Friday, July 11, 2008

The Man Can't Help It!

Here is a very interesting article that I came across today. Rather then send you to the website, I copied it here. I hope that it enlightens some, and gratifies those of us who saw this coming.

Flipping and Flopping
It's getting difficult to tell whether Obama stands for anything

By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
July 10, 2008

It's a good thing many of Barack Obama's supporters don't care much about issues, because their candidate has been changing his position on them with dizzying speed.

"Barack Obama aligned himself with welfare reform on Monday, launching a television ad which touts the way the overhaul 'slashed rolls by 80 percent,' " ABC News reported July 1. "Obama leaves out, however, that he was against the 1996 federal legislation which precipitated the caseload reduction."

When the Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia ban on handgun ownership June 26, Mr. Obama said he supported the decision of the 5-4 majority. But last November he told the Chicago Tribune he thought the D.C. handgun ban was constitutional. While in the state legislature, he proposed legislation that would, in effect, have banned handguns in Illinois.

Mr. Obama said he disagreed with another 5-4 Supreme Court decision the day before, which struck down a Louisiana law that had authorized the death penalty for someone who rapes a child. When he first ran for the state Senate in 1996, Mr. Obama said he opposed capital punishment, and in the legislature he opposed applying the death penalty to gang murders.

Campaigning in Ohio before the Democratic primary there, Mr. Obama said the North American Free Trade Agreement should be renegotiated. One of his economic advisers, University of Chicago professor Austan Goolsbee, told a Canadian official that Mr. Obama's anti-NAFTA rhetoric "should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."

When the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported this, the Obama campaign initially denied that Mr. Goolsbee had met with the Canadian consul in Chicago and then claimed he had been misquoted. After the CBC provided conclusive proof both of the meeting and what Mr. Goolsbee had said, Mr. Obama distanced himself from his economic adviser.

No longer. In an interview with Nina Easton of Fortune magazine published June 18, Mr. Obama said he didn't want unilaterally to reopen negotiations on NAFTA. "Sometimes during a campaign the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified," he said.

Last August, Mr. Obama called for easing the economic embargo on Cuba. When he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2003, he indicated he favored lifting it entirely. But in a speech to the Cuban American National Foundation May 23, Mr. Obama said he'd maintain the embargo.

Last September, Mr. Obama said he would accept federal matching funds for the general election campaign if his GOP opponent did the same. But on June 19, he announced he wouldn't. The reason was simple. The Obama campaign thinks it can raise more than twice as much as the $85 million he'd get from the feds. The flip-flop probably would have gone down better if he hadn't offered a transparently phony rationale for it.

"Mr. Obama had an opportunity here to demonstrate that he really is a different kind of politician, willing to put principles and the promises he has made above political calculation. He made a different choice," said The Washington Post in an editorial. "Fine. Politicians do what politicians need to do. But they ought to spare us the self-congratulatory back-patting while they're doing it."

Mr. Obama said on Jan. 28 that he would "strongly oppose" an intelligence surveillance bill that provided retroactive immunity from lawsuits to telephone companies that cooperated with the U.S. government. But on June 20, he announced he'd support a bill that does just that.

Supply and Demands

Abdalla Salem El-Badri, left, the OPEC secretary general, met in April with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. (Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters)

The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries warned Thursday that oil prices would see an "unlimited" increase in the case of a military conflict involving Iran…

"We really cannot replace Iran 's production - it's not feasible to replace it," Abdalla Salem El-Badri, the OPEC secretary general, said during an interview.
—James Kanter, IHT
Gasoline is just under $5.00 a gallon in some parts of the United States and you’re probably driving less, I know I am, do you still believe in the theory of supply side economics?

I’m thinking that current gasoline prices have very little to do with the supply of oil and a lot to do with demands made by oil producing Nations. (see here)

OPEC pumps about 40% of the world oil supply which seems to make them feel that they are entitled to make demands on the world! Its supply side economics gone jihad, here’s why I say that.

OPEC just pronounced that if there is any attack on Iran gas prices would raise precipitously without any restraint. This somewhat oblique warning seems to test just were the balance of world power resides. Given that there has been no equal warning or restraint demanded on Iran’s calls for Israel’s destruction by President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

No longer should there be any doubt as to who is in control of the world. Oil is the life’s blood of the world and in a not so veiled threat OPEC has declared its protection of Iran and demands that those who threaten Iran back off.

So it would seem that it is OPEC that is controlling the price of oil in world markets and equally it would seem that they are at fault for the high gasoline prices in consumer nations, but not so says OPEC.

OPEC has been saying, as early as 2007 that increased oil supply will not bring the price of gasoline down. OPEC says there are causes for high gas prices other than supply and demand.

As reported in October 2007 in the International Herald Tribune representatives from top oil producing countries Tuesday blamed the steady advance of oil toward $100 a barrel on a combination of financial speculation, geopolitical instability and a shortfall in refining capacity.

The president of OPEC, Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli, who is also the oil minister of the United Arab Emirates, pledged to keep markets amply supplied. But at an oil industry conference in London, he said there was only so much OPEC could do in the current circumstances to keep a lid on prices.

"Increasingly oil markets are being driven by forces beyond OPEC's control, such as geopolitical events and the growing influence of financial investors," Hamli said. "We are of course concerned about the high level of oil prices."

This directly contradicts proponents of supply side economics. According to CNN crude oil prices are driven largely by fluctuations in the global supply and demand.

Gas price increases in recent years have been due in part to crude oil production limits set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, and rising demand across the globe, especially in countries like China and India. Instability in key oil-producing countries can also affect the supply of crude oil.

The purchasing power of the dollar also has an impact because oil is bought in dollars in every world market. If the dollar is cheaper against foreign currencies, U.S. consumers will pay more at the pump.

In addition to that in 1999 OPEC worked to convince all oil producing nations to cut the world supply of oil by 3%
With remarkable speed and unity, OPEC clinched a far-reaching agreement with four independent oil-producing nations today to cut world output by 2.1 million barrels a day. The move, if carried out, would significantly reduce the supply of crude oil and drive up the price of gasoline and other fuel.

The pact, announced here, is to take effect on April 1 and last for a year. It would reduce daily world oil production of 70 million barrels by about 3 percent.

The deal was reached despite resilient skepticism about the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' ability to stop cheating by its own members. On the contrary, there is now considerable optimism that the cutbacks will work.
One would think that if OPEC believes that cutting supply would raise the price of oil then increasing supply would lower prices.

This too, OPEC controls the output of its members through a production quota system designed to influence the price of oil. Quotas are set at regular meetings.

But contrary to the reality of what is happening Saudi economist Ali al-Dakkak said world prices were being driven by "wild speculation" and a lack of refining capacity in consumer countries, especially the United States.

Al-Dakkak adds, "Consumer demands for increasing output are politically motivated." —Worldnews Australia

Consumer demands for increasing output are politically motivated? And here I thought that not being able to drive my car and feed my family at the same time motivated me and millions of American consumers of gasoline to demand more output of oil, silly me!

In Venezuela gasoline is $0.12 a gallon in Kuwait it is $.078 a gallon, in Saudi Arabia it is $0.91 a gallon so why doesn’t fluctuations in the global supply and demand affect these prices to the extent that the U.S. prices are affected? (see here)

I’ll tell you why because it is just the reverse of Saudi economist Ali al-Dakkak’s statement, the exorbitant increases in oil and gasoline prices are politically motivated not the other way around.

Finally there has been a 25% reduction in combined expenses to produce oil for the OPEC nations and a 181.15% increase in price to consumer nations that’s a 206.15% increase in profitability over the period 2000-2007 to April 2008 (see here)

This means that lower cost to produce the oil, higher profits based on higher pricing and political posturing point to OPEC manipulation of oil supplies and prices to make demands to control world events and world politics which is very bad for the Western world.

A virtually new OPEC spin on supply and demand to the Western world. "If you don't do what I demand, then I won't supply the oil that you need!"