Well, as we enter the second week of the Obama Monarchy, we find that we’re perhaps in a developing approach to governing that is reminiscent of “3-card monty(e).” In case you’re not familiar with the term, here’s an explanation from NY.com. The scenario:
Three Card Monte
Whenever a police car passes by, you can observe how quickly these games disperse. Sidewalk card games are both illegal and fraudulent for some very good reasons. The scenario:
Two or more people are standing around a cardboard box on a busy street trying to win money by choosing the correct card out of the three cards shuffled.
You notice that someone seems to be winning; this person is usually working with the dealer to lure people in. People who work these scams know that it will be less suspicious to plant a women or someone in a business suit in the game.
The shuffler will purposely lose the first few rounds to get you to bet more money.
At this point, if you take your wallet out, someone may grab it and run -OR- it will be pick pocketed as you watch the game.
If by some fluke you win, you may be followed and mugged.
How to avoid this : The hand is quicker than the eye and these are pros. Don’t play – YOU CANNOT WIN!
During the campaign, we learned that Obama was in the pocket of Exelon and re-wrote a bill regarding nuclear waste for the company’s benefit at the behest of Republicans. Seemed to be easily swayed at the expense of his constitutents in Illinois. (See “In Nuclear Bill, An Early Obama Test.”) Now, we’re getting word that today (Monday, January 26) the Obama Administration will announce that they will grant waivers to states like California so that they can raise emissions standards, a move that was stopped by Bushco. From Grist-Environmental News & Commentary:
Move would allow California and 13 other states to set tougher tailpipe standards
Posted by Kate Sheppard at 4:43 PM on 25 Jan 2009
President Obama on Monday will direct federal regulators to grant a waiver to California and 13 other states that have petitioned to set higher vehicle emissions standards, according to a New York Times report citing two administration sources.
The Washington Post also has the story, reporting that White House officials “privately trumpeted [the emissions move] to supporters as ‘the first environment and energy actions taken by the President, helping our country move toward greater energy independence.’” While the Times says Obama’s decision will result in quick approval for California emissions waiver, the Post‘s story has a more conditional tone, saying only that the president has ordered the EPA “to reexamine two policies that could force automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars which yield fewer greenhouse gas emissions.“
So, the New York Times seems to be sure it will happen, while the WaPo is reporting in a more “conditional tone.” I guess we’ll have to wait to see what “reexamine” means in Obama parlance. (SEE BELOW FOR ACTUAL WORDING IN THE STORIES)
Let’s also see what really happens with a promise Obama made during the lead-up to the Pennsylvania primary. Back then Obama promised he’d “hire” Al Gore. (See Obama Says Climate Change Is Real, Will Hire Gore) I haven’t heard a peep from Gore lately, but I haven’t been looking for him either. Maybe I missed something? Let me know if I have missed any news about Gore. Perhaps he really is working on various issues for Obama and perhaps he’s under wraps so he doesn’t get into the “baggage game.” But, as it stands now, we will have to wait to see if Obama actually does use Gore in the way he promised. Some of the proposals for carbon emissions capping, etc. may cost some money and consumer may not be too happy about it. Let’s see what happens.
Treehuggers.com (a site owned by the Discovery Company) has a list of environmental concerns that the Center for Progressive Reform believes Obama should act on. You can see the list here:
7 Executive Orders President Obama Should Sign to Protect the Environment: Center for Progressive Reform
Back at Grist there’s a story about how the departing Bush Adminstration slipped in a rule that weakens a Reagan era rule, if you can believe that!
Bush administration moves to allow guns in national parks and wildlife refuges
Posted by Kate Sheppard at 6:15 PM on 05 Dec 2008
The Department of the Interior on Friday announced a final rule that will allow visitors to carry loaded and concealed firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The previous rules, put in place in the early ’80s under President Reagan, allowed firearms in parks as long as they were unloaded and stored somewhere that wasn’t easily accessible.
It could take many months (or possibly years) for the next administration to overturn the rule, should it choose to do so, since it would require a whole new rule-making process. Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for Obama’s transition team, told the Associated Press that the president-elect hasn’t made any decisions about the rule: “President-elect Obama will review all eleventh-hour regulations and will address them once he is president.”
Note that Obama hadn’t made any decisions about the rule as president-elect…so, we’ll have to see if he addresses the issue. It’s sort of like the “Conscience Rule” which could also take years to overturn. Let’s see if Obama sticks his neck out on either of these two issues. Meanwhile, the poor bears are already showing changes in their behavior to adapt to the new mindset in Washington! Here’s the story, passed along by a correspondent from W.A.M.:
Montana wildlife impacted by spreading malaise: The photo below captures a disturbing trend that is beginning to affect wildlife in the US.
With a sweeping Democratic Party victory in the November elections, animals that were formerly self-sufficient are already modifying their behavior to take advantage of what they expect to be a new set of societal norms in the next four to eight years. This black bear from Montana has ceased hunting for a living and is sitting outside the US Fish & Wildlife Service office in Kalispell, apparently waiting to be fed and to have his winter den dug by government employees. The residents of Kalispell are calling him “Bearack Obama”.
So, we’ll have to see how Obama handles this development. Does he let the Bush rules on loaded, concealed weapons stand which would then allow park visitors to shoot bears expecting a handout? That might be the easiest way out of the problem.
And it just goes to show you…when it comes to Obama, choosing the correct card from what’s being shuffled as Obama zigzags along with “conditional statements” and watered down promises, a la Exelon, is probably a game we won’t be winning.
“3-Card Monte” may turn out to be even more Obama’s game than basketball…
How the Times and WaPo word the story lower down the page:
The two stories (web editions)–Both start the same then there’s the NYT’s “begin work immediately” vs the WaPo’s instruction to “reconsider”…
The New York Times, January 26, 2009
“But the centerpiece of Monday’s anticipated announcement is Mr. Obama’s directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to begin work immediately on granting California a waiver, under the Clean Air Act, which allows the state, a longtime leader in air quality matters, to set standards for automobile emissions stricter than the national rules.”
Washington Post, January 26, 2009
“Obama will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California a waiver to regulate automobile tailpipe emissions linked to global warming,…”
UPDATE 2 (1 pm MT)
Just back from errands, I searched for the reporting on the big event…and found that the NY Times headlines says one thing but the story is now in line with the original WaPo story (above)!
From the New York Times web edition:
WASHINGTON — President Obama directed federal regulators on Monday to move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict limits on greenhouse gases from cars and trucks. He also ordered the Transportation Department to begin drawing up rules imposing higher fuel-economy standards on cars and light trucks.
Mr. Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the Bush administration’s past rejection of the California application. While he stopped short of flatly ordering the reversal of the Bush decision, the agency’s regulators are now widely expected to do so after completing a formal review process.
From the Washington Post web edition:
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, January 26, 2009; 2:05 PM
President Obama today promised new U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming as he announced a series of steps aimed at making American cars more fuel efficient and reducing greenhouse gases, including a directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider granting California and other states waivers to set their own strict regulations on auto emissions.
In the presidential directives he signed today, Obama instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California and other states waivers to regulate automobile tailpipe emissions linked to global warming…
Quite a difference in the reporting. The Times story injects the word “swiftly” in the first sentence, there by setting it’s “editorial” tone.
Blatantly and deliberately. Guess which line the evening news and cable will pick up…I’m betting the Times version….
UPDATE 3 (12:14 AM MT, 1/27)
Al Gore to testify Wednesday before Senate Foreign Relations Committee on climate change…if ice doesn’t postpone proceedings…
Filed under: Current Politics | Tagged: "Conscience Rule", 3-Card Monte, 3-Card Monty, Al Gore, Barack Obama, Bearack Obama, bears, Bush Administration, Center for Progressive Reform, Democratic Party, Department of the Interior, emissions waivers to states, Exelon Corporation, George W. Bush, Grist-Environmental News & Company, loaded and concealed firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges, New York Times, nuclear waste, Obama Administration, Republicans, Ronald Reagan, tailpipe emissions, the Discovery Company, The Washington Post, Three Card Monte, Treehuggers.com, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, W.A.M. | 10 Comments »