in the air? That’s Big Oil at work – the producing countries, companies, refineries and the very “corrupt speculators” O’Reilly railed against.

So the president doesn’t run the world market - unless he’s President Obama. Then, truth be damned, facts ignored and we can all smear him.




© 2012 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.