Posts Tagged ‘speculation’

Hypocrite-in-Chief Seeks Line Item Veto He Blocked Bush From Getting

May 25, 2010

This is pretty massive hypocrisy even coming from a world-class hypocrite:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Obama asks Hill for line-item veto he once opposed
Stephen Dinan

When President George W. Bush called for a kind of line-item veto four years ago, the top Senate Democrat said it was like getting a “bad sore throat,” and the No. 2 House Democrat called it “a sham.” On Monday, President Obama asked them to reconsider and pass something very similar, for his sake.

With fears of a Greek-style debt collapse roiling a Congress already balking at new spending, the White House on Monday proposed a modified line-item veto that would give the administration another crack at forcing Congress to vote on spending cuts.

But the proposal will have to pass a Congress wary of giving up power over the purse, and would require a reversal by many Democrats who voted against a similar proposal from Mr. Bush.

One who’s already reversed himself is Mr. Obama, who as a senator in 2007 voted along with Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., now the vice president, and almost all of the rest of Senate Democrats to filibuster Mr. Bush’s proposal.

The White House said Mr. Obama embraced line-item powers by the time he won the White House, and that times are bad enough that Congress may now be ready to follow his lead.

“The fiscal context has changed as it became necessary to combat a severe economic downturn and as ongoing deficits have become a growing concern,” Peter R. Orszag, Mr. Obama’s budget director, told reporters. “We are hopeful the Congress will enact this legislation because it will help everyone to reduce unnecessary spending.”

He said the new presidential powers could encourage Congress to scrutinize spending bills more carefully, because lawmakers wouldn’t want to be shamed by having their projects singled out.

What is really amazing is the argument that Obama is giving to justify giving him a line-item veto: we’ve got a growing crisis, and the president needs this tool to avert it.

By Obama’s very own reasoning, he and the Democrat Party are fundamentally responsible for the 2008 economic collapse.  Because had they given Bush this power, he could have averted the disaster – but they refused to give him the necessary power he needed.

A couple of quotes from US News & World Report must suffice to illustrate:

Seventeen. That’s how many times, according to this White House statement (hat tip Gateway Pundit), that the Bush administration has called for tighter regulation of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. […]

But it didn’t prevent them from spewing a huge amount of toxic waste, in the form of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, into our financial institutions from 2004 to 2007. As Stephen Spruiell points out in The Corner on National Review Online, Fannie and Freddie spewed out $1 trillion worth (face value) of subprime mortgages between 2005 and 2007. That’s a whole lot of toxic waste. For more detail, consult the items referred to in my previous blogpost on this subject (most of the comments seem to have been disputes about the plot line of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, which I should think could be settled by consulting a reference work).

Much if not all of that could have been prevented by a bill cosponsored by John McCain and supported by all the Republicans and opposed by all the Democrats in the Senate Banking Committee in 2005. That bill, which the Democrats stopped from passing, would have prohibited the GSEs from speculating on the mortgage-based securities they packaged. The GSEs’ mission allegedly justifying their quasi-governmental status was to package or securitize such mortgages, but the lion’s share of their profits—which determined top executives’ bonuses—came from speculation.

And there’s your 2008 mortgage meltdown, in a nutshell.  Bush warned and warned and warned about the impending crisis, to no avail.  Because the same Democrats who refused to give Bush the power Obama now says he needs to avert disaster refused to heed Bush’s warnings, and kept pushing us closer and closer and closer to the implosion point.  And then we imploded just as Bush had said we would.

I have always believed that the president should have a line-item veto – with the proviso that every line item veto be made a matter of public record so the American people could know what items the president was removing and who had installed those items in the first place.

This is just another of many, many proofs regarding what a gargantuan hypocrite slimeball the current occupant of the White House truly is.

But, for what it’s worth, it is probably unfair to single out Barack Obama as a slimeball, when so many of his fellow Democrats are also slimeballs.  Near the conclusion of the Washington Times article, we have this:

House Budget Committee Chairman John M. Spratt Jr., South Carolina Democrat, said he will take the lead in introducing Mr. Obama’s proposal in Congress, calling it “a step forward on the path to fiscal responsibility.”

Mr. Spratt led opposition to the 2006 Bush proposal.

At some point they should just call themselves the Demagogue Party and dispense with the pretenses as to what they truly are.

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Biased Media Slants Falling Oil Prices To Suit Liberal Talking Points

August 5, 2008

It’s really quite remarkable how the elite media distorts in whatever way is necessary in order to continue to drive home its liberal agenda.

CNNMoney.com ran a story yesterday that claims that the recently falling fuel prices (which most would see as a good thing) are actually a bad thing – a harborer of looming recession:

NEW YORK (Fortune) — Oil prices are falling sharply, and that’s good news. But not nearly as good as you might think.

No doubt the drop, down to $120 by mid-day Monday, gives strapped consumers relief at the gas pump. Prices have dropped below $4 a gallon and could be headed toward $3.50, going by trading in wholesale futures markets. Any decline will be welcomed by Americans struggling under the burden of falling house prices, rising layoffs and stagnant wages.

But falling oil prices also suggest that the recession the U.S. has so far avoided is well on its way, as consumers pull back from the spending spree that drove economic growth earlier this decade. A weakening economy will mean more layoffs, further pressuring already reduced spending.

“There is no doubt that with gasoline prices dipping below $3.90 a gallon we have a bit of a reprieve on the energy front,” Merrill Lynch economist David Rosenberg wrote in a report Monday, “but the reality is that this is a chicken and egg game because the decline is reflecting the consumer recession.”

The liberal media mantra is this: the Bush economy is terrible. The implication is this: you need to vote Democrat for the sake of “change.”

There is an unrelenting presentation of negatively-viewed coverage on the economy when Republican administrations are in power – especially during election years. And the identical economic statistics – or even worse numbers – are somehow are viewed in a more positive light when Democrats are in power.

Stop and think about it:

First of all, Americans are doing all the things that liberals have been wanting them to do: they are driving significantly less, using less oil. They are trading in their big gas guzzlers for economy cars. Heck, they’re even inflating their tires! Americans are doing what liberals have been telling them to do for years. Yet somehow, this amounts to dire news for the economy.

Let me simply assure you that this media narrative would be entirely different if Barack Obama were president.

Second, why did Americans drive so much less? Because gasoline was so overpriced. Only liberals don’t get the fact that when something becomes more expensive, people will use less of it.

Because the price of oil is a function of the relationship between supply and demand, when the demand is reduced, the supply becomes greater and the price goes down. It had nearly nothing to do with “oil company price gouging” or “speculator’s manipulation.” It had almost everything to do with the fact that China’s and India’s massive increase in oil consumption accounted for the fact that the relationship between world demand and world supply was beginning to drive up the relative value of oil.

President Bush’s ending of the executive ban against drilling for offshore oil immediately resulted in the biggest decrease in oil prices in 17 years as the market reacted to the promise of increased oil supplies in the future.

Meanwhile, lying demagogue Harry Reid attempted to take credit for the price reduction, claiming that the Democrats’ legislation against speculation was what was actually reducing the oil prices. That’s been proven to be patently false, however: the speculation bill went down in defeat, the Democrats went on a five week vacation, and yet oil prices have continued to drop. Had Reid been even partly right, the speculators who got out of the market fearing the Democrats’ bill would have jumped right back in. Yet somehow that’s just not much of a story for the elite media.

The media have repeatedly told Americans that we are in a dire recession when such is not the case. We haven’t had any negative growth quarters, and the last quarter was a positive 1.9% and an increase from the previous quarter. And while our economy has clearly cooled off, it is still the best on the planet.

You can always look at the bright side, or look at the dark side on anything.  And again and again, in every way possible, the media looks to frame its coverage of the economy in order to favor Democrats and hurt Republicans.

Democrats Demagogue and Lie About Oil – As Usual

July 29, 2008

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday as his Democrats failed to move their energy bill:

They’ve come up with the most unbelievable dodge that I can remember. They said, ‘We’re not going to do anything on speculation because it’s no longer important,’ even though it’s part of their bill.

But that’s a bald faced lie, and he knows it.

Republicans have repeatedly said they were willing to deal on speculation, and alternative energy, and other things the Democrats want. But they insist that drilling on federal lands – which is now off limits on and off shore because of Democrats – be part of any package they will support. As usual, Democrats prove themselves to be dishonest manipulators rather than straight dealers.

You want another example of Democrats’ bald faced lies – again from the top Democrat in the Senate? Speaking again about speculation (i.e. the oil futures market), Reid said:

Something that will lower prices by 20-50%. And I think that, uh, one of the reasons the price of oil has gone down… you’ll note that it has gone down since we started, introduced, since we introduced our legislation dealing with speculation.

No it isn’t, and he knows it. On July 14, President Bush ended the executive ban on offshore drilling. The very next day saw the price of oil take the biggest drop in 17 years.

Within two days of Bush’s signing the executive order, the price of oil dropped from nearly $145 a barrel to $130.73 a barrel. And within four days, it had dropped to $128.88. And Harry Reid wants to take credit for this drop in price with his incredibly airheaded speculation bill that never really had a chance of overcoming a filibuster to begin with?

In the House, Democrats are putting the energy bill on the “suspension calender” in a move that will require a 2/3 majority to pass any legislation, but which prevents the Republicans from adding ANY amendments to allow for drilling on federal lands or contribute in any way.

Democrats are so paranoid that a drilling amendment might be introduced that they would rather scuttle any meaningful vote whatsoever.

Why did President Bush lift the ban?:

The White House announced today that President Bush will lift an executive order banning offshore oil drilling, a move aimed at stepping up pressure on Congress to end the prohibition it imposed in 1981.

The futures market reduced the price of oil because they saw the very real possibility that the American political system might finally get itself in gear to increase the supply of oil. Increased supplies lower prices. It’s as simple as that.

It is just like the Democrat Party to do everything possible to cause the problem for restricting the oil supply, and then try to claim credit for lowering prices. They are the worst kind of backstabbing liars you could possibly ever deal with.

To add to the sheer insanity of the Democrat’s position on energy, Sen. Charles Schumer said the same day:

The bottom line is very simple. We Democrats believe in the future when it comes to energy policy. We believe in alternative energy, we believe we have to wean ourselves away from oil and dependency from people like Ahmadinejad, Chavez and Putin. And they want to throw themselves right into their owns because big oil wants it. So the equations is simple. The Republicans equal big oil and the past. They do what big oil wants. We democrats represent alternatives weaning ourselves away from oil and the future.

So Democrats state that they have no intention of doing anything to increase the supply of oil or doing anything meaningful to reduce the cost even as they blame the Republicans who ARE trying to increase the oil supply.

Or to put it another way, how on earth can Democrats be both for oil and against oil at the same time?

And pandering demagogue that Schumer is, he labels Republicans as stooges of the oil companies which he and other Democrats have repeatedly demonized.

Oil companies certainly have their flaws. But they have one essential virtue: they produce oil. And in demonizing oil companies, Democrats have long-since crossed the line into demonizing the oil that these companies produce.

Or, to put it in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s words:

“Those costs that you don’t see on the bottom line. That is, coal makes us sick, oil makes us sick, its Global Warming, its ruining our Country, its ruining our World.”

Democrats are clearly opposed to oil. And that’s why the supplies are so low and the prices are so high.

You just remember something. Right now we are dependent upon oil. That is why Al Gore keeps flying his fuel-gobbling private jets and getting himself ferried around in gas-guzzling convoys of SUVs. Oil is what we have, and it is very difficult to go without it – even for the hypocrites who tell everyone else to do so.

Democrats like Schumer and Reid are not just part of the problem – they ARE THE PROBLEM. Because of Democrats, we are doing nothing to tap our own massive energy resources. Because of Democrats, we are therefore forced to go to the very dictators that Schumer named and give them $700 billion a year for something we could be producing ourselves.

We can either go on listening to one stupid self-serving lie and excuse after another, or we can vote these fools out and elect men and women who will allow this country to provide itself with the energy we need.

Blame Democrats for Sky-high Gas Prices

June 25, 2008

Let us not forget that we are two years into the “commonsense plan” announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on President Bush’s, Speaker Hastert’s, and the Republican Congress’ empty rhetoric on gas prices. Key facts on the Majority’s failure to address gas prices follows Pelosi’s statement.

With skyrocketing gas prices, it is clear that the American people can no longer afford the Republican Rubber Stamp Congress and its failure to stand up to Republican big oil and gas company cronies. Americans this week are paying $2.91 a gallon on average for regular gasoline – 33 cents higher than last month, and double the price than when President Bush first came to office.

“With record gas prices, record CEO pay packages, and record oil company profits, Speaker Hastert and the Majority Congress continue to give the American people empty rhetoric rather than join Democrats who are working to lower gas prices now.

“Democrats have a commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price gouging, rolling back the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and royalty relief given to big oil and gas companies, and increasing production of alternative fuels.”

She placed the blame for previous “high” prices (dang, they sure don’t seem so high now, do they?) on “President Bush’s, Speaker Hastert’s, and the Republican Congress’ empty rhetoric.” And she promised that we Democrats have the solution.” She blamed Republicans for the past, and put the responsibility squarely on her party for the future.

And just what has happened since the Democrat’s “commonsense plan” went into effect?

On January 21, 2007, just after the Democrats took over the Congress, the national average price per gallon of regular self serve gas was $2.18 per gallon. As of June 20, 2008 it was $4.075 a gallon.

That’s one great plan you’ve got there, Nancy.

You put that pretty dress of demagoguery on, Democrats. Now you wear the damn thing.

“Commonsense” and “Democrat” are antonyms. And Nancy Pelosi’s phrase, “Democrats have a commonsense plan” is an oxymoron. Maybe by the time gas tops $5 a gallon, enough Americans will recognize this.

Of course, Democrats – who are only good at blaming others for their messes – are still blaming everyone but themselves.

One of the dogs they are riding now are “oil futures” and “speculation.”

A brief explanation of futures contracts and oil prices has this:

A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell a quantity of a product at a set price and date in the future. The New York Mercantile Exchange began trading oil futures in nineteen eighty-three.

Futures markets now largely set the price of oil. Yet these contracts rarely involve an exchange of real barrels of oil. Most oil is traded on what is called the spot market or through other contracts between producers and users. The prices, however, are usually based on futures prices.

Doug MacIntyre is senior oil analyst with the United States Energy Information Administration. He notes that the position of the government is that market forces of supply and demand are driving today’s high oil prices. But he also notes that more money has been going into futures.

This money can be from oil producers and users. But it also comes from banks, big investors called hedge funds and speculators with no need for oil. Speculators try to guess the direction a market will go; in some cases they profit when prices drop.

Realize for a second that it’s not “big oil” driving up the prices: it’s employee unions, banks, investment portfolios, retirement funds, and the like.

For the sake of (absurd) argument, let’s say that Democrats are completely right, and that supply and demand have nothing to do with the price of gasoline. The question becomes, why has the price of gas risen $1.90 a gallon? Why has it increased a whopping 86.93% since the Democrats took over the Congress?

Let’s see, if I were going to gamble on whether the cost of something would go up, would it occur to me that a party coming into power that promised that they would tax the hell out of an industry, hit them with “excess profit” fines, regulate the hell out of them, push all kinds of environmental restrictions on them, and keep them from increasing their domestic supply of product, tell me that the cost would A) go up or B) go down?

If you picked B, you are intelligent enough to invest in the market and earn a profit; if you selected A, you are stupid enough to vote Democrat, and to believe their stupid oxymoronic slogans.

Now, if Democrats like Maxine Waters (who said during one of those Democrat communist show trials of oil company executives), “And guess what this liberal would be all about. This liberal will be about socializing … uh, um … “Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies. …” get their way and we go the way of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, what do you think the speculators will “speculate” about the price of gasoline?

The show trials – and the shrill cries to socialize (or nationalize) the oil industry – are all part of another component of the Democrat’s “commonsense plan” to demagogue and demonize the oil industry instead of actually providing more energy.

Nancy Pelosi’s “increasing production of alternative fuels” has sent the corn commodities market sky high (hey, you can blame speculators for that market, too!). We are taking food off our tables and – by an expensive process that ends up producing less energy than it takes to produce it – providing ethanol. There’s some oxymoronic “commonsense” for you!

John F. Wasik puts it this way:

The U.S., in its quest to reduce its reliance on expensive imported oil, may soon consume as much as half its domestic corn crop for fuel production, though the economic benefits have yet to materialize. Ethanol produces one-third less energy than a gallon of gasoline at an average wholesale cost of 33 percent more, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office study….

The other byproduct of the ethanol obsession is more-expensive food. Higher corn prices have boosted the cost of producing beef, poultry and thousands of processed products.

Food prices have climbed an average of $47 per person due to the ethanol surge since last July, according to an Iowa State University study published in May; corn futures reached a 10-year high of $4.28 a bushel in February. All told, ethanol has cost Americans an additional $14 billion in higher food prices.

These increases have also pushed up sugar prices, which rose to a three-month high in New York on July 18 on speculation that demand for the commodity will strengthen to help produce ethanol, an alternative to oil. Brazil is the largest sugar grower.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has yet to discover whether its 51-cent-per-gallon ethanol subsidy is efficiently stimulating production of the fuel. One thing the bureaucrats know for sure: It cost the U.S. Treasury $2.7 billion last year with possibly more subsidies on the way.

That article is nearly a year old, now. The corn-ethanol lunacy has gotten much worse since then, and will get worse yet. You can wear the stupidity over your “alternative fuels” too, Speaker Nancy.

Nancy Pelosi is the new postmodern version of Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat ethanol.”

Or, hey! More windmills! That’ll keep your car running! Anything, anything but increased production of the one thing that actually fills your tank. That’s “the commonsense plan.”

I like the way Steve Gill put it:

The Democrats have pursued a clear energy policy since capturing control of
the Congress. First, increase taxes on the oil companies, which increases
the price at the pump. Second, prevent access to new oil sources by
continuing to ban exploration and drilling, which restricts supply and
increases the price at the pump. And finally, increase regulation and
bureaucratic red-tape imposed on the oil industry in order to satisfy the
demands of environmentalists, which increases the price at the pump.
Contrary to their campaign promises, Democrats have done virtually
everything they can do to raise the price of gasoline for U.S. drivers.and
their plan has worked to perfection. The only question is why they aren’t
doing more to take credit for the success of their plan?

Frankly, it’s up to us to make sure the Democrats take their fair share of “credit.”