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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.

What conservatives see as media bias, NYTimes finds curious

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - February 23, 2012.
Filed under: Energy Independence,Media Bias

Earlier today, Glenn Reynolds linked a New York Times article on rising gas prices which included this gem:

Curiously, gas prices did not figure prominently in the Republican debate on Wednesday in Arizona, where the candidates trained most of their fire on each other rather than on the president. But Republicans have criticized Mr. Obama for not opening more federal land to exploration, and for not approving the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.

Emphasis added.  Curiously, curiously?  C’mon now.  Did the candidates get to pick the questions?

Remember, the moderator was the very guy who led off the South Carolina debate by asking a candidate about his sex life.  As James Freeman wrote in today’s WSJ.com‘s Political Diary (available by subscription):

CNN moderator John King will have a harder time rebutting conservative charges of bias after last night’s Republican debate in Arizona. Recall that in January Mr. King opened a Republican debate in South Carolina with a question to Newt Gingrich about an ex-wife’s report that Mr. Gingrich had suggested an “open marriage.” After an angry response from Mr. Gingrich, Mr. King defended his decision to lead with the issue because he claimed it was the top campaign story of the day and he was simply being a good reporter.

Flash forward to yesterday. Under any objective standard the campaign news of the day was Mitt Romney’s announcement of a new plan to cut tax rates 20% across the board. But Mr. King didn’t lead with it, because he first felt compelled to ask Ron Paul why he thinks Rick Santorum is “fake” and to ask Mitt Romney what he meant when he described himself as “severely conservative.” (more…)

Chris Christie’s Confidence

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - February 23, 2012.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Noble Republicans

In a post yesterday on Commentary Contentions, Alana Goodman succinctly summarized why conservatives love Chris Christie:

So what is it about Christie that makes him so likable, even when he’s taking shots at the opposition? And what exactly does he have that the presidential candidates are lacking?

Obviously there’s his confidence, the sense that he has a real comfort with his own beliefs. He’s grounded enough in his principles to actually listen to the critique from the other side, which is how he ends up cutting through the nonsense that a lot of other politicians overlook or get bogged down in. That solid foundation is missing in both Romney and Gingrich.

Emphasis added.  And you just gotta love how he tells Warren Buffet to put up or shut up:

Maybe conservative bloggers can all agree to send in 1/10 of 1% or our income to the federal treasury and encourage Buffet to do the same.

(Oh, and, found that link on how to make voluntary contributions to the federal treasury with one google search.  Mr. Buffet, please note the time it took:

)

Freely choosing not to cut a gay marriage opponent’s hair

Blog reader and corespondent sonicfrog e-mailed me this story which helps elucidate what it means to be free.  Blogress diva Ann Althouse had linked a report that a gay hair stylist had droped New Mexico governor as client because she opposes same-sex marriage”:

Martinez was recently dropped by her hair stylist, Antonio Darden, who is gay.

Darden told a local news station that he cut the governor’s hair three times, but won’t do it again as long as she continues to oppose gay marriage.

“The governor’s aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in,” he told KOB-TV. “Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I’d changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no.”

This man has every right to select his own clientele. Too bad he is depriving himself of the opportunity to engage the good governor in a conversation about marriage. Perhaps, while he cut her hair, he could persuade of the merits of state recognition of same-sex unions.

It’s his salon.  They are his services.  He may lose a buck or two.  But that’s his choice.

Republicans Must Keep Eyes on Defining Choice of 2012 Election:
Freedom & Free Enterprise or Bureaucracy & Government Control

In his book, The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future, perhaps the most important public policy manifesto of the Obama era*, Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, spells out the choice facing Americans in the coming election:

This is not the culture war of the 1990s. this is not a fight over guns, abortions, religion, and gays. Nor is it about Republicans versus Democrats. Rather, it is a struggle between two competing visions of America’s future. In one, America will continue to be a unique and exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, increasing income redistribution, and government-controlled corporations. These competing visions are not reconcilable: We must choose.

Clearly, the incumbent President of the United States has chosen the “other” path. And the real question for this fall’s campaign is whether the Republican nominee will be able to make a compelling case for American exceptionalism. On his good days, Newt Gingrich does do that. And from time to time so has Mitt Romney.

Rick Santorum, unfortunately, sometimes get bogged down in the culture war, managing, as Carol Platt Liebau (quite sympathetic to social conservatives) the contraception mandate, “to transform the debate over the HHS regulations from an issue of religious liberty – uniting conservatives, libertarians, and other Americans of good will in opposition to the ObamaCare overreach – into an issue of contraception.”  (Via Hugh Hewitt.)

Indeed, many conservatives (& libertarians) have criticized the mandate with arguments nearly identical to those they use to articulate the principles of free enterprise.

We simply cannot lose sight of the stakes in this election.  The Republican candidate for President will likely win should he keep the focus on this choice and remain ever aware that the incumbent, his party and the legacy media will be doing all in their party to keep from having this debate.

* (more…)

Gas up 26 cents in 8 days

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:18 am - February 23, 2012.
Filed under: LA Stories

I picture I took yesterday afternoon at the Shell station on the corner of Fairfax & Beverly (one of the least expensive places to fill up in Hollywood):

A reminder of the same spot 8 days previously: (more…)

Nominations for the Watchers’ Council

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:07 am - February 23, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging

(You’ll that one blogger didn’t submit his nominations in a timely manner.

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions (more…)