Bush in California: It's a gas!
While the Ohio-campaign tool Governator continued to avoid the president like the plague, Bush continued to screw people in the Golden State.
Hoping to save his abysmal public image, Bush made the trip to the West Coast to be close to anything "Ronald Reagan." But the heavy fog (in California, where we are desperate for interesting weather reports, we call it a "marine layer") grounded Bush's gas-guzzling helicopter. Ah, the fog-of-war-time-president!
No problem, just fire up the SUV's, right?
Except that Bush was staying in a mansion in Brentwood and his motorcade therefore would cruise along Sunset Blvd., and through the Sepulveda Pass, not far from what has been ranked "America's No. 1 Worst Highway Bottleneck" by the American Highway Users Alliance (PDF). They estimate that 8.7 million tons of carbon dioxide are emitted there yearly and Southern California drivers are stuck in traffic there "for nearly five hours every weekday."
Great place to completely shut down traffic for another photo op!
It's been well noted that the president's call for citizens and federal employees "to curtail nonessential travel" is a complete distraction from his lousy response to Katrina.
It's also been pointed out clearly that Bush's motorcade itself is a gas-guzzling monster and that the taxpayers are footing the bill for it.
But what about all the people stuck for three hours "with engines idling" because of Bush's trip? The gas at a nearby Chevron station ranges from $2.85 to $3.15.
Check out what the U.S. Department of Labor (PDF) has to say about gas in Los Angeles (emphasis mine):
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today that September consumer prices in the greater Los Angeles area increased 1.3 percent, matching the largest one-month increase since January 1982. Increasing prices in transportation and housing were primary factors. Los Angeles prices were up 5.8 percent from the same period last year. Comparatively, August to August price increases registered 5.2 percent.
Gasoline prices increased 8.1 percent in September. Over two months, the price paid is up 15.5 percent. For the year ending September 2005, gasoline prices were 40.6 percent higher. The overall transportation index advanced 3.4 percent for the month and 10.3 percent for the past twelve months.
I guess the reason Cheney's energy meetings were kept secret was to help the participants avoid embarrassment.
The fact that Bush's self-serving photo opportunity also caused little kids dressed up for the "Wizard of Oz" to have their day ruined just adds salt on the wound.
MEANWHILE: The Governator has asked the TV networks to "stop airing commercials featuring him personally backing initiatives in the Nov. 8 special election". Ahnold's spokesman denied that the request has anything to do with the Governator's 31% approval rating.