The Math: Tire Pressure vs. Drilling

Much mockery was made by the right about Barack Obama’s tire pressure comment. Inflating our tires would never give us us much oil as new drilling, would it? Let’s do some math…

It is said that if Americans ran their cars with proper tire pressure, we’d save 3%-4% of our gasoline consumption. The government says that “lifting the bans might boost the nation’s oil production by 1 or 2 million barrels a day by sometime next decade.”

So let’s see. Say that America uses 140 billion gallons of gas per year and that 1 barrel of crude oil yields 20 gallons of gasoline. The 3%-4% saved by tire inflation looks to save 280 million barrels of oil per year, or $160 – $200 billion at the pump.  For drilling option, that translates into either 365 million barrels or 730 million barrels per year – 10 years from now! If we start both plans today, assuming the 1 million barrels per day for the new drilling, it would take 39 years for new drilling to have produced more cumulative barrels than the barrels saved by tire inflation. Assuming the 2 million barrel per day number, it would take 15 years for drilling to produce more oil than the oil saved from tire inflation.

I’m not saying that inflating our tires is a sound national energy policy, but neither is Barack Obama. Obama said it was one thing we could all start doing today to save energy. It is clear, however, that if both alternatives were initiated today, proper tire inflation would save far more barrels than new drilling would produce in before the end of the hypothetical 8 years of the next president’s term. 

Also add to the fun this John McCain quote:

Obama said a couple of days ago says we all should inflate our tires. I don’t disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it…

And this Obama-like assertion from April 12:

And I’m sorry to tell you that the price of oil, as far as I can tell, is not gonna go down any time soon, until we eliminate our dependency on it. We can do that as a nation, we can turn off the lights five minutes earlier, we don’t have to drive the extra block.

So McCain mocks Barack for tire inflation, but thinks we’re going to eliminate our dependancy on foreign oil by shutting our lights out 5 minutes earlier? Ha! To quote Senator Obama, “It’s like these people take pride in being ignorant”.

Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! John McCain as Jan Brady

John McCain sounds like the whiny high school kid that’s bitter that he isn’t the one invited to sit at the cool kids’ table during lunch.  Or Jan Brady.

First he cries “Barack is such a big shot celebrity”, which is hilarious because the messiah of the Republican Party is Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan, a man who had political success because of celebrity. One of McCain’s biggest supporters is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a guy whose sole reason for holding office is his celebrity. Additionally, McCain called himself a celebrity, a mention that has since been erased from McCain’s campaign website:

The 2006 midterm campaign had just ended when McCain took the first formal step toward a presidential run in November. He formed an exploratory committee and gave a speech casting himself as a “common-sense conservative” in the vein of Ronald Reagan who could lead the party back to dominance after a dreadful election season by returning to the GOP’s core principles.

political celebrity, McCain is considered a top contender for the nomination.

It’s like the Republicans who eat this meme up are tragically oblivious to the irony. Or mentally handicapped. 

Then, to further channel Jan Brady (Jan McCain?), McCain comes out with his Moses ad. Lets’ ignore the fact that John McCain probably still has smear ads from his own campaign against Moses, it’s interesting that McCain chose to compare Obama to a leader people actually liked and has a strong record of leadership and accomplishment. Juxtapose Moses with Bush, and I vote Moses every single time (although, I hope Moses will respect people’s Constitutional right to worship a Golden Calf).

What’s so bad about popularity? I mean, isn’t the whole point of democracy to install leaders who win the most popularity contests? God forbid America have a President that is popular and actually liked! And it’s not like John McCain or his GOP supporters would reject such popularity if it was visited upon him instead of Obama; John McCain would do anything to win.

John McCain is Jan Brady, the ugly step sister, and the high school kid that’s bitter because he can’t sit at the cool lunch table;  but, if he had the chance to trade places and be the Home Coming King, he’d sell his own mother to get there.

Poor Johnny 😦 You had your time as a “political celebrity”; don’t hate – everyone gets old.  There’s always someone prettier chasing behind or a better athlete that comes through and breaks your school records. This whining is very unbecoming of a macho war hero. So sad.

Anthrax may have came from the same government lab that falsely blamed Iraq

So it appears that the anthrax from the 2001 attacks may have originated from the same US government facility that claimed the substance originated in Iraq. Awesome.

The must-read from Salon’s Glenn Greenwald [emphasis Greenwald’s]:

The FBI’s lead suspect in the September, 2001 anthrax attacks — Bruce E. Ivins — died Tuesday night, apparently by suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to charge him with responsibility for the attacks. For the last 18 years, Ivins was a top anthrax researcher at the U.S. Government’s biological weapons research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, where he was one of the most elite government anthrax scientists on the research team at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID)…

During the last week of October, 2001, ABC News, led by Brian Ross, continuously trumpeted the claim as their top news story that government tests conducted on the anthrax — tests conducted at Ft. Detrick — revealed that the anthrax sent to Daschele contained the chemical additive known as bentonite. ABC News, including Peter Jennings, repeatedly claimed that the presence of bentonite in the anthrax was compelling evidence that Iraq was responsible for the attacks, since — as ABC variously claimed — bentonite “is a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program” and “only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons.”…

Clearly, Ross’ allegedly four separate sources had to have some specific knowledge of the tests conducted and, if they were really “well-placed,” one would presume that meant they had some connection to the laboratory where the tests were conducted — Ft. Detrick. That means that the same Government lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks on Iraq.

Awk-ward. Talk about a conflict of interest! It might be a good idea to get all the facts out so conspiracy theories can be put to rest – or validated.  Who sourced the information that linked the anthrax to Iraq?

It looks like “we’re fighting them in Iraq so we don’t have to fight them here” – except when they are home grown religious zealots like Bruce Ivins and Jim Adkisson.

Song of the Week – “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.

British (by way of Sri Lanka) hip hop artist M.I.A. rhymes over a beat flipped by DJ Diplo from The Clash’s Straight to Hell to create Paper Planes. Straight to Hell is a classic riff and M.I.A’s Caribbean feel gels nicely with Strummer and Jones’s groove. 

Also check Diplo’s treatment of Marlena Shaw’s fantastic California Soul.

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Slate Guide to the Bush White House

Are you like me and can’t keep track of which Bush Administration official is responsible for which crime? Slate is here to help with Crimes and Misdemeanors, their beautifuly organized interactive diagram documenting who is implicated in each major scandal. Each ellipse represents a scandal and each name reveals a dossier.

Or, if you’re busy, Slate suggests:

And if all else fails, fall back on this golden rule of wrongdoing in the White House: All roads lead to Gonzales.