Michael P. Ackley has worked more than three decades as a journalist, the majority of that time at the Sacramento Union. His experience includes reporting, editing and writing commentary. He retired from teaching journalism for California State University at Hayward.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
NSA Memorandum 2011-X20A/WDC/V&S:
NOTE: EYES ONLY! TOP SECRET!
Below is a transcription from a video and sound recording made April 14, 2011, by NSA Agent X15 in the parking garage of Westfield Shopping Town in Silver Spring, Md. The exchange recorded is between subjects G381 and G382, previously referenced by name in Memoranda 2011-X17A/WDC/V&S and 2011-X18A/WDC/V&S:
Subject One: Were you followed?
Subject Two: No way. I changed cabs three times. The last time I walked all the way across another mall and picked up the taxi on the other side.
Subject One: Good. It wouldn’t do to have any of this get out. Do you have an up-to-date progress report.
Subject Two: I do, and you’re going to like it. The price of a barrel of oil is oscillating, but it’s over $100 and we expect it to stay there for a while.
Subject One: Great! President Obama’s energy policy is going to mean huge profits for our companies.
Subject Two: Yeah. The funny thing is, nobody is making the connection. Remember how our friends in the news media let our “useful idiots” ramble on the last time oil went up?
Subject One: Yes, I do. George W. Bush allegedly was “purposely pushing up the cost of crude” so his buddies in the industry could make a killing. But with Obama in the White House, nobody suspects.
Subject Two: Of course not. He doesn’t have any buddies in the oil industry.
Subject One: But he has us, and as long as the president keeps the clamps on oil production and supply, our profits will go up and up.
Subject Two: We have to face the facts: Keeping oil prices high is the only way their profits will go up and up – at least in the short term.
Subject One: Well, photo voltaics are making some gains.
Subject Two: As long as the subsidies hold, like for ethanol.
Subject One: And for wind! (Here the subjects have a lengthy fit of laughter.)
Subject One: People just don’t know that our “national investment” in green technologies really means their personal investment in higher petroleum costs.
Subject Two: That’s how it works for us. The more gasoline and oil cost, the more “competitive” green energy becomes. Otherwise, we might never catch up.
Subject One: Too true. Anyway, Obama’s line that “investing” in “clean” technology will free us from dependence on foreign oil is what you call “a howler.” The president is our true friend.
Subject Two Amen to that! But don’t tell anybody!
Subject One: (Laughs) It’ll be our little secret. Be sure to get that check to the Obama campaign committee.
Subject Two Will do.
End of recording.
Presidential economics, continued: The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Obama at the Facebook appearance of his California campaign swing: “Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor, or people who don’t have lobbyists or don’t have clout.”
This was in reference to Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed – and House passed – debt-reducing budget.
Somebody kindly tell our economics-illiterate chief executive that devaluing the dollar disproportionately affects the poor and middle class, as does the simultaneous inflation of energy costs.
Never mind. He knows.
It’s all about transparency: When the time came for a question-and-answer session at Obama’s $30,000-plus per person fundraiser in San Francisco, the news media were ushered out. Obama’s handlers couldn’t take a chance on the prez again being caught saying what he really believes.