Muscle Cars Are Awesome
"Everything's possible when we're working together, and we're off to a great start," offered President Obama during a speech announcing new fuel economy standards on Tuesday (while also thanking the many auto execs and "outstanding elected leaders and appointees" in attendance). Kicking his environmental aims into overdrive, Obama is insisting on higher CAFÉ standards of 35.5 MPG (39 for cars and 30 for trucks) by 2016 - four years earlier than previously planned. This will cut national oil demand by eight billion gallons annually, slash greenhouse gases by one-third, and make GM look even more inept for creating Hummer while shuttering Saturn. Fear always helps in selling such policies, and Obama has framed the new standards as essential for national security, then dismissed the additional $600 per car by invoking idealism, saying that the program should pay for itself in three years. Ever hopeful, the plan is based on figures from 2016 (Obama does have time-traveling powers, if you don't know), when gas will cost $3.50 per gallon, cats and dogs will be lovers, and Exxon-Mobil has our best interests at heart.
Why New CAFE Standards Now? Shhhh! Don't Mention Gitmo
Let's not call it a distraction - Yet. But it is rather queer how 'Swine Flu' (10,000 cases and counting) appeared when the Taliban were/are winning in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now, new fuel standards have been announced immediately after the White House refused to release the Pentagon's photo albums of torture at Gitmo, just as money to close Gitmo was pulled from the new Defense spending bill. In effect, Obama is assuaging Bush's most heinous acts. At least House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows when to jump on a jet to visit our brave troops - Immediately after accusing the CIA of lying about briefings on torture (which, interestingly, other Congressmen are also questioning, noting that they weren't even in DC when the CIA said the briefings were held). Let's call it interesting, okay? Or politics... Ok, total distraction.
Like A Rock?
More proof of why we don't need insurance arrived last week when the Treasury Department reported that bloodsucking, coverage-refusing scum like the Hartford, Prudential, Allstate, and hundreds of other insurance companies will receive TARP funds. No, this isn't a late April Fool's story - The companies that were supposed to safely store our money in case of emergency or death ('health' and 'life' insurance) are nearly insolvent. This is a lot like buying a house with the expectation it will at least hold its value - Oops, that notion is defunct too. How about investing in the stock market? Damn. Oh well, spend our money wisely, fellas! We totally trust you.
Why Athletes Need Drugs
Forget Lance and that French bikeride. NASCAR has all the good drugs. By implementing a random drug-testing program, NASCAR isn't going after speed or weed but, seriously? Fact-check please! Heroin? We all know that NASCAR loser Aaron Fike has admitted to shooting Mr. Brown before races, but Jeremy Mayfield has now been suspended indefinitely for testing positive for what inside sources (i.e. lousy gossips) say was heroin. On a related note, idiot LA Dodger Manny Ramirez has been suspended 50 games by MLB and will lose millions (which he can afford) for testing positive; not for those performance enhancing drugs but for a certain medication he takes to keep his bat hard in the bedroom.
Bits and Pieces of Blah
War memos in the early months of the Iraq invasion were filled with Biblical references (Crusade, anyone?); some commanders complained but were rebuked because President Bush and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "liked them." A new and confusing study showed that half of Latinos are pregnant before the age of 20 (which begs the question: If Latino men can't get biologically pregnant, are all Latino women pregnant by 20?). The GOP's Chairman, Michael Steele, announced that, "the era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over..." (to be immediately followed by the era of indictments and unelectibility). And, finally, in some bizarro universe, Oregon's unemployment rate hitting 12% would be bad news, but not here - The new statistics from April were seen as a "reassuring sign" that the economy was stabilizing (FYI: Bend's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stands at 14%).