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RUSH: TIME Magazine. Michael Grunwald, headline: ”The Tire-Gauge Solution: No Joke’ — How out of touch is Barack Obama? He’s so out of touch that he suggested that if all Americans inflated their tires properly and took their cars for regular tune-ups, they could save as much oil as new offshore drilling would produce. Gleeful Republicans have made this their daily talking point; Rush Limbaugh is having a field day–‘ make that a field week, Michael. ‘–and the Republican National Committee is sending tire gauges labeled ‘Barack Obama’s Energy Plan’ to Washington reporters. But who’s really out of touch?’ You see where we’re headed here, ladies and gentlemen? ‘The Bush administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling –‘ I’m not going to read this. They go on to try make the case that Obama is closer to right than I am, that this whole thing is a joke.
‘In fact, Obama’s actual energy plan is much more than a tire gauge,’ writes the sycophantic Michael Grunwald. ‘But that’s not what’s so pernicious about the tire-gauge attacks. Politics ain’t beanbag, and Obama has defended himself against worse smears.’ Smears? There’s no smear here, Michael. See, this is another classy example. Attack a Democrat for what he says or what he does and make it truthful, and it is a smear. It is an attack. ‘The real problem with the attacks on his tire-gauge plan is that efforts to improve conservation and efficiency happen to be the best approaches to dealing with the energy crisis.’ No, they don’t. I have nothing against conservation, Mr. Grunwald, but you cannot grow an economy like this country’s with conservation. It ain’t going to happen, it isn’t gonna work. You gotta bone up. You Drive-By people are exhibiting your own selves to be rather ignorant about some basic fundamentals, not in politics, but in economics. So he’s worried that all these attacks on Obama and his tire gauge thing will dissuade people from conserving. Hey, Michael, you gotta realize, like President Bush said, these people in the country know what to do in crises, quote, unquote. They’re driving less, Michael, they’re already doing it without somebody telling them to. They’re flying less, Michael. The airlines have parked over 400 airplanes. They’re buying less, Michael.

In fact, the oil price is coming down. Got a story from Fortune magazine. Oil prices are falling sharply and that’s good news, but not nearly as good as you think because lower oil prices, according to the Drive-Bys, may now lead to a recession. Yes, my friends, sit tight, be patient, and I will explain this. As far as Michael Grunwald at TIME says, ‘The tire gauge is really a symbol of a very serious piece of good news: We can use significantly less energy without significantly changing our lifestyle.’ So he’s all worried that making fun of the tire gauge is going to dissuade you people, you idiots, you morons, from conserving. So that’s step one in bailing Obama out of the fire. Then the AP actually does a fact check on inflated tires. ‘John McCain and his Republican Party are gleefully mocking Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s suggestion that properly inflated tires could help save oil. The thing is, there’s some truth to it.’ It’s not what he said. The Drive-Bys have to protect their little guy here, but that’s not what he said. He said you could save as much as we would gain by drilling. ‘Obama may have exaggerated when he said simply inflating tires and getting regular tuneups would save just as much oil as the offshore drilling McCain is proposing. But automotive experts long have suggested those steps to cut gas bills. … The Obama campaign could not provide figures to back up his claim that inflating tires and getting tuneups would save just as much oil as could be produced by offshore drilling. … but McCain wants to lift the ban to alleviate high gas prices.’

So circle the wagons, try to protect the guy.


RUSH: Sacramento, California, my adopted hometown. This is David. Nice to have you here, sir. Welcome to the program.

CALLER: Good morning, Rush, and submarine veteran dittos to you, sir.

RUSH: Thanks very much.

CALLER: Yes, sir. I’m an automotive instructor out here in Sacramento and Obama’s comments about regularly scheduled tune-ups is kind of idiotic because we don’t do tune-ups anymore.

RUSH: Well, some people’s cars still require tune-ups. But what is an automotive instructor?

CALLER: I teach students how to become automotive technicians.

RUSH: i.e., mechanics?

CALLER: Well, we try not to use that term anymore because of the technical complexity of the automobile.

RUSH: Well, I know, cars are basically chip sets now.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: It’s like window washers are called vision control coordinators.

CALLER: Well, it’s a little bit more technical than that, but students nowadays, technicians really need to understand electronic diagnostics so much more than just changing brakes or whatever.

RUSH: You gotta know far more than how to read an oscilloscope now, that’s for damn sure.

CALLER: That’s absolutely a fact.

RUSH: Okay. So you teach people to become automotive technicians, which basically correct any of the high-tech problems that go wrong with today’s modern automobile engines. So there’s no tune-ups really, there’s not a tune-up in the sense that there used to be some years ago?

CALLER: Right, that’s correct. What we do now, other than just regularly scheduled maintenance like oil changes, air and fluid changes, those kinds of things, tune-ups really are a thing of the past because of the onboard diagnostic systems that the onboard computers have, the computer basically tunes itself up constantly.

RUSH: Yeah, what kind of cars are we discussing here? How old a car do you have to go back to to find one that would require the Obama mandated tune-up?

CALLER: Prior to about 1985.

RUSH: You’re kidding me?

CALLER: No, sir.

RUSH: Automobiles made from 1985 do not need traditional tune-ups?

CALLER: No, sir. And especially 1996 and up where the computer is better able to basically tune itself up with what we know as adaptive strategy.

RUSH: Okay, fine. So Obama doesn’t even know about that, doesn’t even know we don’t need tune-ups. So let’s go to inflating tires for optimum pressure to save oil. Could you shed some light as an expert, automotive technician instructor on Obama’s claim here, because two stories in the Drive-By Media say that it really could make a big difference.

CALLER: Not as big as they’re saying. Keeping tires properly inflated does help with your average fuel mileage, but not to the degree that they say.

RUSH: How does that work. Is it a degree of drag and friction as the tires circle and travel over the road surface?

CALLER: Yes, it is. It’s what we call rolling resistance.

RUSH: Rolling resistance. Fine. Now, do we take time after factoring rolling resistance based on the proper inflation of tires, do we then factor whether or not we have head winds or crosswinds which will add air friction to the road friction which might negate any savings made from properly inflated tires? Especially with all the windmills that are out there —

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: — the left has been creating all this new wind in the opposite direction which it’s coming. If that wind for the new windmills happens to get in the way of a car with properly inflated tires traveling down, say, Interstate 80, wouldn’t it be safe to say that the effect of properly inflated tires could be negated?

CALLER: We could say that. The only wind resistance that is taken into account is wind resistance based off of the frontal area of the vehicle as it travels down the road.

RUSH: Well, the frontal area of the vehicle, would it help then for people who are driving pickups to lower the tailgate to reduce resistance?

CALLER: That’s long been an idea but it really doesn’t pan out. It’s really not as big an effect as people once thought it was. It’s really a nonfactor.

RUSH: All right. Now, if your tires are properly inflated — by the way, at what time in the driving history, when you start the car, after you’ve driven it for a couple of minutes, when do you check the tire pressure to make sure it’s proper? Because of course the air in the tires is very cool first time you start it in the morning, doesn’t take long to expand the air in those tires and therefore expand the tire pressure. At what point is the optimum point to take the pressure and make adjustments?

CALLER: The optimum time is to take it before you even drive down the road because with every mile that you travel, the temperature of the air inside the tire increases pressure by about — I take that back — ten degrees in air temperature changes pressure by one pound.

RUSH: So the manufacturer suggested tire pressure for front left, the rear left, front right, rear right, that should be done before you make a move.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: So people will need tire gauges at home?


RUSH: Now, if the tire pressures are low or high — well, let’s say low. If they are low, do they then not have to drive someplace on improperly inflated tires to get the correct amount of air put in there?

CALLER: Unless they have a battery-powered air compressor in their truck.

RUSH: Oh, no, they won’t, because that will negate the whole point, if you’re using more power there, we’re trying to reduce our carbon footprints here. Now, properly inflated tires from the get-go, how many miles driven at what speed will cause those tires to lose their proper inflation? And therefore, how often should you stop to check on the properly inflated — and if you’ve been driving say an hour at 75 miles an hour, do you need to wait for a half hour for the tires to cool to get a proper measurement of the inflated tires?

CALLER: No, not really. Because the inflation pressures that the manufacturers list on the vehicles are cold inflation pressures. And as we drive during the day, of course, the tires heat up, air temperature heats up and then air pressure goes up as well. You really have to let the car sit for a good eight hours or so for the tires to properly cool off —

RUSH: That’s what I’m saying, it will impact a tremendous amount of people’s time. And then, of course, if you happen to get in an accident, somebody rear ends you, you happen to cut down a pedestrian or something, that’s gonna affect tire pressure too, so a lot of variables.


RUSH: Spartanburg, South Carolina. Dave, you’re next. Thank you for waiting, sir. Hi.

CALLER: Hey, good afternoon, Rush. Just for the sake of saying Mr. Messiah Tire Gauge is right and checking the pressure in the tires is going to offset drilling offshore, wouldn’t it be even better to do both? Because just think of how many gallons of gasoline we could have, how it would drive down the price of gasoline and a barrel of oil.

RUSH: You want to combine both: the drilling of new oil here in the United States, the continental shelf; plus the proper inflation of tires, to double the effect of the oil that we are drilling?

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: I think it’s a brilliant idea. I think you should… We need to pass this on to the McCain campaign because Obama may be on to something, ’cause if we can inflate our tires and get as much oil as we are going to get drilling, why, then we can still inflate the tires properly and do the drilling and get twice the oil!

CALLER: Yes, absolutely!

RUSH: And the price will come down even more and our independence will be greater. We’ll assert our independence on these people that are raping us even better.

CALLER: That’s it.

RUSH: That’s a brilliant idea, Dave. I’m glad. It was worth the time for me that you held on to pass that bit of brilliance on. I really like it. That’s great thinking.

CALLER: Thank you very much. The pleasure is mine, sir.

RUSH: I’m glad you called. Thanks very much.

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