The Press Officially Abdicates Its Role
Or what about the recent run-up in gas prices? In his State of the Union speech, Obama claimed that "We buy ... less foreign oil than we have in 20." It took a British publication, the Financial Times, to point to the disingenuousness of that claim, and to note that the situation has serious potential for bad economic and geopolitical consequences:
By the end of November the US had already imported more than 450m (million) barrels of crude from Saudi Arabia, more than it imported from Riyadh in the whole of 2009, 2010 or 2011, according to figures from the US energy department. For the first time since 2003, Saudi imports accounted for more than 15 per cent of total US oil imports. The Gulf as a whole accounted for more than 25 per cent, a nine-year high. Other Gulf exporters are also seeing unusually strong US demand. By the end of November, Kuwait had shipped more oil to the US than in any year since 1998.
Last time I checked, these countries were not automatically inclined to be our friends, especially given how the "Arab Spring" is devolving into a tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and potentially elsewhere. Meanwhile, oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is still 15 percent below where it was when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred, thanks almost entirely to the Obama administration's deliberately slow permit approval process. If U.S. production were higher, the barrel price of oil and gas prices at the pump, both very inelastic goods, would be significantly lower.
Getting back to legalities and ethics, what about the offensive shenanigans at OFA? The outfit has turned into a presidential access toll booth for leftist high-rollers. According to the Obama-worshiping New York Times:
Giving or raising $500,000 or more (to OFA) puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House. Moreover, the new cash demands on Mr. Obama’s top donors and bundlers come as many of them are angling for appointments to administration jobs or ambassadorships.
OFA has also engaged in astroturfing, up to and including "astro-tweeting" with bogus Twitter accounts. It's become such an execrable cesspool that even the liberal outfit Common Cause has called for its abolition.
That takes me to the Washington press corp's presidential advisory role, one which will apparently endure for Obama's entire second term. Right now, it appears to be telling Obama that he's overreaching in his insistence that sequestration without even more in the way of tax increases will be the end of the world as we know it. The Washington Post warns that "some White House allies worry the slow-moving sequester may fail to live up to the hype." The front-page New York Times item about OFA mentioned above is also best seen as a warning, as in: "Look, guys, there's only so much you can get away with. Cool your jets at least for the time being, okay?"
With rare exceptions, it would appear until further notice that we'll have to rely on the center-right blogosphere and its social media, its pundits, and its few friends in the establishment press to expose anything the Obama administration would rather the world not see or know, and then figure out how to get it out there for low-information voters to see.
Let's get to work, people.