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News Roundup – Frederick Douglass, Oil Prices, Downed Asia Airliner


New Year’s Eve is a crazy time of year. Let’s be safe out there. NO drinking and driving.

There is a new book on Frederick Douglass. To me, Frederick Douglass remains somewhat of a mystery. Personally, I have not done as much reading on Frederick Douglass as I probably should have. I did not know that he took a two-year journey to Ireland right before the great potato famine. Historians have been wondering how this trip influenced his thinking and also what he thought about the treatment of the Irish. Frederick Douglass said, “I am for fair play for the Irishman, the negro, the Chinaman, and or all men of whatever country or clime, and for allowing them to work out their own destiny without outside interference.” I need to do more reading.

There’s been much hyperventilating over declining oil prices. In my opinion, the guy who’s written most thoughtfully on the economy over the last 10-15 years is Bill McBride of Calculated Risk Blog. He simply finds the facts and interprets them in a way that almost everyone should be able to understand. He seems to resist the flair for the overly dramatic or overly partisan. Earlier this week he wrote, “There will be winners and losers with the decline in oil prices, however, since the US is a large net importer of oil (despite the myth reported by some in the media), overall the decline in oil prices should be a positive for the economy.” McBride believes this is all a problem with supply and demand. I think he’s probably right.

By |2014-12-31T14:19:09-04:00December 31st, 2014|Civil Rights, Economy, Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on News Roundup – Frederick Douglass, Oil Prices, Downed Asia Airliner

I’m hosting Local Edge Radio today (Updated)

I’m in the driver’s seat. I’m going to be talking with David Weiss of the Center for American Progress about oil prices. I will also chat with Professor Andrew Koppelman, the John Paul Stevens professor of law at Northwestern, who will be in the house to talk about the Health Care law. Finally, I will spend most of the 5 o’clock hour to talk about Trayvon Martin. You can call in – 828-252-4348.

More from ThinkProgress.com:

Experts deny that drilling brings down gas prices, despite how often Republicans claim to have the “silver bullet.” Now, the Associated Press reports that an analysis of 36 years of Energy Information Administration data shows “no statistical correlation” between domestic oil production and gas prices.

AP writes:

U.S. oil production is back to the same level it was in March 2003, when gas cost $2.10 per gallon when adjusted for inflation. But that’s not what prices are now.

That’s because oil is a global commodity and U.S. production has only a tiny influence on supply. Factors far beyond the control of a nation or a president dictate the price of gasoline.

When you put the inflation-adjusted price of gas on the same chart as U.S. oil production since 1976, the numbers sometimes go in the same direction, sometimes in opposite directions. If drilling for more oil meant lower prices, the lines on the chart would consistently go in opposite directions. A basic statistical measure of correlation found no link between the two, and outside statistical experts confirmed those calculations.

Just spoke with Andrew Koppelman. Great conversation. I’ll have an update a little later on tonight.

We are currently talking with Barry Summers of Save Asheville Water. We are talking about ALEC.

By |2012-04-06T15:02:19-04:00April 6th, 2012|Big Oil, Healthcare, Podcasts|1 Comment

More to talk about this Tuesday evening

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out criteria for peace in an address before Congress. The one point that he made that I think deserves underscoring is that the leadership of Israel has acknowledged that there needs to be a Palestinian state, but the leadership of the Palestinian Authority has never said there should be and must be an Israeli state.
  • Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is going to stand trial for killing or ordering the killing of unarmed protesters. As a rule, if you’re an ousted dictator, you need to get out of the country.
  • Do you remember when gas prices went through the roof in 2008? Everybody was standing around trying to figure out what was going on. Well, I think everybody settled on commodities traders. It appears the US government is suing some of these commodities traders. Basically, the government is saying that these commodities traders bid up the price and then sold short to make money both on the upside and the downside of oil prices. In the meantime, you and I just simply paid more at the pump… for no good reason. I wonder if this is exactly what is happening now??
  • For all those Republicans and conservatives who thought it was a bad idea to prop up the American automotive industry, now we can give them a big fat raspberry as Chrysler begins to pay back the American government and therefore you and me, the American people. This is what believing in America is all about.
  • There’s a big election in New York. The New York-26. This is a very Republican district. The polls have just closed. This is supposed to be a referendum on Medicare. As a rule, I think these general pronouncements, calling elections referendums on x or y are usually wrong. All politics is local; at least that’s the way the saying goes. How did the candidates run their campaign? That determines who wins and who loses the majority of the time. The Republican candidate Jane Corwin publicly stated that she embraced the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare. When you publicly embrace an unpopular position, expect to get some blowback from your constituents… like you will not get elected. Kathy Hochul is the Democrat. I hope that she has put together a smart campaign. I hope that she has worked hard. She has a unique opportunity to win this race. Election results can be found here.
By |2011-05-24T22:33:00-04:00May 24th, 2011|Economy, Foreign Affairs, Israel, Party Politics|Comments Off on More to talk about this Tuesday evening
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