Morning Examiner: Gas wars

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

One look at President Obama’s schedule this week tells you all you need to know about the effect rising gas prices are having on his job approval ratings. As the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the average price of a gallon of gas rose to $3.83 last week, Obama will travel to Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio on Wednesday and Thursday to talk energy policy.

The White House has not found anything close to a winning energy message so far. They’ve tried to blame oil billionaires. They’ve proposed algae as a solution. They’ve tried to claim oil production is up. Nothing is working. According to a new Hill Poll out today, 58 percent say Obama’s policies will result in higher gasoline prices, while just 20 percent expect them to cut prices.

House Republicans will press the issue this week with two hearings in the Natural Resources Committee. On Wednesday, the full committee has a hearing titled, “Harnessing American Resources to Create Jobs and Address Rising Gasoline Prices,” where Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., will make the case that Obama is to blame for the jump in gas prices. And on Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing where Chairman Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., will grill Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey about the decrease in oil production on federal lands last year.

Campaign 2012
Illinois: According to Public Policy Polling, Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory in Illinois on Tuesday. He leads Rick Santorum 45 percent to 30 percent.

Romney: Romney won all 20 of Puerto Rico’s delegates Saturday, earning 83 percent of the island’s vote.

Santorum: In a guest-post at RedState, Santorum attacks Romney’s economic record as governor of Massachusetts.

Obama: Only 11,000 people have given $2,000 or more to Obama’s reelection campaign. By this time in 2008, more than 23,000 had given that much.

Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, Solar industry faces subsidy cuts in Europe: Across Europe, governments are slashing spending on solar subsidies, throwing the industry into crisis.

The Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Keys On Landlord Business: Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are lining up to become landlords to cash-strapped Americans by bidding on pools of foreclosed properties being sold by Fannie Mae.

The Wall Street Journal, Regulators Seek to Cool Hospital-Deal Fever: Obamacare and the Federal Trade Commission are sending hospitals conflicting messages. Obamacare encourages doctors to coordinate patient care, which is easier to do when you own more facilities. But the FTC is also challenging mergers under anti-trust law.

The Wall Street Journal, Detroit Struggles for a Fiscal Fix: Detroit will run out of money by May unless Gov. Rick Snyder and Mayor Dave Bing can agree on a bailout plan for the city.

Righty Playbook
Breitbart.com posts video from 1995 of Attorney General Eric Holder telling the Woman’s National Democratic Club that we need to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

The Heritage Foundation‘s Sarah Torre explains why Obama’s new HHS regulations still assault religious liberty.

AEI‘s James Pethokoukis explains why Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should not blame the weak recovery on the financial crisis.

Lefty Playbook
Talking Points Memo breaks down every second of the Obama propaganda video and concludes, “The Auto Rescue Is The Re-Election Story.”

The New Republic‘s Noam Scheiber found Obama’s propaganda unconvincing since health care reform had nothing to do with the financial crisis.

ThinkProgress explains what every liberal should know about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

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