Archive for Friday, February 24, 2012

Higher gas prices cloud Obama’s re-election

February 24, 2012


Soaring gasoline prices are threatening to undercut President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects and offering Republicans an easy target. With prices pushing $4 a gallon and threatening to go even higher, Obama sought Thursday to confront rising public anxiety and strike back at his GOP critics.

“Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically,” Obama said of Republicans. “You pay more; they’re licking their chops.”

Obama said dismissively that all the Republicans can talk about is more drilling — “a bumper sticker ... a strategy to get politicians through an election” — when the nation’s energy challenges demand much more. In a speech in Miami, he promoted the expansion of domestic oil and gas exploration but also the development of new forms of energy.

For all the political claims, economists say there’s not much a president of either party can do about gasoline prices. Certainly not in the short term. But it’s clear that people are concerned — a new Associated Press-GfK poll says seven in 10 find the issue deeply important — so it’s sure to be a political issue through the summer.

“Right now, we’re experiencing yet another painful reminder of why developing new energy is so critical to our future,” the president said. At an average of $3.58 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1, and experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by Memorial Day.

Those higher prices could hurt consumer spending and unravel some of the recent improvements in the economy. And they could also be a daily reminder to voters to question Obama’s contention that he’s making the nation — and them — more secure.

While motorists are already starting to complain, many economists see the $4-a-gallon mark as a breaking point above which the economy starts to suffer real pain. Analysts estimate that every one-cent increase is roughly a $1.4 billion drain on the economy.

Obama’s Republican challengers aren’t letting it all slide by. They have stepped up their attacks on his energy policies, including his rejection last month of a pipeline to carry oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. And they’re full of promises.

“I’ve developed a program for American energy so no future president will ever bow to a Saudi king again, and so every American can look forward to $2.50-a-gallon gasoline,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in the Wednesday night GOP debate in Mesa, Ariz. He calls his strategy “Drill Here, Drill Now.”

At the same event, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania — who has warned of $5-a-gallon gas — asserted that “we have a lot of troubles around the world, as you see the Middle East in flames and what’s going on in this country with gas prices and the economy.”


Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Clipped from this article: “I’ve developed a program for American energy so no future president will ever bow to a Saudi king again, and so every American can look forward to $2.50-a-gallon gasoline,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in the Wednesday night GOP debate in Mesa, Ariz.

For some reason, I'm reminded of this: "Even though Richard Nixon didn't have one, the notion that he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam war helped him win the presidency in 1968."

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Clipped from this article: Republican challengers,,, have stepped up their attacks,,, including his (Obama's) rejection last month of a pipeline to carry oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

How many people see right through this? There was never any guarantee that the petroleum products refined on the U.S. Gulf Coast would be sold to Americans.

"If the Keystone XL pipeline is built, most of that Canadian oil will be sent to refineries on the Gulf Coast, most likely to be refined into products that are shipped to foreign customers." Clipped from:

"TransCanada refused to support a requirement that oil on Keystone XL be used in the United States in a recent Congressional hearing. Earlier this month, Representative Edward Markey asked TransCanada's President Alex Pourbaix to support a condition that would require the oil on Keystone XL to be used in the United States. Mr. Pourbaix refused, saying that a requirement to keep oil on Keystone XL in the United States would cause refineries to back out of their contracts. That very well may be the case as Valero, one of the largest prospective purchasers of Keystone XL's crude, has already told its investors the its future business is in international export. " Clipped from:

It's claimed in the article that Obama’s Republican challengers are full of promises. I believe that, but then, I'm not aware of any politicians that aren't.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

When I first saw that quote from 'Time' I was amazed that such a blatant grammatical error had ever gotten past the editors of such a reputable publication.

Then I clicked on the link and discovered that quote does not appear in the article at all.

I read the article and discovered something. FalseHopeNoChange either did not read the article, or did not understand it. And, it was not written at a particularly high level. Any reader that can read at the tenth grade comprehension level should be able to comprehend its meaning.

Here's an actual quote from the article:

"But now that gas prices have spiked, McCain is running for President on a drill-first platform, and polls suggest that most Americans agree with him."

That seemed rather odd to me, because I don't recall McCain running for President this year. I looked at the date, and the article was written in 2008. But, that does not mean that its conclusions are incorrect.

This is another quote from the article:

"It's sad to see his campaign adopting the politics of the tire gauge, promoting the fallacy that Americans are powerless to address their own energy problems."

So the above comment did not contain a quote from the article, and the "quote" that was presented conveyed very little of what the article actually said, although it is true that proper tire inflation and tune ups are mentioned.

And then, a conclusion was reached that was based on a "quote" from the article.

Here are two quotes that actually do appear in the article:

"In fact, Obama's actual energy plan is much more than a tire gauge."

"Of course, in recent years, the Republican Party has been affiliated with the oil industry. It was the oilman Dick Cheney who dismissed conservation as a mere sign of "personal virtue," not a basis for energy policy. It was the oilman George W. Bush who resisted efforts to regulate carbon emissions. And most congressional Republicans have been even more reliable water carriers for the industry's interests."

So it's rather obvious that the article was written in support of Obama, and from a Democratic point of view. But the conclusion reached by FalseHopeNoChange suggested exactly the opposite.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago


It's notable that many post links in support of their claims that often contradict them.

In this case, it seems that FHNC even misquoted his own link?!

Let's hope it was accidental.

bad_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like something a poorly raised third grader would say as an excuse when caught in a lie.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Made you look, you dirty crook, you stole your Momma's pocketbook!

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

The error ended in jan. 2009, too bad you had your head stuck in the sand for the 8 bush years!

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

You're right not an error a cluster%#(%

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

Oil Prices Are Rising Despite Lowest Demand Since 1997

Strangely, the current run-up in prices comes despite sinking demand in the U.S. “Petrol demand is as low as it’s been since April 1997,” says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. “People are properly puzzled by the fact that we’re using less gas than we have in years, yet we’re paying more.”

Kloza believes much of the increase is due to speculative money that’s flowed into gasoline futures contracts since the beginning of the year, mostly from hedge funds and large money managers. “We’ve seen about $11 billion of speculative money come in on the long side of gas futures,” he says. “Each of the last three weeks we’ve seen a record net long position being taken.”

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh no, I'm suddenly having a flashback to 1976. That was the year my father lost about $36,000 (I think) on wheat futures. That was a fabulous sum of money at the time, equivalent to $143,402.11 today, according to But, many say that inflation is often understated, so maybe it was equivalent to even more than that.

I remember thinking at the time, 'You could have bought a new Rolls Royce for that.'

He refused to drop his option and take a loss on his first call, which is what he should have done, and I can tell that by using the miracle of 20-20 hindsight. Instead he kept on tossing in more and more money on his margin calls.

In 1976 when he bought his futures on the upside, wheat was selling for about $5 a bushel, which was already an historically high price. (Assuming dollars of constant value, in accordance with G.A.A.P.) But, that was when the news flashed all over that Russia was going to buy a whole lot of wheat from the USA, which actually did happen later. There were many that believed that the price of wheat would go into the stratosphere again, as it did shortly after World War 2. (Farmers have very, very long memories about some things.)

After the loss was all over and done with, my Grandmother consoled her son by saying something like this:

"At least you didn't lose enough to make you bankrupt. If you had made money on it, you probably would have bet the whole farm on it next year."

The Moral Of The Story Is This:

If you do not very clearly understand what you are doing, and if you can't also afford to lose your money, never get into the futures contract market.

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

Oil boomlet sweeps U.S. as exports and production rise

The U.S. exported more oil-based fuels than it imported in the first nine months of this year, making it likely that 2011 will be the first time since 1949 that the nation is a net exporter of such goods, primarily diesel.

That's not all. The U.S. has reversed another decades-long trend. It began producing more crude oil in 2008 than the year before and accelerated that upswing 3% in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period in 2010. That production has helped reduce U.S. imports of crude oil by about 10% since 2006.

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

BOOM! Bush Vs. Obama Oil And Gas Employment

Obama has been lambasted by the GOP regarding his oil policies. Let's see if the facts match their rhetoric. If regulations kill jobs and Obama is over regulating everything ESPECIALLY the oil and gas industry, then explain these charts. Employment should be DIVING under Obama, not reaching 20 year highs.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Well, since the right is using high gas prices to campaign against him, I'd have to say yes, if he wants to get re-elected.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

Keystone pipeline will improve nothing except the wallets of the oil executives.

It was noted last night that for every tank of gas $14.75 goes to the Wall Street speculators driving this price surge. Wall Street and oil screwing consumers one more time.

Drive less at every opportunity...

As always when shopping think:

  1. Public Transportation

  2. Bicycle with an easy to pull bike trailer

  3. Walk bringing an easy to convert bike trailer to stroller which is light and easy to push

  4. Walk and use a baby stroller for for transporting your goods

  5. Shop around for an electric golf cart just stay off the's the law.

rtwngr 2 years, 9 months ago

It's a global economy/market on petroleum. With Iran on the embargo list is cuts off their oil exports and makes everybody else's oil cost more. Period. Supply and demand.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

1) "With Iran on the embargo list is cuts off their oil exports"

You are very much mistaken. Iran will no problem exporting oil, they will simply be trading it for gold instead of US Dollars or Euros, and selling to India, China, and Russia instead of the Western nations.

The following is a repeat of my comment on February 20, 2012 for the article titled: 'Iran cuts oil exports to Britain, France' (Strangely, I was the only one to comment on that article.)

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

2) Some people might not have been reading the news. Iran is going to trade oil to India in exchange for gold, as opposed accepting as payment a fiat currency such as the Euro or the US dollar.

The following is clipped from:

"Today's big story that doesn't seem to be getting enough attention is the revelation that India will begin to buy oil from Iran using gold (GLD) -- not dollars. This is a big story with a couple major points"

"the exodus from the dollar is gaining speed. How far off is the tipping point? I post it's not as far off as many would believe."

"I think the tipping point for a shift out of dollars and into a new monetary system backed by gold is not as far off as it may seem."

"The only way gold does not get re-monetized is if some type of agreement between the US Treasury and major Treasury bondholders can be reached in which the debt is partially cancelled and bondholders agree to take the loss."

The shift towards acceptance of payment in gold in lieu of currency is covered in many news reports on the web. In order to verify that, it is only necessary to google these three words: Iran oil gold, and scroll down the list.

China, another major oil importer, is also lined up to purchase oil from Iran with payment in gold. So is Russia.

Clipped from:

"Sanctions dodge: India to pay gold for Iran oil, China may follow"

"India has reportedly agreed to pay Tehran in gold for the oil it buys, in a move aimed at protecting Delhi from US-sanctions targeting countries who trade with Iran. China, another buyer of Iranian oil, may follow Delhi’s lead.

India and China need to switch from the dollar in bilateral trade, since the US and EU have issued unilateral sanctions against the Iranian oil industry and financial institutions. The sanctions would ban any bank involved in oil trade with Iran from dealing with American and European counterparts.

Both India and China, two major buyers of Iranian oil accounting for 22 and 13 percent of its total export respectively, have refused to join such sanctions. This means they have to establish a reliable way of paying for crude, independently of the parts of the global financial system controlled by New York and London."

I think that the economic sanctions against Iran are going to have these two unexpected consequences: 1) The fiat currencies will be debased, leading to an inflationary event of unknown magnitude. 2) And, after Iran has shifted to accepting payment with gold, other countries are very likely to follow suit.

My conclusion is this: In the long run, the sanctions won't hurt Iran at all, and will end up being a disaster for the countries that are imposing them.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

The Mope's policies have been aimed at making energy more expensive since he took office. He's sown the wind and shall now reap the whirlwind. (from a source)

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

Mope: A person of any race or culture that is: presenting themselves as uneducated (either by mannerisms or the clothing they are wearing). Plural = Mopes Mopes usually are up to no good and may have an extensive criminal record and a limited vocabulary.

Yep, some people just can't get past this president's race.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

I need to know what the exact opposite of "Mope" is, because I need to find my identity.

bad_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

"I'll pay $10 bucks a gallon for the next eight months if I could have an assurance that The Anointed One gets the boot out of the white house."

Wow, what a grand gesture! What do you burn? 20-25 gallons/week? I'm just guessing but I'll bet you aren't driving anything too fuel conservative. Nevetheless, this is about as rich in strategy as anything else offered by all the R's candidates combined. But hey, that's your typical MO. Nothing of substance or value, just hyperbole filled sugar-coated empty calories. No wonder its been so windy lately.

gphawk89 2 years, 9 months ago

I was going to make the exact same comment. It'd hurt this year but we'd come out ahead in the long run.

gphawk89 2 years, 9 months ago

Nope. The country would realize they were heading towards "crash and burn" and correct the situation in November. Like I said, short term pain would lead to long term gain.

gphawk89 2 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Getaroom 2 years, 9 months ago

And when FalseHopeNoChange children ask these questions, "Daddy", why is oil black and some people get robbed and others do not have enough food to eat around this big world"?

Oh! That's easy kids! For one thing, if everyone had a gun, no one would get robbed and oil is black because Obama touched it and before that it was pure and white! No one would be poor and hungry if the Supreme Koch Bros. were President instead of Obama. One day you will understand that everything bad that has ever happened - is Obama's fault. It's_just_math and The Faux Nuz tells us so..... Hurry up now, homeschool is about to begin and mommy is waiting for you at the dinning room table and right after that, for a treat, you get to watch Billy Graham Jr on TV tell you that Obama is a Muslim because we know he is not a Christian - like we are. Run on now......

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Wanna see gas prices really go through the roof? Elect one of the Republican war mongers who advocate attacking Iran. That'll guarantee $6 a gallon gas, maybe even $8, within a few weeks of the attack, and a worldwide recession that will make the Great Depression look like boom times.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Not to mention a return of the gas lines of the early 70's.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

The please don't work on your nuke program approach or sanctions doesn't seem to be working. What do you suggest Bozo.

heygary 2 years, 9 months ago

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the last Presidential election:

Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29 Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000 Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.

Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Alexander Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Wow, you should like totally send that earth-shattering information in an email to every email address in your address book.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

This is actually an update of an urban legend that goes back to the Bush/Gore election. It pays to check Snopes, guys :) And it looks like heygary just got handed his shizzle on a silver platter.

bad_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

How about polar bears, ptarmigans or penguins? I realize ptarmigans aren't native to Alaska but they might try to sneak in from Canada or Oregon. Better get Kris Kobach up there to ensure they don't try to vote.

520dude 2 years, 9 months ago

Remember this from Obama regarding high fuel prices? "Get used to it"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

So? They'll continue to rise at at least the rate of inflation no matter who is president.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

As a nation, we are much more educated about energy and the environment. The Republicans run the risk of appearing out of touch with the times because they are.

They are the modern day equivalent of those who believed the world was flat.

It is stunning to me how many really bad Republican candidates we have seen over the last few years. The fact that we are down to Romney and Santorum and still not able to intelligently or honestly articulate any of the important issues is astonishing to me.

Good government needs good financial management and that is what we are missing the most in my view. We need to work together to find a balance and one of the most important needs right now is both spending cuts and revenue increases. We need to make sure the very wealthy are contributing more because they can afford it and then we need to find ways to improve efficiencies.

We need to invest for the tuture in promising technologies before we enter crisis mode.

Probably our biggest problem as a country in choosing a leader is that we can't figure out yet what we want much less what we need.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

"The fact that we are down to Romney and Santorum,,,"

There are a lot of emails circulating that are certainly suggestive that Ron Paul is being seriously understated by the media and the Republican Party for incomprehensible reasons.

I am absolutely sure that if Ron Paul is not the candidate nominated by the Republican Party, Obama is going to win the election.

I am not going to make any claim as to the veracity of the claims made in this clip and paste in its entirety of an email that is circulating among some people that are paying very close attention to politics, but it sure does sound like there is suppression of some news, and a whole lot of spin going on. Everyone should clip, paste, and forward this:

Every media outlet seems to have a different delegate count. But almost invariably we're told Ron Paul is in last place and far behind the leader Mitt Romney.

But none of these delegate counters properly estimate how the caucuses will allocate their delegates. According to the Paul campaign, Ron is well positioned to win 50% of the delegates in Iowa, 75% in Minnesota, 50% in Colorado, and 75% in Maine. So what is likely to be the true delegate count once the caucus states select their national delegates?

Add together the bound delegates from New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada, and extrapolate the caucus states' delegates using the Paul campaign's estimates and you get:

Total Delegates (IA, NH, SC, FL, NV, MN, CO, ME) Romney: 93 (6, 7, 2, 50, 14, 2, 7, 5) Paul: 82 (13, 3, 0, 0, 5, 28, 17, 16) Gingrich: 29 (0, 0, 23, 0, 6, 0, 0, 0) Santorum: 25 (6, 0, 0, 0, 3, 7, 9, 0) Unpledged: 14 (3, 2, 0, 0, 0, 3, 3, 3)

*Unpledged includes Huntsman's delegates in NH as well as unbound party leader delegates in certain states.

The caucus/convention process for selecting delegates has plenty of quirks along the way - the eventual delegates could be more evenly dispersed or could skew even more heavily to Paul as the majority candidate. But this is a far more accurate portrayal of the true state of play than allocating delegates proportionately to the straw poll or entirely to the straw poll leader.

And it shows that, for now, this is a two-man race in delegates between Paul and Romney.

bad_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

Nice fantasy about an event that will never occur.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

Algae cars are the wave of the future. Government Motors should be selling them by next year.

bad_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

Pesonally, I could care less what powers my car as long as I can get to work with expenditures less than my monthly mortgage payment. You must love being the slave to taxpayer subsidized yet record profit setting big oil and trade imbalance enhancing foreign interests.

As for GM, I applaud their phoenix-like rise from the ashes-regardless of the source of help. I guess you would rather they fail-no matter the cost in jobs and to the economy because that is what the party of "No" exists for. Anything Obama says/does = inherently evil, socialism/facism/communisim or some other "ism" yet to be determined.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

You missed "pay-off to unions that contribute to Democratic campaigns-ism".

bad_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

While time and the dimensions of cyber-space prevented my listing every inherently evil example, you simply avoided the issue; "again". Everyone knows the R's certainly don't have any special interest groups they pander to...

I'll just accept the non-response as your concession you would rather see GM fail accompanied by thousands of lost jobs and significant negative economic impact. After all, most of those employees were probably blue-collar (gasp Union!) workers that likely vote Democratic right? Who cares if their hopes & dreams are crushed? They're just union workers so they probably deserved to lose their jobs. Then they can become homeless, stop paying taxes and further burden our system. All this just so you can kick them in the teeth and self-righteously tell them to go get a job, right? Anything is better than a candid assessment of the successful turnaround GM is achieving. I wonder how that occurred?

Feel free to notify everyone if you ever say anything substantive or on-point. I'll even start a blog memorializing it if you do. I won't expect it, but miracles do sometimes occur.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

These prices will seem like a bargain in a month. $5.50 a gallon ? The new definition of wealthy will be a full gas tank and a job.

Good thing we stopped the offshore and Keystone programs.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

Problem is with your fantasy scenario you don't take into accouont the global effect this would have on the total supply of oil hence keeping an ample supply on the global market. Snappy come back ?

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

The "far-reaching costs" of the fuel we are now using includes the cost of the wars in the Middle East.

I've been told that if the cost of the wars that we are involved in for the main reason of ensuring our fuel supply is added to the price of gasoline at the pump, it is already selling for $7 to $8 a gallon.

bad_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

Gee, what could that name ^^^ have to do with this thread?

Katara 2 years, 9 months ago

Obviously, Gotland is referring to Iraq's recent decision to start purchasing rice from India instead of the U.S.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

You really think so?

I predict that he would be roundly criticized by Republicans for interfering with the free market.

The idea of tax penalties for stuff like that is generally a Democratic idea not supported by Republicans, as far as I can tell.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

"Reality clouds Obama’s re-election" There, I fixed your headline. You're welcome.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

I really did think that the strategic oil reserve was going to be tapped not too long before the election in order to lower gasoline prices. Because with lower gasoline prices, Obama will be more likely to win the election.

And now, my suspicions have been verified!

Clipped from:

'U.S. weighs release of oil reserves, world frets about Iran'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is considering a release from its strategic oil reserves, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Friday, acknowledging the harm that supply disruptions from Iran could have on the global economy.

Kirk Larson 2 years, 9 months ago

Domestic production is high Demand is low. Yes, there is some hyped up foreign issues that have supplies looking uncertain, but really, why is the price of oil so high? I'm convinced that Big Oil companies are using speculative buying to drive up the price of oil in order to a) make even more than their typically obscene profits and b) make trouble for the President in an election year in the hopes of electing some republican bootlicker who will do their bidding. Hopefully, people will see through this and do the right thing.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.