More Obama White House Propaganda

Jim Yardley
When my son was in high school and editor of his school newspaper, he developed a fascination with the National Enquirer.  I asked him, in my gentle, supportive way, "Have you lost your mind?  Why are you reading that drivel?"

His response was interesting.  He told me that he was impressed by the way the headline writers at the National Enquirer could tell the absolute truth, but completely mislead the reader into thinking the article was about something else entirely. 

Today, January 18th, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed that carried the byline of Barak Obama entitled "Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System." 

Apparently, whoever wrote the article for the President was a former headline writer for the National Enquirer.

In only 907 words, the author of the article misdirected the reader's attention with phrases, sentences, and the occasional full paragraph that would make Harry Houdini proud.

For example, in speaking of the regulatory requirements placed on businesses, he states:

Sometimes, those rules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business -- burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs. At other times, we have failed to meet our basic responsibility to protect the public interest, leading to disastrous consequences. Such was the case in the run-up to the financial crisis from which we are still recovering. There, a lack of proper oversight and transparency nearly led to the collapse of the financial markets and a full-scale Depression.

So, the writer has decided that the "lack of proper oversight" on financial institutions was the prime culprit in the economic melt-down in 2007-2008.  The overabundance of oversight, in the sense of forcing banks to loan countless billions to unqualified borrowers is never mentioned directly, unless it's hidden in the phrase "placing unreasonable burdens on business."  That is such a nice, reasonable phrase, and it lulls the reader into believing that the current administration means well for all of us.  They hint that they don't plan to be "unreasonable."

The author pats the administration on the back for eliminating regulations that are "just plain dumb."  He offers as proof the following example:

For instance, the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste. The EPA wisely eliminated this rule last month.

No one can really argue with the incredible idiocy of one department of the all-knowing Federal government viewing saccharin as a relatively harmless sweetener for the most popular hot drink in the country, while another department of the same all-knowing government views it, and regulates it, as toxic waste.  Yep, getting rid of that is unarguably a smart move.  So the reader is invited to sit back, secure in the knowledge that the various departments of Big Government have it all well in hand. 

But, at the same time that the past, or possibly future, headline writer for the National Enquirer assures us that the various departments of the Executive Branch have eliminated institutional idiocy, he skips blithely over the onrushing regulations of the EPA over carbon in its myriad forms.  Ignore the fact, gentle reader, that as human beings, carbon is a primary component of our bodies.  Ignore the idea that we, again as human beings, exhale carbon dioxide all day, every day from birth until we take our last breath.  Ignore the fact that everything we eat requires CO2 in order to grow.  Ignore that hydrocarbons in the form of oil or coal or corn for biofuels are needed for us to get to work, which we need to do in order to earn a living, pay our bills, feed our kids and obviously pay our taxes.  In short, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

The administration seems to be selling the idea that controlling our potential food supplies by limiting carbon dioxide for plant growth, the hydrocarbons needed for fertilizer, the oil to fuel our cars, trains, planes and homes, is offset by the incredibly wise act of saying that saccharin is non-toxic. 

Our National Enquirer headline writer strikes once again in addressing the new mileage regulations that are coming:

The EPA and the Department of Transportation worked with auto makers, labor unions, states like California, and environmental advocates this past spring to turn a tangle of rules into one aggressive new standard. It was a victory for car companies that wanted regulatory certainty; for consumers who will pay less at the pump; for our security, as we save 1.8 billion barrels of oil; and for the environment as we reduce pollution.

The self-congratulatory tone of this section of the article is unmistakable.  It's a sort of homage to the reasonableness of the White House as opposed to the clearly unreasonable approaches of those who oppose the Obama prelacy, oops, I obviously mean presidency.  But, in no way meant to demean the writer, which of course would not be in keeping with the civility required in all public discourse, several questions beg to be asked. 

Why are labor unions listed as participants?  Does the UAW contribute to the design of more fuel efficient vehicles?  Or is it simply a sop to major campaign contributors?

Why are providers of the fuels for automobiles not party to the conversation on how reasonable fuel consumption standards could be met?

Why is the phrase "consumers who will pay less at the pump" not qualified by pointing out that the administration presumes that their regulatory actions, which are aimed at reducing the availability of petroleum, will not have an adverse impact on gas prices, and resulting in costing consumers more at the pump, regardless of the mileage rating of their vehicle?

It appears that the author has done another fine job of reducing to the printed page the embodiment of the phrase "smoke and mirrors."  Unfortunately for him, once you notice the man behind the curtain, the smoke and mirrors that are used to distract you from what is really happening become what the have been the entire time - smoke without any substance, and a mirror for the author to preen in.

Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller, Vietnam veteran and libertarian (small "l").  Jim blogs at jimyardley.wordpress.com, or he can be contacted directly at james.v.yardley@gmail.com
When my son was in high school and editor of his school newspaper, he developed a fascination with the National Enquirer.  I asked him, in my gentle, supportive way, "Have you lost your mind?  Why are you reading that drivel?"

His response was interesting.  He told me that he was impressed by the way the headline writers at the National Enquirer could tell the absolute truth, but completely mislead the reader into thinking the article was about something else entirely. 

Today, January 18th, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed that carried the byline of Barak Obama entitled "Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System." 

Apparently, whoever wrote the article for the President was a former headline writer for the National Enquirer.

In only 907 words, the author of the article misdirected the reader's attention with phrases, sentences, and the occasional full paragraph that would make Harry Houdini proud.

For example, in speaking of the regulatory requirements placed on businesses, he states:

Sometimes, those rules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business -- burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs. At other times, we have failed to meet our basic responsibility to protect the public interest, leading to disastrous consequences. Such was the case in the run-up to the financial crisis from which we are still recovering. There, a lack of proper oversight and transparency nearly led to the collapse of the financial markets and a full-scale Depression.

So, the writer has decided that the "lack of proper oversight" on financial institutions was the prime culprit in the economic melt-down in 2007-2008.  The overabundance of oversight, in the sense of forcing banks to loan countless billions to unqualified borrowers is never mentioned directly, unless it's hidden in the phrase "placing unreasonable burdens on business."  That is such a nice, reasonable phrase, and it lulls the reader into believing that the current administration means well for all of us.  They hint that they don't plan to be "unreasonable."

The author pats the administration on the back for eliminating regulations that are "just plain dumb."  He offers as proof the following example:

For instance, the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste. The EPA wisely eliminated this rule last month.

No one can really argue with the incredible idiocy of one department of the all-knowing Federal government viewing saccharin as a relatively harmless sweetener for the most popular hot drink in the country, while another department of the same all-knowing government views it, and regulates it, as toxic waste.  Yep, getting rid of that is unarguably a smart move.  So the reader is invited to sit back, secure in the knowledge that the various departments of Big Government have it all well in hand. 

But, at the same time that the past, or possibly future, headline writer for the National Enquirer assures us that the various departments of the Executive Branch have eliminated institutional idiocy, he skips blithely over the onrushing regulations of the EPA over carbon in its myriad forms.  Ignore the fact, gentle reader, that as human beings, carbon is a primary component of our bodies.  Ignore the idea that we, again as human beings, exhale carbon dioxide all day, every day from birth until we take our last breath.  Ignore the fact that everything we eat requires CO2 in order to grow.  Ignore that hydrocarbons in the form of oil or coal or corn for biofuels are needed for us to get to work, which we need to do in order to earn a living, pay our bills, feed our kids and obviously pay our taxes.  In short, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

The administration seems to be selling the idea that controlling our potential food supplies by limiting carbon dioxide for plant growth, the hydrocarbons needed for fertilizer, the oil to fuel our cars, trains, planes and homes, is offset by the incredibly wise act of saying that saccharin is non-toxic. 

Our National Enquirer headline writer strikes once again in addressing the new mileage regulations that are coming:

The EPA and the Department of Transportation worked with auto makers, labor unions, states like California, and environmental advocates this past spring to turn a tangle of rules into one aggressive new standard. It was a victory for car companies that wanted regulatory certainty; for consumers who will pay less at the pump; for our security, as we save 1.8 billion barrels of oil; and for the environment as we reduce pollution.

The self-congratulatory tone of this section of the article is unmistakable.  It's a sort of homage to the reasonableness of the White House as opposed to the clearly unreasonable approaches of those who oppose the Obama prelacy, oops, I obviously mean presidency.  But, in no way meant to demean the writer, which of course would not be in keeping with the civility required in all public discourse, several questions beg to be asked. 

Why are labor unions listed as participants?  Does the UAW contribute to the design of more fuel efficient vehicles?  Or is it simply a sop to major campaign contributors?

Why are providers of the fuels for automobiles not party to the conversation on how reasonable fuel consumption standards could be met?

Why is the phrase "consumers who will pay less at the pump" not qualified by pointing out that the administration presumes that their regulatory actions, which are aimed at reducing the availability of petroleum, will not have an adverse impact on gas prices, and resulting in costing consumers more at the pump, regardless of the mileage rating of their vehicle?

It appears that the author has done another fine job of reducing to the printed page the embodiment of the phrase "smoke and mirrors."  Unfortunately for him, once you notice the man behind the curtain, the smoke and mirrors that are used to distract you from what is really happening become what the have been the entire time - smoke without any substance, and a mirror for the author to preen in.

Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller, Vietnam veteran and libertarian (small "l").  Jim blogs at jimyardley.wordpress.com, or he can be contacted directly at james.v.yardley@gmail.com