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Well, the hoax did fit CNN’s Narrative of the 1%

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:27 pm - February 29, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,Occupy Wall Street

Some stories just seem to fit too perfectly into a media narrative.  Many of our Facebook friends recently posted a picture of a restaurant receipt where a banker supposedly left a 1% tip to waitress (on a $133 tab), telling her “To Get a Real Job.”   That 1% tip seemed was mighty convenient, given the #Occupy rhetoric of the 1%.

And, c’mon, what restaurant patron tells his server to get a real job?  Why would he want to spite someone who might be serving him.  Only credulous “leftists would believe,” as Jim Hoft put it, “that ‘rich’ bankers are this obnoxious and horrible.” Indeed.

As the Smoking Gun reports:

The restaurant receipt that a California banker purportedly used to denigrate a waitress–while also leaving her a one percent tip–was wildly “altered and exaggerated,” according to a spokesperson for the Newport Beach restaurant where the businessman supposedly dined earlier this month.

. . . .

The amount on the actual receipt is $33.54, Reagan said, not $133.54 as seen on the altered receipt. And while the tip on the online receipt claims that the server was left $1.33 (or one percent of the bill), the actual tip was $7 on the $33.54 tab.

Over at the Hot Air Green Room, blogger Howard Portnoy reminds us that it wasn’t just the Huffington Post that fell for the hoax.  One of his readers provided . . .

. . . this video of CNN’s holier-than-thou coverage of the story. It is definitely worth watching, if for no other reason than to revel in host Soledad O’Brien’s self-righteous indignation over a story that turned out to be bogus.

Well, it did fit that network’s narrative.

Post-partisan President Excludes House Republican Leader

Today, reports the Washington Examiner’s Joel Gehrke

Obama held his first meeting with Republican leadership since the debt-ceiling fight last year — but Cantor was not invited. “The group was limited to only the top congressional leaders: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,” Politico reported today. “That left out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.”

Emphasis added.  First meeting with Republican congressional leaders in nearly six months?  And here, we hear about how regularly Republicans refuse to work with the president.  How can you work with a guy who won’t sit down and listen to your concerns?

ADDENDUM:  Bear in mind, this is the guy who didn’t bother to call Paul Ryan when that thoughtful Republican put forward some reform proposals.  As Michael Barone reports:

At one point [The New Yorker’s Ryan] Lizza does quote Obama writing on a memo, “Have we looked at any of the other GOP recommendations (e.g., Paul Ryan’s) to see if they make any sense?” Another president might have looked at Ryan’s proposals himself, or might even have called him on the phone.

So, when your Democratic friends rush to accuse the Republicans of refusing to work with Obama, ask them, why the Democrat has met so infrequently with Republican leadership.

UPDATE:  In December, Andrew Malcolm reported that “Obama, who cares so much about working constructively with opponents that he didn’t chat with the Senate GOP leader for nearly two years because he didn’t need to and that would take leadership.

Consumer prices up; household income down

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:27 pm - February 29, 2012.
Filed under: Economy

Like many of my friends and neighbors in Los Angeles, I have noticed that my grocery bill has increased in the pat year.  And yet, the official reading on inflation shows only a modest increase in prices.  Today at the Washington Examiner, Charlie Spiering provides a statistic which helps explain the discrepancy:

Every year the official Consumer Price Index is released demonstrating the average price hikes experienced Americans each year. Last year the CPI rose 3.1 percent, a seemingly modest hike by many standards.

But the American Institute for Economic Research has released an alternate index, narrowing the scope to items purchesed by the average consumer every month, leaving out “big-ticket items” like cars, computers, and furniture.

According to this index, the prices for everyday items like food, beverages, fuel, power, and prescription drugs have risen 8.1 percent in 2011.

So, it wasn’t just my imagination.  And it’s not just my grocery bill.

To many people, that increase seems even steeper. Since President Obama signed the “stimulus,” John Merline reports, “Median annual household income is about 7% below where it was in February 2009, according to the Sentier Research Household Income Index.”  (H/t: Powerline picks for Merline link.)

Of the Bushes and the ‘Burbs

Since the first year of the Obama administration, Michael Barone has identified two issues which could tip the 2012 election, the first, related to the policies at odds with the candidate’s strongest supporters in the 2008 election, the second, an increasing tendency of suburban voters to return to their (pre-1992) Republican roots.

As to the president’s strongest supporters, Barone observed in 2009 that “Democrats’ policies are not in sync” with younger voters, part of a generation

. . . accustomed to making its own choices and shaping its own world. They listen to their own iPod playlists, not someone else’s Top 40; they construct their own Facebook pages rather than enlisting in the official Elvis Fan Club.

At the same time, crediting “longtime Democratic pollster and political analyst Pat Caddell,” Barone pointed out that in the 2009 off-off-year elections, “affluent suburban voters moved sharply toward Republicans in 2009”.  And not just in the marquee gubernatorial contests that fall.  Republican candidates also did well in contests in the Philadelphia and New York suburbs.

Last night, the pundit native to Detroit offered his hunch that Romney’s success in that city’s suburbs has “implications. . . for the general election“:

Romney has shown in Michigan as elsewhere a capacity to win votes in affluent areas—which is exactly where (at least in the North) Republicans have been weak in presidential general elections over the last 20 years. Look at it this way: in 1988 George H. W. Bush carried the five-county metro Detroit area 50%-49%–a tiny margin, but one which enabled him, with a 56%-43% Outstate margin that was underwhelming in historic perspective, to carry Michigan. Similarly, the elder Bush, with big margins from affluent suburbanites, carried metro Boston, metro New York, metro Philadelphia, metro Cleveland and metro Chicago, which enabled him to win the electoral votes of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.

H.W.’s son never did as well as his Dad in metro Detroit. (more…)

Santorum Surge Subsides

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - February 29, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

In his victory last night in the Wolverine State, Mitt Romney won 72,000 more votes than he did just four years ago, upping his percentage from 38.92% of the vote then to 41.1% this year.  And this despite some stumbles in recent days — and a concerted Democratic attempt to get out the vote for his rival Rick Santorum.  Of the 9% of voters who identified as Democrats, Santorum beat Romney by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, 53% to 18%:

Romney won decisively among Republicans, 48 to 37 and narrowly among independents 35 to 34.  (Had no Democrats voted in the Republican primary, Romney would have won more decisively — with an 8-point margin.)

The state, in many ways, was a must-win for both candidates.  For Romney, because he had been born in the state.  And for Santorum, to show he could win in a contested primary after sweeping the beauty contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri earlier this month.  On one poll this month showed him up 15 points over Romney.  He lost by 3, an 18-point swing in two weeks.  The Santorum surge has subsided.

Turnout was up too.  And Ron Paul more than doubled his showing, from 54,475 in 2008 to 115,956 this year.  Seems that libertarian ideas have greater resonance in the Obama era.

Jennifer Rubin offers evidence that I may have been onto something yesterday (in a post referencing Romney’s rebuking Santorum for attempting to get Democrats to vote for their man):  the former Massachusetts governor “won by 38 to 31 percent over Rick Santorum [among] voters who made up their minds today, suggesting there may have been a backlash against Santorum’s robocalls to Democrats.(more…)

Nominations for the Watchers’ Council (Leap Year Day Edition)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:44 am - February 29, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Here are this week’s nominations:

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions (more…)

CNN fails to put US corporate tax rates in complete context

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:02 am - February 29, 2012.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Media Bias,Worthy Causes

The Cato Institute’s David Boaz caught something interesting on CNN:

President Obama and other policymakers have expressed concern about the high U.S. corporate tax rate, but this CNN chart shows that our rate isn’t too out of line with other countries. Indeed, CNN host Soledad O’Brien said to guest Jack Welch, “But when I look at the corporate tax rates around the world, we have a little graphic of this, I’ll throw it up. We see United States is at 35%, France is at 34%, Belgium at 33%, Spain at 30%, Japan at 30%, Mexico at 30%. It sounds like we’re kind of competitive, right?”

“America,” observed Boaz’s colleague Chris Edwards, the Institute’s Director of Tax Policy Studies

. . . is not “kind of competitive” on corporate taxes. Of the 34 high-income OECD countries, your graphics experts compared us with the 5 other countries that have the highest rates. (more…)

Gas up 40 cents in 2 weeks

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:00 am - February 29, 2012.
Filed under: Economy,LA Stories

Two weeks ago yesterday, one could buy a gallon of regular at the Shell Station on Fairfax & Beverly in Los Angeles (one of the cheapest places to fill up in Hollywood) for $3.93. Last night, the price was 40 cents higher:

The GOP’s fruitless search in 2012 for a real Reagan Republican?

Where, I asked in January, “is the conservative candidate at this conservative moment?” “In the current contest, . . . no candidate has emerged to take on Reagan’s mantle.”  In their search for a charismatic and principled conservatives who could rally the party faithful, many Republican voters, dissatisfied with the frontrunner and eager to find an alternative, have embraced, at various points during the campaign, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and now Rick Santorum.

Unlike Bachmann, Cain or Gingrich, however, Santorum has never really embraced the libertarian economic policies which defined the Gipper’s domestic policies — and now form the basis for the Tea Party’s agenda.  Moreover, as Ace observes, echoing John Podhoretz, Santorum lacks Reagan’s sunny disposition:

Santorum’s problem, again and again, is that he doesn’t want to make apositive uplifting case for things. He might have given a speech encouraging a newfound, recovered respect for the trades. He might have given a speech about the positive virtue of sweat. And it’s importance in America.

Instead he just brands those who wish their kids to go to college “snobs.”

Taking issue not with Santorum’s tone, but with the content of his recent robocall (faulting Romney for supporting TARP while opposing the auto bailouts), Jay Nordlinger seems dumbfounded, “And this is our guy? Santorum is the conservatives’ guy?

Many conservatives supported the bank bailout and opposed the auto bailout. You can look up arguments within NR editorials. Conservatives all over the country, in all sorts of forums, made arguments for and against — for and against either bailout. Those arguments continue now, retrospectively.

But is there any thinking or respectable conservative who uses Rick Santorum’s language — the bank bailout was for Mitt Romney’s “Wall Street billionaire buddies” while Michigan workers got their faces slapped? (Santorum opposed the auto bailout, too. Was he slapping workers’ faces?) (more…)

The libertarian moment for the GOP?

Looking at liberal blogger Ezra Klein’s “laundry list of Republican Party flip-flops”, the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll finds a pattern:

In every policy area mentioned above, the Republican party has become more libertarian. Some Republicans used to like Keynesian stimulus, now they don’t. Libertarians never did. Some Republicans used to like individual mandates, now they don’t. Libertarians never did. Some Republicans used to like cap and trade, now they don’t. Libertarians never did. You get the idea. There is a reason Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has been speaking so highly of Ron Paul.

This shift, Carroll contends, corresponds with polling data showing that “Americas are just becoming more libertarian“, with “Republican leaders” merely “responding to those changing beliefs.”  The growing distrust of government solutions (to social and economic problems) has become particularly pronounced since Obama took office.

In a piece on former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s speech this past weekend to the California Republican Party Convention, Reason magazine’s Tim Cavanaugh contends the the Golden State GOP has floundered largely because its leaders have failed to embrace libertarian ideals:

The party is marginal and becoming more so, but the leadership is deathly afraid of the one proven source of Republican energy and enthusiasm – because that source is considered too marginal. If the California Republicans continue distancing themselves from the libertarian movement, they will continue to suffer, and so will everybody else who has to live in a state where one party has absolute power and the other refuses to compete.

He’s onto something.  Talk to small businessmen and -women here in Southern California, even to Democratic City Council candidates in West Hollywood, and you’ll hear these entrepreneurs grumbling about the amount of bureaucratic hoops they have to jump through before they can open up a new enterprise.  People across the political spectrum fault the state’s overspending and its overgenerous benefits to public employee unions.

In short, people here would welcome a government which scales back its intrusion into the marketplace — and reduces its expenditures.

To that end, we in California might more readily embrace a more libertarian Republican Party.   As would the nation as a whole.

A libertarian shift within the GOP, like those recent votes in Congress, would show Republican leaders embracing the emerging American consensus on the size of government.

NB:  Tweaked the post after its initial publication to make my point clearer.

Making Mischief in Michigan?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:18 pm - February 28, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

With Michael Moore telling Rachel Maddow that some of his “Democratic friends will vote for [Rick] Santorum in something they are calling Operation Hilarity“, we have some evidence that the DailyKos is having some success in their efforts to make mischief in the Republican primary, by getting their supporters to vote for Rick Santorum.

Indeed, one poll shows Romney leading among “actual Republican voters, 43-38,” but Santorum “up 47-10 with Democratic voters”.  And now Rick Santorum’s campaign has been robo-calling Democrats, urging them to vote for the former Pennyslvania Senator in the Michigan Republican primary.

In an e-mail to reporters and appearance this morning on Fox and Friends, Romney Spokeswoman Andrea Saul and the candidate himself, respectively, took Santorum to task for the calls, with the latter calling them “a terrible, dirty trick.”  Romney even accused his opponent of “trying to ‘kidnap our primary process‘”.  Santorum supporter Ed Morrissey disagrees, saying it’s hardly a “dirty trick” and “certainly not ‘kidnapping’ a primary that’s already open to Democratic voters.

Jennifer Rubin, a blogress sympathetic to the former Massachusetts Governor, contends that

Romney’s offensive serves two purposes: cushion the blow if he loses in Michigan; and jab at Santorum for hiding his contrasts with Democrats and trying to round up liberal help to beat the guy he says isn’t conservative enough.

I would add a third purpose.  This race has shown a lot of back-and-forth, indicating that there are a lot of wavering Republican voters in the Wolverine state.  Romney might be attempting to reach out to those voters — and other undecided Republicans, less likely to support the Republican being helped by the Democrats.

Polls have been showing Romney leading among Republicans. (more…)

The Artist, or the enjoyment of story-telling.

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:00 pm - February 28, 2012.
Filed under: Bibliophilia / Good Books,Movies/Film & TV

In his Preface to the 1982 edition the C.S. Lewis Anthology, On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature, Walter Hooper contrasts the featured essayist with “literary critics” who

. . . were encouraging readers to find in literature almost everything, life’s monotony, social injustice, sympathy with the downtrodden poor, drudgery, cynicism, and distaste: everything except enjoyment.

Everything except enjoyment.  This idea came to mind as I watched excerpts from the Oscars — a few hours after the telecast — and delighted in the success of Hugo and The Artist, the latter winning the lion’s share of the big prizes, including not only Best Picture, but also best actor for Jean Dujardin and best director for Michel Hazanavicius.

The film may offer no great insight into human nature, save to show that we enjoy a happy ending, celebrating instead the joy of making movies — and of telling stories.  Unlike other critically acclaimed films of recent days, it did not stint on enjoyment.

Indeed, it seemed that, as he paid homage to silent film, Hazanavicius kept his focus on crafting an enjoyable film — and entertaining his anticipated audience.  You leave this film with a smile on your face.

Let us hope that the idea of a movies which telling such a simple, sweet story and delights an audience regains the traction it once enjoyed in Hollywood.

Why did Obama feel it necessary to politicize his energy addresses??

In a campaign speech cleverly disguised as his Weekly Address to the nation,” writes Joe Newby of the Spokane Conservative Examiner, the president rehashed “his Miami campaign speech”, the self-proclaimed post-partisan politician engaged in partisan posturing:

Now, some politicians always see this as a political opportunity.  And since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas.  I’ll save you the suspense:  Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling.  We hear the same thing every year.

Well the American people aren’t stupid.  You know that’s not a plan – especially since we’re already drilling.  It’s a bumper sticker.  It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge.  It’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.

That’s rich.  He launches a partisan broadside in a policy speech while attacking his opponents for playing politics.

Why did the incumbent president feel it incumbent upon himself to attack his partisan adversaries in a policy speech?  Couldn’t he just have put forward his energy policy (which, if you just remove the algae and other green subsidies, contains proposals similar to those put forward by Republicans) without the partisan attacks?  Isn’t that what a “post-partisan” politician would do?

Did his predecessor, often faulted for his divisiveness engage in such partisan attacks in his policy speeches?

The president would have served himself better — and sounded more presidential — had he simply acknowledged the problem of higher gas prices and then articulated what his administration had done– and was planning to do — to address the problem.

The question remains:  why can’t Obama deliver a policy address without launching a partisan attack?

Republican Senators lose Presidential Elections

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:48 pm - February 26, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Strong Women

A number of my conservative friends have been wringing their hands about the GOP’s possible nomination of Mitt Romney as its presidential contender.  They fear that, like past mealy-mouthed nominees, he will flounder when facing the fierce power of the Democratic attack machine as did such recent nominees as Bob Dole in 1996 and John McCain in 2008.

In recent days, two smart conservative women have addressed this concern, one, Jennifer Rubin, by quoting one of her blog readers:

A sharp reader, William from Delaware, e-mails me: “The GOP should never nominate a senator for president. In post WW II America, whenever the GOP nominates a senator (Goldwater, Dole, McCain), they lose. Whenever the GOP nominates a governor (Reagan, Bush 43) or a vice president (Nixon, Bush 41), they win the presidency. Why? First, the American people are looking for executive leadership from a governor or VP – not a DC insider from Capitol Hill. Second, each of these GOP senators carries the burden of a congressional voting record that is distorted and picked to death. Where David Axelrod leaves off, the MSM will continue the assault.”

The problem with Dole and McCain was not their moderation, but their legislative background.  When Dole secured the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, he had been serving in the Senate for nearly 28 years, having spent the previous eight years in the U.S. House.  At the time of McCain’s nomination, he had served nearly 22 years in the Senate, having spent the previous four years in the House.

By the time each man had become the GOP standard bearer, he had served well over a quarter century in the federal legislature.

In a more detailed piece, Noemie Emery challenges “the myth of a powerful Republican establishment“: (more…)

On women’s health and the Obamacare mandate

Perhaps the greatest irony today about modern American liberals is that while they attack Republicans for wanting to limit their choices, they support policies which limit our choices.

They’ll lecture us about women’s health and the benefits of contraception, saying that individual women should be free to decided questions of sexual health (as well they should).  But, then they praise the federal government for dictating to an individual business owner what kind of health insurance he should provide — even if that provision violates the tenets of his faith.

The same government that call dictate to a Catholic business owner the policies he must adopt can also dictate to a lesbian physician the policies she should adopt in her clinic.

Should a lesbian physician concerned about the inadequacy of health care facilities tending to the particular concerns of women like herself be able to open up a clinic staffed only by women catering exclusively to lesbian, bisexual and transgender women?  Could the government, in the interest of “equality,” require that this clinic serve men?

Perhaps, under current law, it could.  And if it could, we should take away its power to deprive that woman of her freedom to establish such a clinic–and strip women of the freedom to seek care at a woman-only facility.

Just as this (hypothetical) lesbian physician should be free to establish an institution providing “woman-centered” health care so should a Catholic humanitarian be able to decide the conditions covered in the health insurance policy his institution offers its employees.

Gingrich refuses to “outright reject” state-recognized same-sex marriage in Washington State

Now, this is interesting:

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich declined Friday to outright reject a new law legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state, saying if it is approved by voters it will at least be enacted “the right way.”

The former House speaker’s comments came on a visit to the state Capitol where he also met privately with Republican legislators. Washington’s Democratic governor signed the gay marriage bill last week and it will take effect in June unless opponents can gather enough signatures to force a fall referendum.

Gingrich cited the possibility of a public vote in appraising the hot-button issue, noting that judges have authorized same-sex marriage in other places.

“I think at least they’re doing it the right way, which is going through voters, giving them a chance to vote and not having a handful of judges arbitrarily impose their will,” Gingrich said.

Well, actually, Washington State has already done it the “right way”; the elected legislature debated the legislation, voted on it and the elected governor signed the bill into law.

Lesbians Charged With “Hate Crime” For Beating Up…. A Gay Guy

Now I’ve seen everything…

Three women identified by their lawyers as lesbians were arraigned yesterday on a hate crime charge for allegedly beating a gay man at the Forest Hills T station in an unusual case that experts say exposes the law’s flawed logic. (emphasis added)

“My guess is that no sane jury would convict them under those circumstances, but what this really demonstrates is the idiocy of the hate-crime legislation,” said civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate. “If you beat someone up, you’re guilty of assault and battery of a human being. Period. The idea of trying to break down human beings into categories is doomed to failure.”

Prosecutors and the ACLU of Massachusetts said no matter the defendants’ sexual orientation, they can still face the crime of assault and battery with intent to intimidate, which carries up to a 10-year prison sentence, by using hateful language.

Are you KIDDING me?!?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Supermajority of Americans prefers spending cuts to tax hikes

Got an e-mail alert earlier today to a most interesting tidbit that the AP (yes, the AP!) caught in their recent poll.  They found that Americans’

fondness for limited government is significant in this election year because it shows voters prefer the Republican approach in the core partisan dispute over resolving the nation’s fiscal problems.

The AP-GfK poll found that 65 percent favor requiring that people earning $1 million or more annually pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. Just 26 percent oppose.

Yet by 56 percent to 31 percent, people picked cutting government services over tax increases as the best way to reduce federal deficits.

They did also find, in line with Obama’s rhetoric, that asking millionaires “pay a significant share of their incomes in taxes is widely popular.”  SPending cuts remain a big issue to most Americans.  And Republicans need keep that in mind as the campaign heats up.

Playing defense on gas prices, Obama faults Republicans for doing what he (and top Democrats) did when W was in office

For the better part of the past two months, the president has had it pretty easy. We’ve seen some decent jobs numbers. He has not really been in the public eye while the media have focused on the GOP’s internecine struggles. He hasn’t really had to play defense.

Until gas prices started rising. And this reminds us of a lesson we learned in the brief window of the 2008 presidential campaign when he fell behind John McCain in the polls, Barack Obama is not good on defense.

With gas prices rising on his watch, he lashes out at Republicans:

Now, some politicians they see this as a political opportunity. I know you’re shocked by that. (Laughter.) Last week, the lead story in one newspaper said, “Gasoline prices are on the rise and Republicans are licking their chops.” (Laughter.) That’s a quote. That was the lead. “Licking their chops.” Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more; they’re licking their chops.

You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling. (Laughter.) We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for President. We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years.

Well, the American people aren’t stupid.

No, we’re not stupid, Mr. President. If Republican see rising gas prices as a political opportunity, you can take some credit, as Doug Powers reminds us in linking this video:

Or maybe they took the lead from your fellow Democrat, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she called for hearings when the nationwide average price for a gallon of gas was $3.07: (more…)

Gas up 8 cents in 1 day; 34 cents in 9 days

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:18 pm - February 23, 2012.
Filed under: Economy,LA Stories

Caught this while passing the Shell Station at the Corner of Fairfax and Beverly.

Yesterday, a gallon of regular was $4.19 a gallon.

Every U.S. recession since 1971“, warns blogger Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

. . . has been preceded by an increase in the price of oil, currently up more than 7 percent year-to-date. With the economy barely advancing – growth in output is moderating by most measures – the economy may not be able to withstand the blow of a spike in oil and an ensuing increase in prices at the pump. While oil at $106 per barrel and gasoline prices averaging $3.59 a gallon are not yet at crippling levels, they seem headed in that direction.

(Via Instapundit.)  Meanwhile, our friends in the legacy media are pushing the meme that the president just can’t do anything about this, you know those forces beyond his control.

Funny when a Republican was in the White House, some of the same folks now excusing the incumbent Democrat seem to think the president can control these things.  Guess that means they credit Republican for being far more effective executives than Democrats.