Massa Press Conference

I attended today's Massa Press conference, which is nicely written up by Grievous Angel at Rochesterturning, so no need to duplicate that fine effort. I'll do the color commentary instead.

Other than the aftermath of last night's primary, the most interesting exchange had to do with gas prices. Massa floated the possibility of a gas price freeze, which is what Richard Nixon did during the last "gas crisis". While I recognize that politicians need to feel that they're doing "something", having lived through the last set of price freezes, I don't think this idea will work. You can read more about that here.

As a threat, it might have some effect on gas prices, if oil companies took it seriously.

The other part of his recommendation, strengthening the dollar, has to be our nation's long-term goal. But the only way to achieve that goal is to reduce our debt. That won't happen overnight.

Massa's diagnosis of the current energy problem, and his long-term energy plan, are both correct. Short-term, I don't think there's anything he or any other politician can propose that will change today's unfortunate energy situation.


Freezing gas prices or having a gas holiday such as Kuhl wants are both bad moves.

I just pray that the government doesn't add any more taxes to the mix.

I am also not convinced that the oil companies are gouging us. The price of oil drives their profits which are actually low when looked at as a percentage of sales. I think Eric is barking up the wrong tree in this instance, but certainly trying to turn it into a us versus them circus. I do think that congress should roll back many tax breaks given to large oil companies except when it comes to exploration incentives.

Bush has been a terrible president on the financial side, but I also think that Eric will have to explain the failure of the Democrat congress to do much better

I also think that Eric will have to explain the failure of the Democrat congress to do much better

In the past 2 years, the Dems haven't had a chance to do much at all. I don't think this charge will stick. Pretty much every policy that's been enacted in the last 7 years have been the Republican's.

Perhaps, but it would be interesting to look back at all the items that Pelosi and Reid promised but didn't deliver on.

It also probably doesn't help that she thinks Iran is helping us out in Iraq.

Elmer, that's a total mischaracterization of her point.

First, it was factual. See this: "Iranian general played key role in Iraq cease-fire"

Second, the notion that al Maliki brough the Mahdi army "to its knees" is a total joke. The reality is that they remained more-or-less in control of the city at the time of ceasefire:

What happened was that al-Maliki, against our advice, blundered into Basra and got the Iraqi Army's ass kicked by the Mahdi Army, Muqtada al Sadr's militia. al Sadr is "studying" in Qom (Iran) and an Iranian army general went there and told him to lay off. He did, not just because Iran said so, but also because it was in his strategic best interests. He had made his point -- his militia can stand up to the Iraqi army. Total humiliation for al Maliki. Since we're propping him up, we look like morons. Iran looks like the good guy.

Iran isn't helping us out in Iraq, they are playing us like a violin. The Iraq war is the best thing that's happened to Iran since the Islamic revolution. Pelosi is just acknowledging that fact. Calling it "goodwill" is simply her being diplomatic.

The reason that Commentary magazine is so harsh on Pelosi, by the way, is that it is the house organ of Norman Podhoretz, the dean of the neocons. The neocons can't acknowledge that their stupid war has been a total boon to the Iranians. When Pelosi tells the simple truth, she gets villified.

I will re-look at the entire Pelosi-Iran scenario. My apologies for jumping on that too quickly

What are the prices of gas this week in various corners of the 29th? This is getting to be a real concern...

Massa said he paid $4.11 yesterday. The most I've paid is $4.

I'm sad to see both sides in this race resorting to much gimmickry with the gas prices.