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The oil industry is killing me

I truly understand the principles of supply and demand. We have system set up wherein we, the American people, are held hostage by the oil industry. There is no real shortage of oil. None. Yes, there is increased demand by China and other emerging nations, but for the most part there is no shortage… yet prices went up? Why? The explanation that we’ve been given is ‘CUZ. That’s the official explanation. Oil speculators think that there may be an oil shortage in the future. So, they are bidding up the price of oil and we have to pay more. When we get angry and stop driving, this increases the supply and oil prices magically come down. There has to be a better way to run an industry where we, the American people, aren’t getting shafted by speculators.

From CAP:

America is suffering from another oil price shock less than three years after prices hit a record of $147 per barrel in July 2008. Over the past month oil prices rose by over $20 per barrel, or more than 25 percent. This price hike reflects political instability in many oil-producing Persian Gulf nations. And Wall Street speculators have preyed upon oil users’ fears about supply interruptions to bid up the price to over $100 per barrel.

As the price of oil climbs, so too does the price for gasoline. Every $10-per-barrel increase in oil prices boosts gasoline prices by 25 cents per gallon. Many Americans do not have the option to significantly reduce their driving or easily buy more fuel-efficient new cars, so they spend more on gasoline and less on other goods and services. This slows our nation’s still shaky economic recovery and disrupts job growth. Meanwhile, our economy ships off nearly a $1 billion per day to other nations to purchase foreign oil. And higher prices due to instability and speculation inflate the profits of big oil companies while Americans’ wages remain stagnant.

It’s time to get control of volatile oil prices that are hurting our economy, our security, and the everyday budgets of American families. These measures are crucial for longterm economic growth, more jobs, and less dependence on foreign oil. They work together to reduce imports and save money. (more…)

By |2011-05-09T21:54:22-04:00May 9th, 2011|Big Oil|Comments Off on The oil industry is killing me

Compromise? There won’t be any stinkin’ compromise!

So, over the last two or three days, the mainstream media has asked multiple different Republicans, “Are you going to compromise with the president?” Many people tripped over themselves trying to come up with an answer. I think the answer is clear, that there will be no compromise. The Republicans have just been rewarded for being the most obstructionist group in recent memory. They opposed healthcare, they opposed Wall Street reform, they even opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. They opposed the rescue plan to save GM and Chrysler. They opposed the stimulus package, which saved or created millions of jobs. The calculus was simple – oppose and obstruct anything that can move the country forward. Success for the president means Democratic votes down the line and we, the Republicans, can’t have that.

President Barack Obama said on Wednesday afternoon that he thought that he could work together with the Republicans on energy legislation. I did not fall off my chair laughing, although I almost did. Energy legislation? Maybe, since the president had recently been on The Daily Show, he was joking. There is zero chance that the Republicans are going to “compromise” on energy legislation. The oil companies and their lobbyists have bathed the Republican Party in a sea of money. There will be no compromise on energy legislation.

The Republicans for the last 30 years have undergone a significant transformation. There was a time when you could find liberal and moderate Republicans walking around Congress. Unfortunately, they have gone the way of the dodo bird. There are no moderate Republicans anymore, at least not in Congress. Let’s think about how congressmen and senators get elected. They start in the local neighborhoods. They talk about issues and ask for donations. If you’re talking to a conservative group and you want to get them fired up so that they will reach deep into their pockets, you need to touch on those hot button items. The more you talk about the need for tax cuts, immigration reform and more defense spending, the more money will be thrown your way. Before you know it, your platform is extremely conservative. There is no room for moderation. This is what we have in Congress. We have conservatives and ultraconservatives. Both varieties of the conservative movement look at compromise as a sign of weakness. It is a sign of a complete lack of moral character, no conviction. Therefore, the only compromise that we’ve seen over the last 15 or 20 years is when progressives move further to the right.

Remember the words of Rush Limbaugh, “I hope Obama fails.”

By |2010-11-05T07:00:47-04:00November 5th, 2010|Party Politics, Rachel Maddow Show|13 Comments

What's Going On: Morning News Roundup

Here’s the early edition of the Wednesday morning news roundup:

  • Ridiculously, the White House– sensing that there was unrest on Capitol Hill– sent none other than Vice President Dick Cheney to rally congressional Republicans. It is unclear to me why they didn’t laugh in his face, but they didn’t. On the other hand, it is reported that they did rise up en masse and throw tomatoes at the VP (I made up that last part. 🙂 )
  • A gunman in Finland opened fire on a vocational college. This shooting appears to be similar to those that we’ve seen in the United States. The gunman appeared to be randomly shooting students. One day prior to his rampage, he was questioned by Finnish authorities about violent videos he posted on the Internet. It appears the authorities were on to something. The gunman did take his life, just as many of these guys do. My prayers go out to the victims and their families.
  • An interesting development occurred in Baghdad yesterday as Royal Dutch Shell completed a multi-billion dollar deal and opened an office there. Thirty-six years after being kicked out of Iraq, the oil companies are back. This does not prove that we went to war over oil, but it sure is a hell of a suggestion.
  • Rick Davis, one of Senator John McCain’s top advisers, was president of a lobbying firm called Homeownership Alliance whose purpose was to lobby for Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. According to New York Times reporting, Davis received over $2 million as president of the coalition through this firm. Further reports show that that payments continued to flow to Davis as late as August of this year. How can you clean up the culture of corruption in Washington when the same culture exists in your campaign? I’m just asking.
  • The FBIopened an investigation into Lehman Brothers, AIG, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. I have little hope that real crimes have been committed. Instead, I think that these companies used the existing laws to hyper-inflate and bundle securities. Then, they passed the securities from one company to another by repackaging them at every step of the way. They used some fancy– and probably inaccurate– formula to value the securities. Still, I don’t believe any laws were broken. Instead the problem was greed.
  • I’m not exactly sure what we are seeing on Capitol Hill: Our lawmakers pretending to have a backbone and look out for the American people? Both Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate have basically said that they needed to have more details and more oversight. I think both sides agree that something must be done. I also believe that both sides understand a bailout of some sort should happen and will happen but there has to be some conditions. That’s my opinion and, for now, it appears to be the opinion of the United States Congress.
  • During his military trial, Khalid Sheik Mohammed questioned the judges religious affiliation. The judge, a marine colonel, has stated that he is not a Jew. The judge refused to reveal any more of his religious beliefs, ruling that these details are not relevant.
  • Senator John McCain finally held a press conference yesterday. This man was entirely comfortable in front of the press until recently. McCain has been railing against the excesses of Wall Street and their “golden parachutes.” A reporter asked the senator about Carly Fiorina, a McCain spokesperson and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard who had been fired. In response, McCain served up a heaping bowl of hypocrisy. He basically said that Fiorina’s golden parachute was fine everybody else’s was bad.
  • As Lehman Brothers goes down the toilet, they are handing out $2.5 billion in bonuses to 10 thousand employees. I would like for someone to pay me lots of money to drive the 156 year-old company into the ground, because I can do that. I thought that you got paid a bonus for a job well done. These 10 thousand employees should pay us (or at least the stockholders)!
  • Bill Moyers had a nice rant at the end of his show this week. He discussed the greed running rampant on Wall Street, making CEOs ask for more and more money. It is this greed which pushed the New York Yankees, one of the wealthiest franchises in professional sports, to ask the people of New York to build them a stadium. A new stadium. So, the House that Ruth Built will be imploded soon. The house that the people built will open in April of 2009. The rich and the well-to-do can rub elbows. Sadly, the people who financed the stadium cannot afford to go in. (See video below.)
By |2008-09-24T09:48:21-04:00September 24th, 2008|Economy, Election 2008|Comments Off on What's Going On: Morning News Roundup
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