Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thursday 2 February 2006

White House Besieged With Would-Be Energy Inventors As Bush Backtracks From Pledge

All Looking To Cash In On President's New Energy Initiative - If Only President Meant It

Hundreds, to thousands of would-be inventors have descended into Washington, D.C. this morning, and are camping out in front of the White House, all hoping to get President Bush's attention.

The reason? They all have gadgets, theories and prototypes that will, they say, help America break it's dependence on foreign, imported oil. To use President Bush's words, they want to be part of the team to "break the addiction".

The inventors, men, woman, children, young and old, have been pouring into the city, despite the news today that President Bush really didn't mean it, when he made the energy statements in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening.

In his address, President Bush pledged to "move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past."

However, today, according to his Energy Secretary, Samuel Bodman, what the President said was "was purely an example".

According to Knight Ridder, asked why the president used the words "the Middle East" when he didn't really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that "every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands." The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he feared that his remarks might get him in trouble.

Additionally, Knight Ridder reported that "Presidential adviser Dan Bartlett made a similar point in a briefing before the speech, saying "I think one of the biggest concerns the American people have is oil coming from the Middle East. It is a very volatile region."

Both Secretary Hubbard, and Alan Hubbard, the director of the president's National Economic Council, took part in a press conference, via telephone, yesterday, where they laid out the path on which the President could back out of his pledge.

The New York Times is reporting that Bush's call to "break the addiction" to oil may have upset Saudi Arabia, reporting that "in an interview on Wednesday, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said he would have to ask Mr. Bush's office "what he exactly meant by that."

The Bush Administration is already mending fences with the Saudis, after yesterday's "riot in Riyadh", following the President alluding in his State of the Union Address that Saudi Arabia was taking steps to switch over to being a democracy.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, when questioned about the President backing away from his announced energy pledge, indicated that he could not comment on it.

"This, as many of you may know," said McClellan, "crossed over into areas of Vice President Dick Cheney's Secret Energy Meetings, and those records are classified and private."

McClellan indicated that the White House would have no more comments on the President's backtracking from his energy pledge but that he does understand that "the Lincoln Group and James Frey may be working on something".

The politics of the President, and his administration, hasn't dampened the spirit of the would be inventors.

Folding chairs and rickety card tables are lining Pennsylvania Avenue, in front of, and near, the White House. With Bunsen burners ablaze, and faded and rusted Gilbert Chemistry Sets from their youth opened, many are eager to tell anyone about their solution to the country's dependence on oil.

"I have the easiest formula of all," said Jackson Hosteler, from Maple Grove, MN. "I can't give it to you by the main, active ingredient is Spam."

Hosteler indicated that he has been forced to have a local restauranteur order the industrial-sized cans, after the local supermarkets banned him, for emptying their stock of Spam.

Curtis Madison pulled into the nation's capital on his modified, solar-powered dogsled, using Sony's now discontinued robot dog, Aibo. Madison claims his dogsled can gain speeds of 30-35 MPH and "certainly enough power and speed to run errands around town".

While the atmosphere around the inventors is peaceful, even festive, as some debate their solutions with others, three inventors have been arrested by the Capital Police, for wearing Cindy Sheehan t-shirts.

Even television and retail queen Martha Stewart showed up in Washington, DC today, trying to promote her "Pumkin Power" plan to President Bush

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