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If you had the unpleasant experience this July Fourth weekend of paying close to $5 for a gallon of gas, you can always comfort yourself with the idea that your pain is for a good cause: the “liberal world order.”
So said Brian Deese, White House director of the National Economic Council, when he was asked on CNN: “What do you say to those families who say, ‘Listen, we can’t afford to pay $4.85 a gallon for months, if not years. This is just not sustainable’?”
Deese, like his boss Joe Biden, is unmoved by the suffering of ordinary Americans, more than two-thirds of whom say gas-price increases are causing them hardship, according to a recent Gallup poll.
“This is about the future of the liberal world order, and we have to stand firm” until Ukraine defeats Russia, declared Deese.
He was echoing the president, who had referenced the Ukraine war a few hours earlier in Madrid, when he dismissed a similar question: “The war has pushed prices up. [Oil] could go as high as $200 a barrel . . . How long is it fair to expect American drivers and drivers around the world to pay that premium for this war?”
Biden responded with cold indifference: “As long as it takes,” he said.
Where’s the empathy?
That’s quite some take from a president who ran on the illusion that he possesses special empathy.
He could do something about gas prices — which have nearly doubled since he took office — by increasing domestic supply. He could do something about the soaring cost of energy that is turbo-charging inflation worldwide. America is blessed with bountiful resources, which made us energy independent until he came along.
But Biden has no intention of antagonizing the environmental radicals in his party, or of disappointing the European climate evangelists who butter him up.
Biden is hellbent on riding the climate-apocalypse donkey into the history books, as the president who launched the decarbonization revolution of America, a revolution only the lofty protected classes desire.
So he does the opposite of what America needs, and tries to blame inflation on greedy gas stations and oil companies, or his catch-all villain, “Russia, Russia, Russia.”
“My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril,” Biden tweeted Saturday afternoon, before heading to Camp David on his record 18th visit as president. “Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”
Even Amazon gazillionaire Jeff Bezos couldn’t let this gaslighting go. “Ouch,” he tweeted back. “Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this.”
Not in Biden’s mind. He believes he is a great statesman, making his mark astride the world stage on the alleged “existential problem of our time,” while pretending to the rubes back home that he feels their pain.
But no one is fooled. Biden’s actions to curtail American production — and consumption — of fossil fuels are deliberate and ideological, just like his disastrous open border policy.
On his first day in the Oval Office, Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline. He has banned new drilling permits and leases, discouraged companies from investing in expanded refinery capacity, threatened banks to stop financing American oil, gas and coal, and tried to install a climate activist as vice chair of the Federal Reserve, to name a few highlights in his war on fossil fuels.
On Friday evening, after the country had packed up for the weekend, his administration quietly slipped out the news that it plans to block all new offshore oil drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans while maybe, or maybe not, leaving the door open to limited expansion in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Biden knows that his overt hostility to fossil fuels discourages the kind of long-term investments from oil and gas companies that would increase supply and reduce prices, but he pretends otherwise.
When he wrote a threatening letter to oil-company executives last month complaining that they were making too much money and not producing enough oil “at a time of war,” the clapback was brutal.
Chevron pointed out in a statement that the administration continues to “impose obstacles to our industry delivering energy resources the world needs.”
As GasBuddy oil-industry analyst Patrick De Haan tweeted: “White House begs oil companies to improve situation. Can we drill? We’d rather you not. Can we build a refinery? We’d rather you not. Can we build a pipeline? We’d rather you not. Just make it better.”
Everyone knows that Biden’s proposed 90-day gas-tax holiday is a band-aid, not quite as feckless as draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for short-term relief, but just as pathetic.
But Biden thinks that if he gives the appearance that he is heeding our pain, he will get away with this cynical theater.
His plan to go cap in hand to the Middle East later this month to beg for more oil is another ruse, which French President Emmanuel Macron was crafty enough to sabotage last week in Germany.
“I had a call with MBZ [Emirates leader Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan],” Macron told Biden within earshot of the media assembled for the G-7.
“He told me two things. One, I’m at a maximum, maximum [production capacity] . . . Second, according to MBZ, the Saudis can increase a little bit, by 150 [thousand barrels per day], but they don’t have huge capacities.”
As if the administration didn’t know.
Now Biden claims begging for oil never was the purpose of his Middle East trip: “No, I’m not going to ask them.”
So what is Plan B?
I think we have our answer.
Suck it up, for the good of the liberal world order — which is just code for putting America last.
A special Fourth for innocent NYer raided by FBI
It took 17 months, but Joseph Bolanos had a happy start to the July Fourth weekend, when the FBI finally returned seven boxes of his property.
He still doesn’t have an apology for being dragged out of bed in a dawn raid by 10 FBI agents pointing a rifle at his head in February 2021. The agents had a search warrant to pull apart his apartment and seize his property over a crime he did not commit — allegations that he took part in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. In fact, he was nowhere near the building at the time.
He had two strokes, spent a fortune on lawyers and his reputation as the well-regarded president of his Upper West Side block association for 23 years took a battering. But all’s well that ends well for the cheery 70-year-old community stalwart.
“After living under a dark cloud of stress and suspicion for 17 months, I’m feeling like the skies are clearing and I’m lucky to be alive,” he said.
“Case closed on their part, which is important.”