Patterico's Pontifications


Who Knew That Among The Qualifications To Be A “Community Organizer” Was Being An Auto Mechanic?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — WLS @ 2:52 pm

Posted by WLS:

This has been all over radio and the blogosphere today, but its simply too much of a head-shaker to ignore.

I’m beginning to wonder if there has ever been a less serious candidate for President run by a major party.

Powerline has a great dismantling of this fatuous claim.   Bottom line — 11,308 years of proper tire inflation will result in the same savings in oil consumption as would be produced by drilling in ANWR, on the outer-continental shelf, and recovery of oil from shale in the Rockies.

29 Responses to “Who Knew That Among The Qualifications To Be A “Community Organizer” Was Being An Auto Mechanic?”

  1. This guy has been called sweet names and not held accountable for anything since high school. Heck, look into his first book contract!

    So is it any wonder that he believes that his off-the-cuff whim constitutes natural law? Two words: Chris Mathews. The press just loves him.

    We will shortly learn that numbers are racist, I predict. Feelings are more important than facts; three cheers for hope and change!

    What’s upsetting to me is hearing how incredibly stupid Quayle was, or GW Bush is, based on clueless comments….but BO just skates on through.

    He might be smart, but he sure isn’t well informed about facts. Feelings though—he is all over that subject.


    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  2. Perhaps Chrissie (I squat to pee) Matthews feels so simpatico for Obama because Barry Hussein and Jimmy both spew the same lame Americans-need-to conserve idiocy? Didn’t “journalist and US Senator wannabe” Matthews write that memorable malaise speech broadcast April of ’77? Perhaps Chrissie wants to work closer with the Messiah and his teleprompter? Capt. Ed has the video of the 31 year old Carter speech over at Hot Air.

    Why not just reinstitute World War II type rationing of gasoline and tires? I’m sure the black market world flourish (oops, another racist term). And VIPs such as Algore and Silk Pony would receive special AGW/Two Americas credits. And as an aside funny how Breck girl’s alleged love child has no daddy listed on birth certificate even though an aide took credit for being the pop several months prior? Ok, enough quidnunc stuff. How come we just cannot suck it up like the frogs and pay much higher energy prices to save the environment and give libs more money for socialist utopia plans?

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  3. 11,308 years of proper tire inflation will result in the same savings in oil consumption as would be produced by drilling in ANWR, on the outer-continental shelf, and recovery of oil from shale in the Rockies.

    Oil drilling –> savings in oil consumption?

    Joe M. (150efa)

  4. I think they mean that less would be used, effectively increasing supply…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  5. Quick, somebody check the tire pressures in Obama’s motorcade.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  6. Better yet, check the tire pressure in Obama’s private jet.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  7. Check the pressure in his head. It seems to be over-inflated.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  8. There’s a “lawyer” joke in all this, but I’m a guest here and aware of that fact, so I’ll just let it be.

    C. Norris (0dcbd8)

  9. It always comes down to lawyer jokes doesn’t it.

    TLove (b8e7b4)

  10. This is why the Democrats have no serious energy policies – they believe the nonsense environmentalists spew about alternative energy and conservation and just think that you and I are stubborn for not seeing the light.

    I.e., stupidity like this.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. Obama forgot to change the oil and filter every 3000 gaffes.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  12. That was just an incredibly, incredibly stupid thing to say.

    This guy isn’t showing that he’s any brighter than an underinflated tire.

    Sorry for the mixed metaphor…it just seemed apt.

    EW1(SG) (893a32)

  13. This is not stupid. He really believes this. This is plain inability to think beyond a teleprompter.

    Who was the last guy to speak to him?

    steve miller (eba841)

  14. I think Obama’s making a good point about the value of conservation, even though the numbers seem to be off. Starting with the linked Power Line page, here is how I work them.

    MPG declines about 0.4% for each 1 psi that all four tires are deflated. I’ll guess that 5% of drivers have tires down 12 psi (5%). That’s 32 psi -> 20 psi; pretty noticably flattened. I’ll guess another 15% of people have tires down 6 psi (2.5%). That’s not as noticable, and a lot of folks don’t check regularly (tires slowly leak).

    So this three-bucket estimate has fleet mileage down from a perfectly-inflated 24.00 MPG to 23.85 MPG.

    If US cars drive 2,880 billion miles per year, they use 120.75 billion gallons of gasoline/yr. If 100% of the fleet had proper tire pressure, usage would be 120 billion gal/yr. That’s a savings of 750 million gal/yr.

    How many gallons of gasoline from a 42-gallon barrel of crude? Depends, but about 19 to 21. However, there are ~45 gallons of usable products derived from a barrel, and most of that is motor fuel (gasoline, diesel, kerosene/jet fuel, other distillates, LPG). Refining has an energy-input cost of about 20% of the energy in a barrel of crude (i.e. steam heat for the distillation). So for motor fuel, about 37 gallons is extracted; call it 30 gal with the input-energy penalty.

    So the tire-inflation savings works out to about 25 million barrels of crude per year, or about 250 million barrels over 10 years.

    From Powerline:

    – ANWR: 10 billion barrels
    – Outer Continental Shelf: 18 billion barrels [or higher]
    – Oil shale: 1 trillion barrels

    Oil shale is out of this analysis. First, Obama said “drill”, my understanding is that means “drill for oil” not “dig for shale” or “heat-process oil shale in-ground or after mining and then extract oil.” Second, oil shale is at this moment a technology that is unproven. Its efficiency (energy expenditure per bbl oil extracted) will be much lower than drilling. If/when scaled, its economics are uncertain. Environmental damage could be significant, as bad as strip mining. And oil-shale processing takes huge amounts of water, a resource that the Intermountain West doesn’t have in abundance.

    So my cocktail napkin has 10-year tire savings at 250 million bbl, which is 2.5% of Power Line’s ANWR reserves estimate.

    That’s not sufficient to substitute for a field the size of ANWR, but I don’t think that a free 2.5% increase is something to mock. Most process improvements of this magnitude are hard–this one would be easy.

    Any engineers want to weigh in?

    FWIW, I think ANWR drilling isn’t a good idea. For as long as we don’t drill, the oil doesn’t go anywhere. It stays there for our kids and grandkids. Will it be more valuable for them than for us? Quite possibly. But in any case, why not pluck the low-hanging fruit of tire inflation?

    (Jeez, I’ll be embarrassed if I messed up the arithmetic…)

    AMac (ada437)

  15. AMac,

    I don’t know about the math but by the time our grandchildren are grown, the economy will probably have diversified away from a reliance on oil and gas. That pot of black gold in ANWR won’t be nearly as useful or valuable. This paper explains some reasons why. The bottom line is that we are in transition when it comes to energy. We need to produce as much energy of all types for the economy and protect the environment through innovation.

    I respect a sincere concern for the environment but from an economic standpoint, the time to produce resources is when they are useful and valuable — not to hoard them until their value is significantly reduced. It’s akin to responding to Henry Ford’s production of the Model A by arguing that we need to safeguard thousands of horse-drawn wagons.

    DRJ (e4b6ac)

  16. Maybe not the best thing to include in a speech. Some might even call it silly. Something else that’s silly….everyone calling for more drilling like big oil is our best friend.

    FYI changing driving habits does get better mpg.

    Stu (9ec768)

  17. AMac & Stu – first, now that every driver has been told (for the umpteenth time in my case) that properly inflated tires are not just good sense economically, but safer – who is going to be in charge of enforcement? For the Left, it is rarely enough to remind, or even cajole – compliance has to be folded in, and in this case it really does, to be effective. Second – drilling is going to occur, like it or not – it’s merely a matter of where. OPEC lands, where Wahabbists, Russians & Chinese (and other sundry Socialists) work against our interests? Or domestically, where we can – at minimum – get marginal seniors away from begging Hugo Chavez for scraps from the Venezuelan table. You might not be offended by Joe (Kennedy) For Oil, but I am – highly so. If you think American seniors should be going to an undemocratic POS like that to stay warm, then I can, oh, I don’t know – question your patriotism?

    rhodeymark (a60d4a)

  18. My problem with Obama’s comment is that it just sounds so pathetically stupid.

    The fact that someone has to go through the math that AMac goes through to gin up a passable case that there is some value in the suggestion made by Obama — and its not a novel suggestion, its a point that’s been made for years — demonstrates the political boneheadedness of the comment.

    When a politician is put in the position of having to demonstrate the literal truth of his comments — because the literal truth is not self-evident to the listener — then he’s lost that information cycle.

    Saying “If we just inflated our tires we could save more oil than the drilling will produce” just sounds fatuous, and leaves the politician in a no-win situation. Abandon the statement and look like a fool, or waste a ton of time trying to convince people of the literal truth of something that is not self-evident.

    Only a non-serious candidate would make such a stupid comment in a public forum and invite the scrutiny that was sure to follow.

    WLS (4ab682)

  19. WLS,

    Without going back to the videotape, I can’t recite exactly what Obama said, but your quote in #19 seems about right. And the first time I did the arithmetic, 10 years of savings did about match ANWR. Dang, those misplaced decimal points!

    “2.5%”–which might be 1% or might be 6%, I dunno–is worth talking about and expending some effort to achieve. But it isn’t “saving more oil than drilling will produce.”


    I can, oh, I don’t know – question your patriotism?

    Sure, have at it. (I think you’re joshing.) If that doesn’t work, call me a r-r-r-racist. Works for the hard-left bomb-throwers, every time. As far as inspiration/enforcement of the Tire Crusade, yeah, how far past the bully pulpit should we go? But I can think of some not-very-intrusive steps, e.g. air pressure checks at inspection and emission stations. It’s not as if motorists enjoy wasting gas and wearing out their tires.


    Thanks for the link. So far, I don’t completely agree with the authors’ premises. But it’s more than a one-night quick read.

    AMac (106e8b)

  20. “Any engineers want to weigh in?”

    You also want an economist. What is the price of the oil from ANWR, compared to what is the price of proper tire inflation. That has to factor into the decision of which one is smarter to use (if it is really a choice between one or the other). Of course, the price of oil might not factor in all the externalities, like environmental degradation from the extraction and use of the fossil fuel.

    afall (26d6e5)

  21. That has to factor into the decision of which one is smarter to use (if it is really a choice between one or the other).

    The thing is, there really isn’t a choice.

    I can have perfect tire pressure all the live-long day, and it won’t do me a damn bit of good if gas is too expensive to put in the tank.

    Tires aren’t actually what makes the thing go.

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  22. Scott – Tell that to the drivers at The Brickyard.

    Regardless, this was just an inartful comment by Baracky, which serves to highlight the inherent racism of those that do not agree with him.

    JD (75f5c3)

  23. Scott – Tell that to the drivers at The Brickyard.

    Seriously? Tires rank above FUEL in the “Things needed to make a car move” list?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  24. First, Drill here, Drill NOW!

    Second, put as many Democrats in the unemployment line as possible in November.

    Third, change the Federal laws and regulations so that all vehicles can be made more fuel efficient. For those who don’t know there’s an EPA reg that scares businesses away from coming up with retrofit parts that would create more efficient engines, but the parts have to be certified by the EPA to last 100,000 to 150,000 miles besides doing the job intended, else huge fines and jail for the people involved.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  25. “I can have perfect tire pressure all the live-long day, and it won’t do me a damn bit of good if gas is too expensive to put in the tank.”

    That sounds retarded. An increase in how much utility/mileage you get from a gallon of gas is equivalent (pricewise, not including externalities like congestion and pollution) to a decrease in price. Sometimes you just need an economist around to say the obvious.

    afall (48e229)

  26. If you drive plenty and want more performance plus increased gas mileage, there are little things you can do to such as using the more expensives free-flow air cleaners, lithium spark plugs, removing excess weight, doing a number of errands at one time, walking in the neighborhood or riding a bike. Or you could also show what a hypocrite you are urging everyone else to conserve when you or your fellow ex-senator live in energy hog mansions, travel around in the largest SUVs and limos and fly all over the world to conferences and awards ceremonies touting your goracle religion inprivate jets, while harvesting
    more carbon credits dough based on psuedo science that is “settled”.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  27. We could also start using one sheet of toilet paper per dump to help save the environment, reduce the energy used in producing paper…..wait, didn’t some brain dead singer propose that already?

    Anyway, everybody knows the automakers have engine designs for cars that get 150 miles per gallon that big oil has bribed them not to bring to market. It’s all a big plot to enrich capitalist pigs and punish the poor, minorities and women. Isn’t it obvious?


    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  28. rhodeymark-

    Thanks for the reply. Better driving habits amount to better gas mileage. It’s a fact. Who am I to tell you how to live your life? If you don’t want to save a couple of bucks everytime you fill up, then by all means spend more money.

    I don’t care if drilling occurs or not, and bringing patriotism into the discussion has nothing to do with my statement. I just don’t think we can count on the oil industry to bail us out and lower prices. You, apparently do. We’ll agree to disagree.

    Stu (b029f9)

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