Monday, April 14, 2008
Bush and Hannity Keep America Stuck In Reverse
Left, Toyota Prius gets 52 mpg. Right, Sean Hannity-endorsed "hybrid" gets pitiful 18 mpg.
Many of you, I am sure, listen to one of the many talk radio personalities such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. As President Bush fights his "decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century," which has done nothing but embolden our enemies and increase their numbers, "conservative talkers" on the radio are more than willing to help keep the base in line.
By "keeping the base in line," I am talking about the topics discussed on talk radio. Talkers such as Hannity and Limbaugh, though they both claim to be "conservative" have done a great disfavor to the American public by concentrating the attention of their audience on President Bush's war, to the exclusion of one major item of importance.
Sean Hannity, who recently declared that Iran should be bombed if their President continues his persistent holocaust-denying, has the second-most popular radio show in the country, is a member of an organization called The Heritage Foundation, and is proudly featured on their website.
The Heritage Foundation recently put out a marvelous little booklet called "Federal Spending By The Numbers 2008," which I highly encourage you to read.
During the reign of George W. Bush, as Sean Hannity whips his audience to a frazzle over non-pressing things like Barack Obama's flag pin, the Federal budget has increased by 57% from 1.9 trillion to 3.1 trillion.
Entitlements have balooned by 1/3, helped greatly by the President's expansion of medicare, which doubles the size of it, will go into the trillions by the next decade. More than $175 billion has been spent on useless "pork barrel" projects in the last 8 years, with Senate Republicans Richard Shelby, Thad Cochran, and Ted Steve weighing in as the prize hogs last year pilfering almost $2 billion in pet projects combined, Shelby alone guzzled up more than $900 million.
In the last eight years, the budget for the Federal Department of Education has spiked 58% percent, a far cry from the former Republican position that it should be abolished.
The most egregious departmental increase found in the report was the numbers for the Department of Energy, whose budget has soared 27477% since the Republicans took the White House. As gas prices rise to $4.00, one would have expected at least some progress to be made in finding alternatives to gasoline considering the aforementioned increase in energy spending. However, America still has not developed a viable home-grown energy alternative to speak of, as of yet. beyond Bush's pet project of hydrogen.
Naturally, hydrogen, the foremost energy alternative pursued by the Bush administration, is one which would cost twice as much as gasoline, would be impossible to transmit along a pipeline, and which has a tendency to combust.
One would imagine that a family man like Sean Hannity would be concerned about paying $80-100 dollars to fill up at the pump and would, as the rest of us, like to find a way to change that. Since most of us don't have talk shows that reach millions of people, Sean has a great way to get people moving behind the subject of finding energy alternatives to negate to rising cost of gas.
Imagine my surprise then, that Sean Hannity's bold new plan to get us off gasoline is to build more refineries and tear up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to go hunting for oil! In an interview with John McCain, Hannity, after poo-poing the history of energy mishaps in Alaska, declared that Sen. McCain should not worry about our continuing addiction to oil, because, as Hannity stated, "the GM guys [Hannity is a spokesman], ...got even a hybrid Escalade coming out."
The GM "hybrid Escalade" improves on the mileage from a regular Escalade by 6 mpg to a help it get a still-pitiful...18 mpg, a fact not mentioned on GM's glossy website or on Hannity's show. On the other hand, the first-generation Toyota Prius hybrid, a foreign-made car, gets over 50 mpg, with the next version slated to get a mind-boggling 94 mpg.
Of course Sean Hannity and his ilk can not be expected to mention this, and go to great pains to make fun of those who promote non-GM hybrids like the Prius, such as actor Rob Lowe, who testified before Congress to lobby for tax-credits for those who make the switch to plug-in hybrid cars, which can be charged in your garage from a normal power outlet.
Sean Hannity's energy plan to get America off its oil addiction consists of building more refineries, tearing up a national park, and driving gaz-guzzling "hybrid" Cadillacs supplied by his sponsor, and labeling everyone who drives energy-efficient vehicles as "So-Cal liberals." Getting off our addiction to oil will require more than just continuing the habit with a smaller supply closer to home, which will inevitably run out. When our oil wells run dry, we, by our inability to develop an alternative, will be faced with a real energy "crisis."
Drug-users do not get off the habit by finding a dealer closer to home, but that is precisely what Sean Hannity is trying to fool his listeners into believing when it comes to energy. He tells them that our oil addiction will be solved if only we drill at home instead of buying abroad, while giving lip-service to actual energy alternatives that we will deperately need when oil runs out. President Bush follows this pattern as well, pursuing hydrogen, the most expensive, and least-developed energy solution, while ignoring electricity, which is already being used with great effect.
Americans are wising up to this con-game of exorbitant gas prices played by politicians and talk-show hosts who assure us that nothing is amiss while ignoring the very solutions that could save us from our impending energy disaster.