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August 05, 2008

What's funny about tire gauges?

The Republicans have been handing out tire gages with Obama's name on them. This is meant as a joke because Obama pointed out that the U.S. stands to save more energy from keeping the nation's tires properly inflated than it would from offshore drilling.

The tire gauges are supposed to be a joke. I don't get it. Usually, I can reverse engineer jokes even if they don't make me laugh. This one leaves me at a loss. What's funny about an attractive useful gadget that associates your opponent with his own message?

I can see why the Obama campaign would give out tire gage pumps to donors. That would be making fun of John McCain and the emptiness of his offshore drilling promises.

I can imagine the creative brief. Suggested tagline: McCain's plan falls flat. So, remember to check your tires with this Obama tire gage.

Frank Jones at TIME Magazine thought McCain's wisecrack was funny:

Now that many of us have had a good laugh following Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign's use of tire-inflation gauges as weapons of mass distraction against Sen. Barack Obama, can we acknowledge that properly inflated tires could indeed save a tremendous amount of energy?

So can driving at or slightly above the speed limit. Or keeping a vehicle tuned up so it operates more efficiently.

Even though there's a dispute over whether Obama's claim that inflated tires and tune-ups would save more oil than could be extracted by drilling off-shore, it seems indisputable that there could be considerable savings from such relatively easy efforts. [Swampland/TIME]

Can anyone explain the joke as written? Sometimes I feel like I'm from a completely different culture than Republicans and "respectable" journalists. 


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Who told me that Phantom Homer?

The Bush administration (but these figures also jive with literally dozens of others that I've read from NASCAR, NHTSA, et al):

"The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by ... about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%."

It's really simple math 1% savings in 22 years versus at least 3% IMMEDIATELY.

BTW: "Which includes tire inflation, which I will be doing in the next day or so. "

You mean you couldn't tell me what they're at now?

Sweet Jesus Phantom Homer, you should take more cabs and public transportation. You don't strike me as being the most mechanically sympathetic driver.

Re: "Can anyone explain the joke as written? Sometimes I feel like I'm from a completely different culture than Republicans and "respectable" journalists.."-

Hm... 1. Canadian; 2. Aquarian; 3. Female. 3 strikes & you're out, Lindsay.
(OK... that wasn't funny, either... but it WAS tasteless.)

Who told you that?

Paris Hilton! (who displays a firmer grasp of energy policy than you or Grumpy McSame).


(And I know that I speak to an illiterate,but...)

The gain in efficiency is--up to 3%. Per Vehicle Many vehicles including mine have always had properly inflated tires. Why don't you inflate your head and learn something about a subject

NASCAR and the others said that proper inflation helps vehicles get better mileage - which is true --but at no point did they agree with your basic premise, that inflating tires properly ( for the vehicles not already inflated properly ) will have more net energy gain that drilling.

Your guy walked into a door, and its not helping him for you to mindlessly back him up by saying its good to walk into doors.

Inflate, drill, conserve, rapidly develop new technology. No brainers, all.

"Why don't you inflate your head and learn something about a subject."

Ah, now THERE'S an adroit rejoinder from The Phantom Homer.

When you can't argue with the numbers, just grumble, make a third grade jab, and then slink off to Moe's to try and drown your ignorance in Duff.

Say hi to Barney for me.


I urge you to start your own blog and to become more visible to the public. You are Exhibit A of a type of Know-Nothing Liberalism that could do McCain a world of good this November.

Send me your bank account information, and I'll be happy to send a small contribution to start you off. You are the absolute best!

Who is against conservation?

McCain, apparently. I'm not saying that's his official position; but his campaign is mocking the very idea.


I gently disagree. He is [correctly] mocking Obama's assertion that proper inflation of tires [ for whatever number of tires are not currently inflated properly ] will save the amount of energy that could be obtained from offshore wells.

I say this as an owner of multiple air pressure gauges! Including a fancy round one that gives very precise readings. Obama has nothing on me!!

janet, pay no attention to The Phantom Homer, he's incapable of understanding that 3 is a greater number than 1, and that 1 year is a shorter time span than 22 ... sort of like that boob candidate he's supporting.

If we all flossed our teeth every day we could reduce cavities!

If we all ate healthy foods and exercised there would be less heart attacks!

If nobody ever went out in the sun, less people would get skin cancer!

Duh! Tell me something I didn't know!

I don't need a political to tell me how to save gas in my car, I can figure that out on my own.

I don't need a politician to tell me what the weather will be like in 50 years - nobody knows for sure.

This comment is so obvious it's ridiculous and anybody that can poke a hole in this airhead's ballon by a clever joke, deserves to be applauded.

Who could possibly determine what the effect would be? Who will actually change their tire inflation habits? How many peoples' tire are improperly inflated? What happens if they overinflate and blow out their tires? It's way too vague for anyone to prove anything either way!

What about the hundreds of minute things that you could adjust to increase your mileage? Why doesn't somebody make a big deal out of them?

The mere fact that I am even addressing this question makes me feel like an idiot!

Why are we dependent on other countries for a resource we have plenty of? We can't pollute our environment here - meanwhile China and most of the world is polluting like crazy - our tiny corner of the planet won't make or break the situation one iota.

How long will these mysterious alternative energies take to become reasonable alternatives?

How much will they cost compared to oil and what will their negative effects be?

Water shortages, mining tons of steel to build windmills everywhere, toxic wastes from batteries leaking into groundwater?

Meanwhile, unless we bankrupt the country and make all the other countries rich off of us, we will tinker away on pie in the sky alternatives.

Poor countries can't afford to take care of their own environments, they're too busy trying to feed themselves.

All the "progressive" countries are drilling for their own oil, using nuclear power and see us as fools.

Tomorrow Obama will tell you something different, change his position and people will follow him like sheep. They will rationalize anything and everything he says, no matter how ridiculous, wrong or just dumb!

Tune in next week when McCain mocks the notion that washing your hands after going to the bathroom is a good way to prevent disease.

Why are we dependent on other countries for a resource we have plenty of?

Stupidity isn't a resource.

Stupidity isn't a resource.


TB and Margalis

The state of the left in America. Pity, since the conservatives could use some intellectual competition.

No Phantom Homer, I think what you meant to type was "the conservatives could use some intellect."

Can't type very well, don't do very good with the numbers, slow on the uptake and willfully ignorant of facts.

Mission accomplished Phantom Homer, Mission accomplished.

TB, I think don't think the numbers you are using in your argument with The Phantom demonstrate what you think they do. "1% of or demand" would suggestthat the production would be 1% of all the oil used by the U.S. for any purpose whatsoever. The 3% figure you cited measures the increase in fuel efficiency in cars with currently underinflated tires. Three percent is more than one percent, as you point out, but it does not follow that Three percent of one thing is more than 1% of another thing altogether.

I don't think The Phantom's conclusion that Obama is laughably deluded about the effect of proper car maintenance is supported by the available evidence, but your argument to the contrary seems to be obviously flawed. Hence, your assertions of The Phantom's lack of intelligence seem to have produced some blowback, calling into question your own mathmatical literacy.

No parse, they are the same thing, or essentially are.

Sure, you could say, 'you're talking about 3% of GAS versus 1% of OIL; oil and gas aren't the same thing', but that tilts it even further in the favor of the tire inflation is better than drilling argument.

Since less than 50% of gallon of oil ends up as gas, the disparity is even greater than a 2% gap.

Factor in the time differential, that it will take 22 years for new wells to come on line and get the oil through the refining process and into gas stations, and the disparity grows further.

I hate having to explain this stuff to amateurs.

it's funny to me that these are the same folks who don't believe in global warming.
makes you wonder what those on the planet were talking about before the last ice age ???

yeah umm even the military is jumping on loosening up on the drilling bans. What do THEY have to do with anything? Other than the republicans just drafted a 'foreclosure help' bill that doesn't help anyone stay in their home but WILL help you get money for a new home in an approved redeveloped area. AND, also helps soldiers returning and others in the military to own a home.

Heil Bussh.

Oh c'mon voxy lady. What did Bush do to you?

Ask not what you can do for your country
what's your country been doing to you

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