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February 1, 2006 5:26 PM   Subscribe

One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.
posted by EarBucket (112 comments total)

 
Apologies for the one-link newsfilter, but this just makes me want to put my fist through my computer screen. How can they not be embarassed to admit this nakedly that he was lying, not twenty-four hours previously? What else did he not mean "literally?"
posted by EarBucket at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2006


We don't need it, but we need to stop others from consuming it and using it against us.
posted by iamck at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2006


Figurative percentages. Groundbreaking. The president is bold indeed.
posted by namespan at 5:30 PM on February 1, 2006


" "This was purely an example," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said. [...] Asked why the president used the words "the Middle East" when he didn't really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that "every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands." The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he feared that his remarks might get him in trouble. "

It was more like a performance, in other words. (Really?!) What a dramatist!
posted by baklavabaklava at 5:31 PM on February 1, 2006


well, according to the article the misunderstanding surrounds President Bush's narrowing of the reduction to the Middle East.

He said the broad goal was to displace foreign oil imports, from anywhere, with domestic alternatives. He acknowledged that oil is a freely traded commodity bought and sold globally by private firms. Consequently, it would be very difficult to reduce imports from any single region, especially the most oil-rich region on Earth.

but I wouldn't be surprised if he really was talking about taking America's dick out of the Middle East's oil wells. we fucked 'em but good over there, and now it's time to tie the condom and run.
posted by carsonb at 5:34 PM on February 1, 2006


Some possibilities:

(1) It won't be technically by importing because... Iraq (and perhaps others) technically won't be their own soveriegn nations?

(2) He really meant that we'll consume 75% less of the mideast's total output, and share (ie, sell) that output with the rest of the world, but we'll see what we can do to jack that output up by four or five times.
posted by namespan at 5:34 PM on February 1, 2006



It was more like a performance, in other words.


Or, you know, an outright lie.

To the moon, I say! It's chock full of helium-3.
posted by jack_mo at 5:35 PM on February 1, 2006


"Example" is the new "lie"? Excellent. I'll use that in my next meeting with my boss.

"When I said I'd have it done by the end of the week, that was just an example." Bulletproof.
posted by nowonmai at 5:35 PM on February 1, 2006


I heard on NPR this morning that only 5% of our oil imports come from the Middle East anyway. Even if we reduced that 5% by 75%, it wouldn't be much to write home about.
posted by Miko at 5:36 PM on February 1, 2006


Let's get Oprah to take him to the James Frey woodshed.

Who says the truth matters?
posted by JWright at 5:37 PM on February 1, 2006


Actually, it looks more like 20%, Miko. Still not the be-all and end-all of our oil supply, and we could certainly trim it more.
posted by EarBucket at 5:41 PM on February 1, 2006


Don't say it's a lie. I love the dramatist in George. The way he conjures up out of mere words a reduction on Middle Eastern oil dependance... the way the honey-tongued poet crafts a picture of alternative fuel, painting a lyric portrait with such powerful metaphors, the way only a true artiste can do.
posted by baklavabaklava at 5:41 PM on February 1, 2006


Truthy. His speech wasn't grippy, though.
posted by raysmj at 5:42 PM on February 1, 2006


Miko, according to the beeb, NPR is wrong.

See the graph here, which is 19% gulf states.
posted by wilful at 5:43 PM on February 1, 2006


Hello United States citizens. Please make sure your elections have paper-based voting records. Please evangelise and coerce and do whatever is necessary until this is achieved. Thank you.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:45 PM on February 1, 2006


I bellyfeel Bush.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:46 PM on February 1, 2006


Does this mean we're not going to Mars?
posted by ericb at 5:48 PM on February 1, 2006


Weren't we going to mars last time he did a state of the union?
posted by srboisvert at 5:48 PM on February 1, 2006


All this truthiness is making me feel surges of patriotism I've never felt before.

Down there.
posted by Mikey-San at 5:49 PM on February 1, 2006


srboisvert - jinx, you owe me a Coke!
posted by ericb at 5:49 PM on February 1, 2006


So how much of the rest of the speech did all these surprised people believe?
posted by pompomtom at 5:49 PM on February 1, 2006


There's a part of me that just can't wait for the apologists to show up and try to spin this. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they come up with to explain it.
posted by EarBucket at 5:50 PM on February 1, 2006


So how much of the rest of the speech did all these surprised people believe?

I don't think the surprise was so much that he was full of shit as the lightning-fast admission by his own administration that, yeah, he was full of shit. I'm hoping for Mr. Gonzales to inform Congress tomorrow that when they said the wiretapping program was constitutional and legal, it was Opposite Day.
posted by EarBucket at 5:52 PM on February 1, 2006


newspeak is old skool truthyness.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:54 PM on February 1, 2006


To this administration, the State of the Union address was performance art. It doesn't have to be truthful - heck, most folks are never going to know that Bush has been gainsayed by his own administration a day later.

I'll bet that's exactly what he meant - and then he received a phone call from a meeting room full of OPEC folks who proceeded to explain how prices are going to skyrocket now that they know their best customer is going to stop using their primary item of trade. The response? He'll have one of his many meat shields step in front of this bullet and claim "nah, he was just kidding."
posted by FormlessOne at 5:58 PM on February 1, 2006


Oh man, you guys are getting funnier and funnier as time goes by. This just underscores my recent idea that "the United States" is actually a sitcom. Hilarity ensues, indeed!
posted by nightchrome at 5:59 PM on February 1, 2006


Does this mean we're not going to Mars?

I had this exact same question typed up when I hit preview.
posted by justkevin at 6:01 PM on February 1, 2006


Does this mean we're not going to Mars?

That's where we're going to get the new oil. Duh.
posted by namespan at 6:06 PM on February 1, 2006


This just underscores my recent idea that "the United States" is actually a sitcom.

I guess the medium did modify the message.

*sigh*
posted by namespan at 6:07 PM on February 1, 2006


To this administration, the State of the Union address was performance art.

And people say the Republicans are so down on the arts.
posted by baklavabaklava at 6:08 PM on February 1, 2006


It all depends on what your definition of 75% is.
posted by EarBucket at 6:09 PM on February 1, 2006


On a related note, since liberation Iraq has reduced its dependence on Niger uranium by at least 75%.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 6:12 PM on February 1, 2006


...also its dependence on dreaded secularism, Allah be praised.
posted by nightchrome at 6:15 PM on February 1, 2006


We need to be protected from wiretap free zones!
posted by Balisong at 6:19 PM on February 1, 2006


I never would have guessed that brazen, habitual and shameless lying would be an effective method of defeating your political opponents. It's almost as if everyone just agrees there's no point in fighting when you know he's incapable of knowing or telling the truth.
posted by toma at 6:19 PM on February 1, 2006


Ha. We are pwned!
posted by effwerd at 6:20 PM on February 1, 2006


Ah, come on now, the good ol' boy is from the great state of Texas. We all know how they like to tell whoppers down there! Just sit back and yell "yea haw!" (or puke) when he decides to nuke Iran. (Cus we don't need THEIR oil either.)
posted by snsranch at 6:20 PM on February 1, 2006


It all depends on what your definition of 75% is.
posted by EarBucket at 2:09 AM GMT on February 2


Reporter : Mr President! Mr President! You said 75%, but your staff seem to be backing off on that figure...
Bush : Yeah. Well .... heh ... funny story 'bout that, y'see what happened was ... well ... uh ... look, it all depends on what your definition of 75% is...
Reporter : OK, sir, what is the definition of 75%?
Bush : Well, uh .... obviously, that's something we're going to need to look into. I've got a whole team of really smart people looking into that.
Reporter : It's basic maths, sir.
Bush : Right. Right, of course of it. Heh. We all know that.
Reporter : So if you could ... y'know ... answer the question?
Bush : Well, when I said 75% I really meant ... uh ... 81.81%
Reporter : Sir?
Bush : 9/11! Heh, I made a funny.
Reporter : Uh ...
Bush : Fractions joke, son. I've not as dumb as Dick wants me to make out.
posted by kaemaril at 6:20 PM on February 1, 2006


Hilarious.
posted by fungible at 6:23 PM on February 1, 2006


The truly astounding part is that you people will let him get away with this and much, much more. I am far less impressed by this Administration and its tactics than I am by the public's near-total apathy regarding the true State of the Union.
posted by nightchrome at 6:23 PM on February 1, 2006


Bingo.
posted by toma at 6:25 PM on February 1, 2006


Does this mean we're not going to Mars?

No, it means that China, India, Japan and Europe are going to Mars (and possibly Canada, in a strictly supportive role) You're welcome to join us whenever you're ready.
posted by slatternus at 6:28 PM on February 1, 2006


"This just underscores my recent idea that "the United States" is actually a sitcom."

I came to that conclusion back in '72, or maybe I just read it in a Mad magazine. Either way, things haven't changed much.
posted by mischief at 6:28 PM on February 1, 2006


From what I've been hearing today, the whole speech was code. Sawgrass was a code for future earmarks for Alabama. No mention of ANWR was code for less future earmarks for Alaska. I guess it shouldn't be surprising that "replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025" actually means "alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East (as an arbitrary example that has no real bearing on policy) in 2025."
posted by effwerd at 6:33 PM on February 1, 2006


Isn't the whole point of the state of the union address to, you know, address policy moves (and, I assume, at least present the case that you are doing the right things for the right reasons)?

Why throw a hypothetical out there? It's not like Bush is writing his own speeches. There has to be fact checkers that would catch this, run it by, say, the Energy Dept. or someone, and if it wasn't factual, you know... leave it out.

Bush said it purposefully. He said it to MAKE SURE that he isn't held accountable for anything he says.
posted by Balisong at 6:40 PM on February 1, 2006


Oops. Switch grass.
posted by effwerd at 6:40 PM on February 1, 2006


Fear not, American cousins! Alberta to the rescue!
posted by hangashore at 6:43 PM on February 1, 2006


Wouldn't it be wierd if Bush took off on this info? He holds a a special press conference, to address the mis-statement he made, and announce that he is so ashamed by the fact that he may have misled the people, he's stepping down.

I wouldn't know if I'd be happy, or think that he had another trick up his sleve.
posted by Balisong at 6:44 PM on February 1, 2006


Actually what he said was that he's an addict, but he's going to try switching to grass.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:55 PM on February 1, 2006


And if some democrat said something and then backtracked and denied it the next day...well, i'm sure it happens, but still...oh and cheney deleted all the emails...

these guys suck major ass
posted by damnitkage at 6:58 PM on February 1, 2006


Flip-flopper!
posted by ericb at 7:05 PM on February 1, 2006


Hubbard, the director of the president's National Economic Council, projects that America will import 6 million barrels of oil per day from the Middle East in 2025 without major technological changes in energy consumption.

Does anyone else see the irony here?
posted by slogger at 7:07 PM on February 1, 2006


I'm just disappointed the apologists haven't shown up yet.
posted by melt away at 7:08 PM on February 1, 2006


I hear grass is a good way to wean yourself off other addictions.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:10 PM on February 1, 2006


"I'm just disappointed the apologists haven't shown up yet."

Maybe they're not working overtime.
posted by mischief at 7:13 PM on February 1, 2006


Come on, everybody! Bush isn't so bad. I mean he made a big promise, but . . . aw forget it. He's a boob and a liar, and anyone who doesn't see that is just a complete moron.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:20 PM on February 1, 2006


Balisong's comment raises a question. If GW were to resign-say for health reasons towards the end of 2007
is it possible Cheney could be potus until 2016?
On second thought I would rather not know. Please disregard.
posted by notreally at 7:21 PM on February 1, 2006


i knew it! his little ear-thingy's been hacked!

you didn't think he'd really say those things, did you? he's an oilman's son. america is addicted indeed.

shouldn't the standing unofficial war on drugs demand we invade ourselves then?
posted by Miles Long at 7:28 PM on February 1, 2006


From the original post: President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025

Now I dislike GW as much as the next guy, but how is it that you guys think it's even possible for him to be speaking literally in the first place? He (an individual who is not going to be president in 2025) is making a vow on behalf of a country (which he will not be the leader of in 2025). It's syntactically impossible for him to mean what he says literally. It doesn't matter what legislation he passes because it could all just be overturned by the next administration.
posted by juv3nal at 7:31 PM on February 1, 2006


Between this thread and this one, I'm starting to think that the MeFi Bush supporters have been overloaded. Like an evil computer in Star Trek that's been presented with a paradox.
posted by brundlefly at 7:32 PM on February 1, 2006


What else did he not mean "literally?"

Aussie pollies are way ahead of you 'Mericans.

Ever heard of a non-core promise?

(Admittedly, there were reasons given why they had to break promises. Namely, the outgoing government lied about how much money there was in the kitty. But it was a very smarmy and unapologetic way of going about things.)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:38 PM on February 1, 2006


Screw "non-core promise." What the hell is the "kitty?" By the way, great title for this post. "And then... I became king... of the world! Yeah! That's the ticket!"
posted by brundlefly at 7:46 PM on February 1, 2006


Sorry for the inappropriate use of the phrase, "by the way." I really meant, "Anyway."
/anal
posted by brundlefly at 7:48 PM on February 1, 2006


He said the broad goal was to displace foreign oil imports, from anywhere, with domestic alternatives. He acknowledged that oil is a freely traded commodity bought and sold globally by private firms. Consequently, it would be very difficult to reduce imports from any single region, especially the most oil-rich region on Earth.

Maybe I'm dense, or just an apologist, probably both, but I don't really understand why this supposed contradiction is a big deal. So the goal is still to lessen our dependence on foreign oil as a whole. So what's the problem?
posted by gyc at 7:59 PM on February 1, 2006


notreally... I think it is two years or less of a term that dictates whether the replacement (the VP) can serve two full extra terms or not. So, not the end of '07, but the start of '07. But I can not imagine anyone actually voting for Cheney. Bush is a SOB but he has some sort of charisma, Cheney has the charisma of a attack dog turd.
posted by edgeways at 8:02 PM on February 1, 2006


Well, at least they waited a full 24 hours before outing it as a lie.
posted by fenriq at 8:02 PM on February 1, 2006


"He said the broad goal was to displace foreign oil imports, from anywhere, with domestic alternatives. He acknowledged that oil is a freely traded commodity bought and sold globally by private firms. Consequently, it would be very difficult to reduce imports from any single region, especially the most oil-rich region on Earth."

What is meant by domestic alternatives? Does it mean oil from the US, or does it mean alternative forms of fuel grown/produced here?

I'm having a hard time seeing what the problem is here. The president can say whatever the hell he wants, but it's not going to make it true unless new technology makes alternative fuel economically viable, which currently it is not on a large scale. Everybody here should realize that.
posted by b_thinky at 8:06 PM on February 1, 2006


Fuzzy math.
posted by edverb at 8:06 PM on February 1, 2006


gyc, I think part of the problem is the State of the Union address is suppose to be a major event, all the i's are dotted all the t's crossed. But for Bush to make a claim and then immediately after that claim his own people admit the claim was wrong... it looks bad, especially in light of previous addresses where SOTU claims he has made have turned out to be ... erm... inaccurate. If his own people admit this is wrong, it raises the question how much more of the address was wrong.
Who wrote the speech? Was Bush even involved beyond making the speech? All these things and more.
It also reeks of doublespeak... "well he said this, but this really means that"
posted by edgeways at 8:07 PM on February 1, 2006


"So what's the problem?"

In rereading the article, I noticed that the context of many of the quotes is the reporter's interpretation. Without full transcripts of these briefings, I am beginning to wonder if these administration reps actually contradicted Shrub or if Knight-Ridder is pulling a spin job.
posted by mischief at 8:10 PM on February 1, 2006


No, it means that China, India, Japan and Europe are going to Mars (and possibly Canada, in a strictly supportive role)

Come on now, how are China, India, Japan, AND Europe possibly going to fit in Canada? I don't care how supportive their roles are.
posted by papercake at 8:13 PM on February 1, 2006


Has any other news agency besides KR posted a story substantiating this 'contradiction'?

If not, I'm calling 'bullshit'.
posted by mischief at 8:27 PM on February 1, 2006


bthinky, the problem is he says something and the next day we are told it was "figurative speech".

Kennedy, for example, told Congress he believed the U.S. should attempt to "send a man to the moon and return him safely to earth" (paraphrased). Do you think the next day members of his administration were saying "Kennedy meant send a man to the moon in a figurative sense. As an... er... example of what hard work can do. He just wanted to use language that every American could understand."

And were the apologists of the day saying "Well- it's obvious he meant it poetically-- there simply isn't the technology for a moon landing at this time!"
posted by baklavabaklava at 8:30 PM on February 1, 2006


New York Times has the story mischief.
posted by alteredcarbon at 8:45 PM on February 1, 2006


Yeah, but they're a bunch of lie-berals, alteredcarbon.
posted by brundlefly at 8:54 PM on February 1, 2006


I'm curious if this speech caught the Energy Information Administration (a division of the Department of Energy) by surprise.

They are in the process of preparing their annual energy outlook, now in early release:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html

In it, they make the following predictions in their forecast through 2030:

Domestic petroleum consumption is projected to grow from 20.8 million barrels (2004) to 26.1 million barrels by 2025. (For some reason their forecast goes only to 2025, despite elsewhere it goes to 2030)

Domestic production will rise from the (2004) current level of 5.4 million barrels to peak at 5.9 million barrels by 2014, then fall to 4.6 million by 2030.

So the EIA is predicting our oil imports will rise from 15.4 mbpd to 21.5 mbpd, or an increase of about 40%.

I wonder whether the EIA's final report will agree with the State of the Union Address.
posted by justkevin at 8:55 PM on February 1, 2006


I'm constructing a faster-than-light interstellar craft in my backyard, so I can explore the known galaxy in my spare time.

Figuratively speaking, of course.
posted by troutfishing at 8:56 PM on February 1, 2006



posted by ericb at 9:00 PM on February 1, 2006


From alteredcarbon's link:

"In an interview on Wednesday, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said he would have to ask Mr. Bush's office 'what he exactly meant by that.' "

oh, to be a fly on the wall..
posted by arialblack at 9:35 PM on February 1, 2006


I'm having a hard time seeing what the problem is here. The president can say whatever the hell he wants,

Are you really? So if I tell my wife I have every intention of stopping my philandering, but tomorrow I go right back out with the $10 whores, and she busts me, can I say: Hey, I can say whatever I want!

Give me a break. Bush lied (as is his wont: the man makes Clinton look like a stone-cold truth teller). He has no intention to cut oil consumption in any real way, let alone by a specific 75% from a specific region.

Words actually have meaning. Bush's word's meaning do not line up with his intent. And his own people say as much, not 24 hours after his speech!

Come on. Yes, even you, can see the problem. Such things would get the average person fired or divorced.
posted by teece at 9:54 PM on February 1, 2006


Bush's word's meaning do not line up with his intent.

Nor have they ever.
posted by c13 at 10:05 PM on February 1, 2006


Since this wiretapping thingy is kosher and all can't someone just order up a wiretap on old Geoge W himself? He's too full of shit not to be shooting some with an old college buddy on his Motorola PREZR V1600. The CIA could just edit out any security secrets and post the 'behind the scenes", true story for us all somewhere on one of teh internets.

TRANSCRIPT: 2006-01-31
.........[22:30]"Did you catch the speech, um, address, er, whatever? Can you believe the shit I just pulled out of my ass? TurdBlossom had one of his purdy speeches on the prompter as usual, but I'd had a couple and my vision was kinda blurry. No, no I wasn't drunk Pah-leeze you think I could pull that shit with Mom in town nowadays? Anyway, I didn't want to get all "blinky" tryin to read that shit. Damn lights were bright while they tried to get some lame halo effect set just right so I just decided to wing the speech. Shit, I can do this stuff in my sleep by now people. I keep telling everyone it really don't matter what I say anyhow. Always good to keep TurdBlossom and Scotty busy, make em earn their keep I say. I figgurd out long ago that not enough people give a shit. As long as over half that do pay attention are either one: dumb as a stump, or two: in Daddy's pocket, I skate right on by! Fuck dood, isn't it obvious to everyone by now that I'm untouchable? It is awesome! No, I can't believe all the clapping either [laughter]! Everyone loved it! Even those Demofags were clapping and jumpin up and down! They're so lame [snorts unitelllegible] I was totally riffing the whole time man, and damn if it didn't work.. The camera guys and director people always make me look good and that's all that really matters to me. Fuck you I did not look fat. I know, I know, I mean I've been ridin the bike, and clearin brush and alll, but I can't get rid of this gut! The food here is fucking awesome! Anything I want. You been workin out? This phone is really cool by the way. It's got one of those eagle dealies on it like Air Force One and everything. Unlimited anytime minutes to boot!! I'm using one of those Bluebeard wireless headsets...,can you hear me now?. Shit, hold on, Daddy's calling on the other line...er, can I call you back?".........
posted by HyperBlue at 10:17 PM on February 1, 2006


I don't know anyone who's apathetic, nightchrome. Americans I know are more concerned about their country's politics than ever before. Alas, there is no general agreement about what the problem is...
posted by hattifattener at 10:58 PM on February 1, 2006


Does anyone take that SotU stuff seriously anymore? If you'll excuse me, I'm off to try and destroy those "animal-human hybrids" that have apparently become all the craze...
posted by clevershark at 5:29 AM on February 2, 2006


Here's something else Dubya didn't mean: "alternative energy"

From today's NYT:

The Energy Department will begin laying off researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the next week or two because of cuts to its budget.

A veteran researcher said the staff had been told that the cuts would be concentrated among researchers in wind and biomass, which includes ethanol. Those are two of the technologies that Mr. Bush cited on Tuesday night as holding the promise to replace part of the nation's oil imports.


Alternative energy means money for Exxon, etc. so just SHUT UP!!
posted by nofundy at 6:48 AM on February 2, 2006


Last year's SotU-WTF= High school kids on Steroids!
I guess we nipped that in the bud!

I think he throws a big whopper in there every time just to keep everyone on their toes.
posted by Balisong at 6:53 AM on February 2, 2006


FactCheck.org SotU summary. Misstatements, Selective facts, and strategic omissions.
posted by Balisong at 6:56 AM on February 2, 2006


I'd say my favorite part was his all-too ridiculous transposition of The Civil War, Civil Rights, and WW2 to that of the current cash-grab no-bid clusterfuck that is Iraq.

Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery. Martin Luther King could have stopped at Birmingham or at Selma, and achieved only half a victory over segregation. The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others.

Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?


Wait, you mean the historical journey of starting an illegal war based on patently false information; colluded and orchestrated in a gigantic PR campaign by your administration?

You say tom-a-to, I say illegal war criminal.

For all of the people asking "What's the problem?", here's a hint: You're the fucking problem.
posted by prostyle at 7:14 AM on February 2, 2006


You wouldn't think that this would be much of a surprise, really. I paid attention to what the president said, and knew what it really meant, when it was obvious that he didn't really mean what he had said.

Of course the president was lying being truthy... his lips were moving.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:37 AM on February 2, 2006


but how is it that you guys think it's even possible for him to be speaking literally in the first place? He (an individual who is not going to be president in 2025) is making a vow on behalf of a country (which he will not be the leader of in 2025). It's syntactically impossible for him to mean what he says literally.

it is completely 'syntactically possible' and even expected for a president to lay out long term concrete policy goals in his State of the Union. He cannot promise that leaders after him will continue his vision, as it were, but the idea is to put actual explicit plans on the table for everyone to see, so that they can negotiate and legislate in response to them. If Bush says he wants to decrease imports from the middle east a certain percentage by a certain year, that means he wants to start passing legislation that will make that happen (exactly the sort of legislation that has recently been rejected by the republican congress, but that's another story). No president can dictate that his concrete policy goals will be exactly met, because we do have a system of checks and balances, but the executive branch does have power to veto any legislation that will impede the progress of its vision, and is expected to propose initiatives. In fact, guess when he's expected to do that?

"Much of the legislation dealt with by Congress is drafted at the initiative of the executive branch. In annual and special messages to Congress, the president may propose legislation he believes is necessary. The most important of these is the annual State of the Union Address traditionally given in January. Before a joint session of Congress, the President outlines the status of the country and his legislative proposals for the upcoming year. If Congress should adjourn without acting on those proposals, the president has the power to call it into special session."


Re: the 20% number from the middle east, remember that's 20% of the 60% that is imported, so that'd be 12% of overall oil used... perhaps the 5% number was something to do with percent of overall energy consumption, including sources other than oil? That would imply that oil use is around 40% of our total energy use, with coal, nuclear and alternative sources accounting for the rest... that seems plausible.
posted by mdn at 7:41 AM on February 2, 2006


"We need an energy bill that encourages consumption."
-President Bush, Sept. 23, 2002, Trenton, New Jersey, speech

More discussion at The Oil Drum.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:58 AM on February 2, 2006


Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?
FYI...."finish well" is wingnut code, a concept from a sermon by Jerry Falwell.
posted by edverb at 8:07 AM on February 2, 2006


The NYT's article (which nofundy references above) is an interesting read: Bush's Goals on Energy Quickly Find Obstacles.
posted by ericb at 8:40 AM on February 2, 2006


9/11 changed everything.
posted by Otis at 8:47 AM on February 2, 2006


Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?
I am in blood
Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
-- Macbeth
posted by kirkaracha at 9:22 AM on February 2, 2006


Other Things Bush Said That You Shouldn’t Take Literally.
posted by ericb at 9:43 AM on February 2, 2006


I saw this covered on CNBC this morning. The way I understood it, the administration is not backing off any goals of reducing oil imports, but they are backing off the middle-east claim because the Saudis were mildly offended. After all, we claim to be their buddies, yet we say we don't want to be buying their oil in 20 years?
posted by b_thinky at 10:31 AM on February 2, 2006


Bush's speech was code for invading Canada for its oil-sands. Already, those in the Admin (and far too many ordinary citizens) refer to the oil-sands as "our oil."

FOAD, USA.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:11 AM on February 2, 2006


Let me straighten this out - I thought. the cop. was a hooker.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:13 AM on February 2, 2006


I think Bush had his fingers crossed when he said it so it doesn't count.

What about that part where he said he would improve science and math education? We all know that ain't gonna happen.
posted by jefbla at 11:54 AM on February 2, 2006


b_thinky, you should probably get to a chiropracter before you twist ever closer into a pretzel-shape.
posted by bardic at 12:22 PM on February 2, 2006


ericb, thanks for that link to Think Progress and the other stuff we shouldn't take literally.

I like this one, it just helps the spin go around faster.
President Bush, 1/11/06:

[W]hen an American President says something, he better mean it….in order to be able to have credibility in this world, when we speak, we better mean what we say.

Can he really be expected to remember something he said a whole three weeks ago?
posted by fenriq at 12:58 PM on February 2, 2006


bardic, nobody's twisting anything except the people on this thread who will jump on Bush for anything he says (including setting a goal to cut oil consumption, which you should be happy about!).

It would be one thing if the President seemingly set a goal to reduce oil consumption and the next day said "nevermind." I don's see any indication that the goal has been removed, so there's nothing to be upset about. Really. So just chill.
posted by b_thinky at 1:16 PM on February 2, 2006


Umm, I'm fine thank you, already quite chill. It's apologists who seem to be jumpy, given that their man says things he doesn't mean. It's called irony, although I doubt he knows what that means.

And further proof that this administration if FOS when it comes to talking about ending tyranny--they jump, ney, frickin' catapult when their Saudi masters tell them they aren't pleased.

Funny if it wasn't so sad.
posted by bardic at 1:23 PM on February 2, 2006


Just a thought: if the president literally intended to cut oil imports specifically from the middle east, wouldn't he be admitting his Iraq policy is a failure? Iraq is a big oil company, and we don't think they'll be politically stable enough to purchase oil from in 20 years?

I think it's an entirely plausible scenario, but not one Bush is going to admit.

The point is, with oil becoming less available if we continue to import 60% of our supply from overseas, we're going to be exposed to volatile political situations all over the world. Reduce our dependency on foreign oil and we'll be better off. I don't see what there is to argue here.
posted by b_thinky at 1:38 PM on February 2, 2006


Yes, Iraq is no longer a country, it's a company. Or something.
posted by b_thinky at 1:39 PM on February 2, 2006


Shorter b_thinky: "Look away! Look away!"
posted by bashos_frog at 2:25 PM on February 2, 2006


President Bush was also lying in March 2003 when he said, "I've not made up our mind about military action ," "We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq," and "the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war."

According to a newly-discovered memo, President Bush told Tony Blair in January 2003 that he intended to invade with our without a second UN resolution, and even if weapons inspectors didn't find any evidence of a weapons program. (Well, at least he was telling the truth about that.) They apparently also discussed painting a U2 plane in UN colors and trying to get Iraq to shoot it down.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:35 PM on February 2, 2006


Is this the article to which you were trying to link, kirkaracha?
posted by ericb at 2:43 PM on February 2, 2006


Shorter b_thinky: "Look away! Look away!"
posted by bashos_frog at 2:25 PM PST on February 2 [!]


I have no idea what you mean. Care to elaborate?
posted by b_thinky at 3:56 PM on February 2, 2006


Hey, you're still hanging out in this thread, b_thinky!

Care to address kirkaracha's questions?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:04 PM on February 2, 2006


I don't think I asked any questions.

Thanks, ericb. I was actually trying to link to the Guardian article, but that one's just as good.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:05 AM on February 3, 2006


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