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], 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.


Anonymous said...

For what it is worth, I do listen to Mr. Hannity though he is not my favorite radio guy. While I have various minor disagreements with him and I was upset with him during primary season, he is one of our country's great Conservatives.

Other than the fact that Mr. Hannity makes fun of the Lefty Honda Prius punk, I franky do not know what Mr. Hannity has to do with the price of gas. Mr. Hannity is not the only person in the world who spends money on gasoline. Have you ever considered the fact that Mr. Hannity's car is safer and built to last?

My family only has one car and I rely on public transportation for much of my transportation needs. I am not jelous that Mr. Hannity has a better car than me and it is not Mr. Hannity's fault that we are such a rich country that many people do not need to take public transportion.

If oil is such a drug, kindly tell our friends in Europe and Asia to use oil more sparingly as well. I do not believe that they have the ability to listen to Mr. Hannity. It would be nice to use alternate energy, but in the mean time, GOD gave us Oil in Alaska.

It is not the job of Mr. Hannity or anyone else to mandate people take public transportation, they must do so on their own if they so wish. I would further remind you that another reason that the price of gas is as high as it is, is because states like New York want to tax gas at five times the rate of profit that the oil companies make. How is Mr. Hannity to blame for this?



Peter said...

How are those who don't want to pay $4.00 a gallon for gas "Lefty punks?"

The prius gets 3x the gas mileage of a "hybrid" Escalade and costs half as much.

Sean Hannity has an audience of millions and could do a lot to encourage people to get behind energy alternatives, but instead chooses to spend all his time shilling for Bush's war, instead of concentrating on the issues that are important to folks like us.

Since when have you heard Hannity talk about rising gas prices and how it affects the price of food and public transportation?

What about ridiculous GAS TAXES?
How often does Hannity talk about that and how it affects the lives of ordinary people struggling to make it???

We should be concerned about solving our energy problem, and it is irresponsible to blame it on the Europeans, who, by the way, use much less gas than we do.

Anonymous said...

How can you expect Hannitease to talk about energy alternatives and gas prices if he is a spokesman for companies like GM, the very companies who are stand to gain everything by record oil prices?Hannity makes over $10 million a year, no wonder he doesn't give a damn about americans paying $100 buckaroos to fill up at their local gas/robbery station.

Anonymous said...

Peter, not all of us who don't want to pay $4.00 per gas Lefty Punks. I was refering to the particular clown who likes to call Mr. Hannity from time to time. If you would not, I blamed Asia as well as Europe, Europe may use less gas than us, but by enlarge (Europe aside) America is actually one of the most fuel efficient economy per GDP. Blaming non-Americans is no more irresponsible than blaming America, Mr. Hannity, Mr. Bush and so on.

Don't bother jumping up and down telling me bed-time stories about how environmental friendly other western countries are. Are we going to worship GOD or Mother earth? Are we going to continue to feed the world with corn or wheat? It is one thing to disagree with Mr. Hannity on the war, it is another thing to tell him what to talk about.


Peter said...

Ohio Joe, please read the post. Which has a bigger direct affect on you, Iraq or gas prices?

By refusing to talk about energy crisis, Hannity, who has a massive audience, is ignoring a potential way in which to do good on this issue and is suppressing a much-needed debate.

Anonymous said...

I may not have agreed with everything that you said, but I did read the post. Among other things, it appears that you are trying to convince us that there is an energy crisis. Despite the fact that the current 'crisis' is not as bad as the Carter days, you may have a point that we have somewhat of a crisis.

Whether or not one considers problem X a crisis, I have no problem admitting that our country (and world) face several challenges. First off we must solve these problems/chalenges as a country, not blame Mr. Hannity or Mr. Bush all the time despite the fact that they may have a little more power than you and I.

Furthermore, a good Doctor would not give you a medicine that is worse than the original sickness. In other words, be careful what solutions you propose to fix this crisis. You seem not to like getting oil and gas from Alaska, but I hear no other viable solutions for this 'crisis'. Frankly I fear that some solutions are causing other crisis. For example, be my guest if you want to put corn in your car, (I have even done so in the past) but our farmer are starting to grow corn at the expence of other food driving up the price of food so poor children starve because their families cannot buy food.

It is a noble goal indeed to solve a crisis and I do admire your efforts, but please also consider the possible consequences of your solutions.


foutsc said...

I don't listen to Hannity or Limbaugh for the reasons you cite. I'm sure they're good guys, but they can't tell me how to think, and the last straw was when they tried to tell me how to vote.
Nuclear and solar power, coupled with electric cars would get us much closer to energy independence.

Unfortunately, our mass media and our politicians are not interested in intelligently discussing the really important issues. Both sided just keep shoveling red meat to the true believers.

Anonymous said...

I love how Huckabee supporters, simply because practically no leading conservatives supported Huckabee, try and paint it that those conservatives were "telling us how to vote." Simply supporting another candidate is not "telling" you how to vote. Of course, if the leading conservtaives had endorsed Huckabee, I think the spin would be a little different. Don't you?

Anyway, stop the Hannity hate. Is he right on all the issues? Of course not. Who is? But he does a lot for the conservative cause -- more than most relatively annonymous bloggers. Yes, he and most other leading conservatives thought Romney would make a better President than your guy -- get over it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous:

While, I it is true Mr. Hannity is a good Conservative and it is fine for him to endorse Mr. Romney, he could have done it more professionally and he did not have to lie by saying that Mr. Huckabee pulled out of Florida.

My local radio host also backed Mr. Romney, but he shared the pros and cons about each candidate without trashing Mr. Huckabee. I thus still admire my local radio host. I still admire Mr. Hannity also, but he could have conducted himself in a more professional manner during the primary season.


foutsc said...

Anonymous said: love how Huckabee supporters, simply because practically no leading conservatives supported Huckabee, try and paint it that those conservatives were "telling us how to vote."
FYI I was never a Hucklehead, and I did not "hate" anybody. I was perfectly ready to vote for Huck, Mac or Mitt. They're all fine men. I am a conservative, but I don't get my talking points from a radio host. I also don't make sure I've checked off all the issues on someones qualification card. It's called independent thinking. Maybe you should get over it.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that colorful, yet nebulous and slanted/emotional language such as "tear up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to go hunting for oil" doesn't make for much of an argument.

In addition, providing a solitary picture of an oil-covered bird as back-up for the "history" of energy mishaps in Alaska is laughable. If you have facts and figures that support these views, let's see them.

Anonymous said...


Sorry, but your comment "By refusing to talk about energy crisis" about Hannity is not the truth. He talks about the energy crisis, and has a list of solutions that he regularly goes through when the topic comes up (e.g. nuclear, ANWAR/coastal drilling, coal, among others). These may not be the options that some people agree with or want to hear, but he puts them out there none the less.

Also, he does talk about the gas tax.

I'm not necessarily a big Hannity fan, but you shouldn't overstate your point at the expense of the truth (or facts).

S.M. Stirling said...

The US government simply can't do much about gas/oil prices.

What do you want the Prez, of any party, to do?

Park a carrier battle group off Shanghai to make the Chinese go back to bicycles and rickshaws?

Take over Nigeria as a colony so they won't screw up the oil pipelines with their tribal quarrels?

To ask these absurd questions is to answer them.

The fact of the matter is that the government can make wars as it pleases, but has very limited ability to affect the economic cycle, or the price of oil, or the weather.

Face it: Presidents get praise or blame for the swings of the business cycle and really don't deserve either, any more than they do for a drought in Kansas or wildfires in California.

Peter said...

The President has done nothing to pursue energy alternatives beyond continuing our dependance on oil.

If you had a drug problem and a doctor told you to keep on using whatever you were using but to find a more local suply, what would you think?

The same thing is happening wiht our President who says that we must ocntinue our addiction to oil but with a home-grown supply. This is pathetic. If we do this, the price of gas will not go down at all, and we will only put off the development of energy alternatives that we so desperately need.

Those who want to drill in Alaska are indifferent to the permanent environmental damage it would cause just to continue an addiction that we're eventually going to have to get off of.

If the President was committed to finding REAL alternatives, I might support drilling in Alaska, but as it stands, he, and his cronies like Sean Hannity have shown absolutely no leadership on the energy issue and do not deserve our support.