A Test of Endurance

This is a test.  It is only a test of the Emergency Intelligence Network.

Now that the birthers and deathers have been laughed back to their caves, another conspiracy theory is developing deep inside of those dark, dank enclosures in which they huddle. Here’s the newest conspiracy cooked up to diss the President: he hates the oil companies. Imagine that. Well, in fact, so do I and I have a feeling that tens of millions of Americans are lined up behind me waiting to raise their hands with a ‘me too!’

Here’s the latest loonyness :

President Obama was campaigning in Indiana today and according to the Los Angeles Times he said:
“Oil companies over the last five years, through a recession, through ups and downs, the top five oil companies, their profits have ranged between $75 billion and $125 billion,” he said. “And yet they still have a tax loophole that is costing taxpayers $4 billion every year. Now, if you’re already paying them at the pump, we don’t need to pay them through the tax code.”
It is wonderful news that five companies are making money.  That is good news to the hundreds of thousands of people employed either directly or indirectly by these companies.  It is particularly good news to the tens of millions of people who have money invested in those companies.  Only a liberal could turn profits into a bad thing.

Yes, let’s defend the oil companies against this terrible president who wants to ‘bilk’ them out of their $4 billion tax break. “It’s wonderful news that the five companies are making money.”  Not only that but good news to the hundreds of thousands of people employed by them.”

So, round three has commenced. Round 1- birth certificate; round 2- death of bin Laden; round 3- discrediting the oil companies. By the way, at the end of the post by Common Sense, he has a link to that famous McCain/Palin mantra, DRILL BABY, DRILL!  Yes, that one.  Gulp. Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less! Bumper Sticker Decals

So here’s the test. Who knows why DRILL BABY DRILL! is one of the most idiotic pieces of propaganda that right-wing lunatics have absorbed?

Extra Credit.  For 10 extra points, who can explain how and when oil got onto the Commodity Futures market?

Extra Credit.  For 15 extra points, who can name the GOP Senator who screwed the American citizens through a loophole in this commodities market?

[keep your eyes on your own papers]

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16 thoughts on “A Test of Endurance

  1. Hello Muddy,
    Many of the Commodity Markets have proliferated drastically in the late 20th century and oil was the first forms of energy that was widely traded. It is the fluctuations in the oil market that is so subservient to political interest that makes it so violate.

    Here in lies the problem. Most markets are not so tied to the politics of volatile regions. But with oil, when the day comes when King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia should become deathly ill, the price of oil will wildly rise exponentially simply based on this news.

    Even natural gas tends to be more stable as far as the forms of energy go. This is where Uptheflag and I do agree the U.S. policy needs to convert our energy needs for this country. Unlike oil, it is not traded as predominantly across the oceans by tanker like oil is.

    I am thinking the “Loophole” that you are speaking of the means that speculator’s abuse, and investment bank’s manipulation of the energy trading markets, “using loopholes” in the commodities law to drive up the cost of energy and reap record profits. This of course is all at the expense of American families and small businesses!

    The name is referred to the “Enron Loophole,” so I am thinking it was a Senator from Texas. (Hint Hint)

    Unfortunately, other loopholes exist that allow energy trading on completely “DARK” exchanges. For example, the “Foreign Markets Loophole” allows American energy commodities to be traded overseas exempt from U.S. oversight.

    These so-called “Dark Markets” commodities markets that are not policed by U.S. authorities provide for an open the door to manipulation, even outright control of the markets.

    For example, speculative investors can buy and sell millions of barrels of U.S. destined oil and other energy products every day in the United Kingdom and even in Dubai (maybe this is why Halliburton moved their Corporate Headquarters to Dubai during the W. Bush years. Right Dick Cheney?) but are not made subject to the transparency and accountability laws that govern exchanges here in the United States!

    Additionally, through the so-called “swaps loophole,” financial investors can “game the markets” for pure profit by buying up positions in the energy markets, without any limitation on the size of the positions they can take. One recent estimate suggested that they now control one third of the commodities markets, or $150 billion; a 1,000% increase in less than five years!

    Some experts believe that as much as 60% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline or heating oil can be attributed to pure speculation and abusive, even manipulative trading practices, yet most trading is “DARK” and federal authorities can neither fully police or see the data in the majority of the trading markets.

  2. Muddy, by the way, much confusion lies with the fact that the “ENRON LOOPHOLE” was part of CFTC Reauthorization Act of 2008, which is a title attached to the “FARM BILL” that was recently passed.

    Yes it appears that “Enron Energy Loophole” has a lot to do with Farming…

  3. I guess if those oil companies became Obama campaign donors like GE has, he wouldn’t bother to mention tax credits, loopholes or, the such.

    Perhaps, he also wouldn’t create rules preventing them from producing energy in America while telling foreign oil companies “We want to be your best customer”.

    What is the profit margin for 1 gallon of gasoline for those “evil” oil companies? 2-3 cents!
    How greedy of them!

    So why is it that you libs are so against drilling here and mining resources here?
    From one side of your mouths you bitch about energy independence and, from the other side you advocate to block every new application to drill, build a refinery or, mine.

    The recent hike in prices isn’t due to speculation or, OPEC cutting production back or, Libya.
    The OPEC countries have no room to store the crude they’ve pumped and, America’s refining capacity can’t keep up with demand.
    Two or, 3 new refineries could exceed demand and flood the market with cheap fuel…while creating many high paying jobs at the same time.

  4. Closing the oil company tax loopholes and dispensing with their subsidies – along with a lot of other subsidies would be the best thing that could happen to this country. It could well be a better accomplishment for all practical purposes than killing bin Laden.

    So, naturally, the Republicans will oppose it because it would treat the majority of the citizens of this country fairly, and slow the transfer of wealth from everyone to the few percent of the wealthiest.

    Can anything with the words Enron and Loophole in it be a GOOD thing? I think not.

  5. Sepp, I notice you didn’t take me up on my earlier challenge. Laci returned your post to its original status.

    You should reconsider doing so.

    Because I plan to continue to remind you, moderators permitting.

    1. I haven’t bothered myself with checking laci’s rewritten post so, I haven’t seem whatever “challenge” you posted.

  6. Engineer- grade: A+ Excellent data and spot-on analysis.

    If you’ll notice our representative from the right-side of life FAILED to give a coherent response. Of course, no doubt he too absorbed all of the propaganda about gas and oil, just like Common Sense and his cadre.

    1. Of course, sepp couldn’t give a coherent response. It’s part of his nature.

      Likewise, it’s not part of his nature to give a straight and honest answer to anything. Now, he has two people who will challenge him to give substantive and coherent answers.

      How long will sepp survive this?

  7. I like tests!:

    why drill baby drill is stupid

    An America that is focused first and foremost on drilling for oil is an America more focused on feeding its oil habit than kicking it. This viewpoint believes that Oil is an unlimited resource which causes little, if any environmental damage. The proper policy is to look to alternative sources of energy which have lower environmental impact.

    Oil as a Commodity

    Pretty much through the 20th Century. It came about through infrastructure and credit and settlement networks established for food and precious metals particularly in the late 20th century. Oil was the first form of energy so widely traded, and the fluctuations in the oil markets are of particular political interest. The energy trading markets were originally set up to provide energy producers and distributors with an environment to manage risk and produce the best possible price for their customers. The challenge to world oil was and is one of the abundance of the oil supply.

    Would the Senator in question be Phil Gramm?

  8. Hello Muddy,
    Like I have stated before, I operate with more accurate, factual, and confirmed information than those that are spoon feed by the far right propaganda machine.

    Example being below:
    Just anchored to the south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis, MD are about 10 to 12 full oil tankers waiting to unload their cargo in Baltimore. These oil tankers have been anchored there for well over 4 to 6 weeks. There are even more anchored in the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay waiting to have those ahead unloaded. Mean while the oil in those ships are still being traded on the “Open Commodity Dark Market Loopholes,” and the price of that oil in those ships just keep going up. When the price and profit margin gets high enough, they will be sent to Baltimore to be unloaded. This is common knowledge from residents in my area who work or have relatives on the docks, trucking industry, and refineries, etc. as we have seen this scenario during every oil crises.

    Another example is from an old Navy buddy of mine who now has his Merchant Marine Navigation License. He catches a tanker filled with refined unleaded gas in Texas, takes it to Puerto Rico where it is unloaded. Then the next day they will load the same tanker with unleaded gas and takes it back to Texas. When he asked the Captain how the “Oil Company” in question made any money doing this, he was told with a wink from the Captain’s eye that the profit was done through an accounting aspect. The “Enron Loophole.”

    So as you can well deduce, I just let the “Simpletons” give their “Divertive” and “Straw Man” (and many times non-tangent, even off subject) arguments thinking they are presenting their side and viewpoints but all they are truly doing is demonstrating their own ignorance for all to see.

  9. Hello Laci,
    I would also like to pass on that in the early 1980’s Phil Gram purchased property in Dorchester County, MD. He then proceeded to have a house built on this property. It soon was made aware that the contractor was from Texas and under bid the construction of the home by over $200,000. When asked why he did not use any local contractors in the area, his reply was that the local contractors did not have the professionalism or quality that the contractor from Texas had.

    Well I know many of the contractors here and I can assure you the quality would be second to none as they build for many of the nation’s wealthy people and as far as professionalism…none would have underbid the construction of the home by $200,000.

    Basically Phil Gram got a home for $200,000 less than the value it took to build the home by this Texas contractor. Phil sold this home shortly after its completion.

    This is the way Texas government works.

  10. Hello Dog Gone,
    Good luck getting any educated answer from Sepp. I am still waiting on a 4th grade fractional math problem from him that he has no clue how to answer. But he will explain how “International Micro / Macro Commerce” works as he does view himself an expert….in his own mind.

  11. Well done, my friends. I’m surprised our resident historian, UptheFLag, was not able to participate in this oil quiz.

    Bingo in fingering Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas. Many months ago, this blog highlighted Gramm as one of the most un-American public servants who ever lived. Not only was he the major player in pushing though the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act which deregulated banks, but he was instrumental in creating the ‘Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000’- an act that placed unregulated oil future onto the Commodities Market. The specific language favorable to oil speculators has come to be called the ‘Enron Loophole.’

    The next time you hear anyone on the right side of the political aisle whining about the price of gas or the mortgage-bubble collapse, just mention the name of Phil Gramm of Texas. Of course, they may not know the man who royally screwed them, their family and friends

    Engineer- thank you for that extra ‘tidbit’ of information on this creepy and dastardly figure.

    1. …but ‘it’ turns the crank inside of your car engine and thanks to this shyster, it has cost you hundreds perhaps thousands of dollars more for youto drive your car.

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