Gas prices still dropping

I work at home. When I feel the walls closing in, I go out to run some errands or grab a quick lunch. When I went out a few minutes ago, I noticed that the gas prices at my friendly local gas station had dropped again. Todays price was $1.499 for unleaded regular. At the same time the radio annouces the prognosis for unemployment for this time next year is 9%.

There’s rough times ahead. Obama dithers and the market waits and drops while Wall Street continues to tank and everyone waits for BO to announce his plans—if any.

How Credit Works

I got this from a mail list where I’ve been a long-time member. It was written by Ori Pomerantz and it explains how the current crises is affecting us in clear terms that anyone can understand. It’s not a banking crises, it’s a CREDIT crises precipitated by our government. I see no prognosis that BO will improve this.

Basics of banking:

1. The basic business is managing risk. You loan $100 to 100 people, and they agree to pay you back $102. If 99 people pay and one defaults, which is what you expected, you get back $10,098 so you made $98 in profit. Unfortunately, due to the high price of oil, only 90 people paid you back. so you only have $9180.

2. Banks are connected. You didn’t have $10,000 to loan out in the previous example, so you borrowed them from me. We both expected you to pay me back $10,050 and have $48 in pure profit. Instead, you’re now $820 short.

3. There is little to no “real” money around. It’s all borrowed from somebody else. The $10,000 you borrowed wasn’t mine either. I owe it to somebody else.

4. Until the mess is sorted out by the market we won’t know which banks need to go bankrupt, which are so close to bankruptcy that they can’t afford to loan out any new money, and which can afford to make loans – so no new loans, no capital for businesses that need it or consumers that feel like spending it. That’s a depression.

5. Politicians don’t like a depression to happen on their watch. They’d rather redefine contracts, money, etc. It’s been done before, multiple times.

Oil drops below $50 a barrel

I used to dabble in the stock market. Specifically, the Standard & Poors 500 options. I learned a lot how the market works. I made some really great trades and made quite a bit on them. On the other hand, I also made a lot of losing trades and the losses balanced out my wins. It didn’t take long to see that I wasn’t going to be a millionaire.

During my trading time, I always watched futures market. Futures are a good indicator of the immediate market. That helped me prevent some really big losses. I just couldn’t make consistent wins. So I stopped playing with options.

I still watch oil futures. Today, the future price of oil dropped
below $50 a barrel. Here’s an excerpt from Breitbart.


Oil prices slump under 50 dollars per barrel

Nov 20 02:05 PM US/Eastern

Oil prices tumbled under 50 dollars on Thursday, as plunging equities and weak US data sparked fresh concern that a worldwide recession could ravage energy demand, traders said.

In New York, light sweet crude for delivery in December dived to 49.75 dollars a barrel — the lowest level since January 18, 2007. The December contract expires at the close.

Brent North Sea crude for January tumbled to 48.20 dollars, levels last seen in May 2005. Brent closed on Wednesday at 51.72 dollars.

Both oil contracts traded below 50 dollars on Thursday for the first time in almost four years, pulled down by fears about the impact of the ongoing chronic global financial crisis, analysts said.

Oil prices have now plunged by about two-thirds since striking record highs above 147 dollars in July as a global economic slowdown slashes worldwide demand for energy.

“The oil market is reacting to yet more negative news on the prospects for the global economy,” said IHS Global Insight oil analyst Simon Wardell.

“With stock markets continuing to fall around the world, and particularly in Asia, there is just no positive news out there which could help restore confidence in oil markets.”

With the falling economy, the demand for gasoline and other oil products has dropped. In addition, the hurricane season didn’t curb the operation of the Gulf shore refineries. It was a classical Supply & Demand response. The supply was maintained while the demand dropped due to the high prices that started last Sprint through August.

If it hadn’t been for the failure of Fannie May and Freddie Mac, Country Side and AIG, the high prices for oil may have been sustained. But that didn’t happen. Banks fell, stock plummeted and the US and World exchanges took a plunge that hasn’t yet stopped.

But why has the drop of the price of oil continued? OPEC has been cutting back on production. Chavez and the Saudis are losing money as their only source of income is dropping.

One surprising answer is the exchange rate. Before the bottom fell out of the market, OPEC and the EU was attacking the US Dollar. Iran announced that it would no longer accept Dollars as payment for their oil, accepting instead the Euro in payment. With the exchange rate in favor of the Euro, the cost of oil in Dollars also grew and contributed to the high cost of gasoline at the pump. This meant that the price of oil INCREASED as the exchange rate of the Dollar against the Euro dropped!

The information below taken from X-Rates.com, a website that tracks currency exchange rates, supports why the price of oil has dropped as fast as it has and why it continues.


In May 2008 through early August 2008, the exchange rate of the Dollar against the Euro was approximately 0.64. In other words, the Dollar was 2/3rd the value of a single Euro.

However, if you follow the chart, starting with the market crunch in August and following through today, the exchange rate of the Dollar has improved against the Euro. Now, the rate in near 0.80 or a Dollar is now 4/5ths of that of a single Euro. It now costs fewer Dollars for a Euro that it did in early August. It also means that it now costs were Dollars when exchanged for the Euro to pay for that barrel of oil.

The currency exchange is driven, like the stock and commodities market, by futures. With the crunch of the world markets, currency investors felt that the US Dollar was more secure, most stable that other world currencies and began to buy Dollars, as more Dollars were bought, the exchange rate improved, and the price of imports—including oil has dropped due in part to the renewed strength of the Dollar.

The question before us now, is, in the light of the Obama Presidency, the plans for increased taxes and more governmental control and restrictions of the free market, can the currency rates, whether the economy be improved along with the Dollar. It may be that the worse is still to come.

Oil drops below $50 a barrel

I used to dabble in the stock market. Specifically, the Standard & Poors 500 options. I learned a lot how the market works. I made some really great trades and made quite a bit on them. On the other hand, I also made a lot of losing trades and the losses balanced out my wins. It didn’t take long to see that I wasn’t going to be a millionaire.

During my trading time, I always watched futures market. Futures are a good indicator of the immediate market. That helped me prevent some really big losses. I just couldn’t make consistent wins. So I stopped playing with options.

I still watch oil futures. Today, the future price of oil dropped
below $50 a barrel. Here’s an excerpt from Breitbart.


Oil prices slump under 50 dollars per barrel

Nov 20 02:05 PM US/Eastern

Oil prices tumbled under 50 dollars on Thursday, as plunging equities and weak US data sparked fresh concern that a worldwide recession could ravage energy demand, traders said.

In New York, light sweet crude for delivery in December dived to 49.75 dollars a barrel — the lowest level since January 18, 2007. The December contract expires at the close.

Brent North Sea crude for January tumbled to 48.20 dollars, levels last seen in May 2005. Brent closed on Wednesday at 51.72 dollars.

Both oil contracts traded below 50 dollars on Thursday for the first time in almost four years, pulled down by fears about the impact of the ongoing chronic global financial crisis, analysts said.

Oil prices have now plunged by about two-thirds since striking record highs above 147 dollars in July as a global economic slowdown slashes worldwide demand for energy.

“The oil market is reacting to yet more negative news on the prospects for the global economy,” said IHS Global Insight oil analyst Simon Wardell.

“With stock markets continuing to fall around the world, and particularly in Asia, there is just no positive news out there which could help restore confidence in oil markets.”

With the falling economy, the demand for gasoline and other oil products has dropped. In addition, the hurricane season didn’t curb the operation of the Gulf shore refineries. It was a classical Supply & Demand response. The supply was maintained while the demand dropped due to the high prices that started last Sprint through August.

If it hadn’t been for the failure of Fannie May and Freddie Mac, Country Side and AIG, the high prices for oil may have been sustained. But that didn’t happen. Banks fell, stock plummeted and the US and World exchanges took a plunge that hasn’t yet stopped.

But why has the drop of the price of oil continued? OPEC has been cutting back on production. Chavez and the Saudis are losing money as their only source of income is dropping.

One surprising answer is the exchange rate. Before the bottom fell out of the market, OPEC and the EU was attacking the US Dollar. Iran announced that it would no longer accept Dollars as payment for their oil, accepting instead the Euro in payment. With the exchange rate in favor of the Euro, the cost of oil in Dollars also grew and contributed to the high cost of gasoline at the pump. This meant that the price of oil INCREASED as the exchange rate of the Dollar against the Euro dropped!

The information below taken from X-Rates.com, a website that tracks currency exchange rates, supports why the price of oil has dropped as fast as it has and why it continues.


In May 2008 through early August 2008, the exchange rate of the Dollar against the Euro was approximately 0.64. In other words, the Dollar was 2/3rd the value of a single Euro.

However, if you follow the chart, starting with the market crunch in August and following through today, the exchange rate of the Dollar has improved against the Euro. Now, the rate in near 0.80 or a Dollar is now 4/5ths of that of a single Euro. It now costs fewer Dollars for a Euro that it did in early August. It also means that it now costs were Dollars when exchanged for the Euro to pay for that barrel of oil.

The currency exchange is driven, like the stock and commodities market, by futures. With the crunch of the world markets, currency investors felt that the US Dollar was more secure, most stable that other world currencies and began to buy Dollars, as more Dollars were bought, the exchange rate improved, and the price of imports—including oil has dropped due in part to the renewed strength of the Dollar.

The question before us now, is, in the light of the Obama Presidency, the plans for increased taxes and more governmental control and restrictions of the free market, can the currency rates, whether the economy be improved along with the Dollar. It may be that the worse is still to come.

The Clintons are back in force!

Obama is slowly getting his new staff together. Rahm Emmuel for Chief of Staff, John Podesta for the transition team, Rubin maybe for Treasury, Madeline Albright’s name has come up for something. Now, rumor has it that Hillary is being considered for Secretary of State! What’s next? Dis-barred Bill Clinton for Attorney General?

It’s the return of the Arkansas Mafia!

How the Media all but Elected Barack Obama

Here’s a telling examination of the Mainstream Media’s biased support for Obama, the democrat party and liberal positions. I’ve included this in it’s entirety as I found it on the ‘net. Thomas Del Beccaro is the Vice Chairman for the California Republican Party.

How The Media All But Elected Barack Obama

The power of the Main Stream Media (“MSM”), the Internet and cable TV notwithstanding, remains paramount. Over the last 3 years, that power has been on gaudy display. While there were a number of factors that led to Obama’s victory, including Republican deficiencies, the power of the Media all but handed Obama a victory when it should have heralded his doom.
Here are just some of major highlights of the many ways that the Media did just that:

Setting the Table/Talking the Economy Down.
Media bias against the Bush Administration has long been rampant. The MSM has been talking down the Bush economy, literally, throughout his entire term. In fact, “When Bill Clinton ran for re-election in 1996, the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, inflation was three percent and economic growth was 2.2 percent.” In October of 2004, the Bush “unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, inflation was 2.7 percent, and economists’ consensus forecast for economic growth [was] 3.7 percent.’ However, a study “found that while the national media mainly cheered the Clinton economy in 1996 (85 percent positive), reporters have mostly jeered the Bush economy in 2004 (77 percent negative).”
The 2007/2008 cycle was no different. At the beginning of 2008, FoxNews’ Neil Cavuto pointed out in an AP article that stated: Americans are being subjected to, and I quote “economic water torture.” Ben Stein, in response, stated that “the media has been selling us on fear and recession for months maybe years now. . . I think if we have a recession, if we have a serious recession, a great deal will lie at the media’s feet.”
Indeed, the use of the word recession dominated Media speaking throughout 2007 – even during the 3rd quarter of 2007 when growth was a staggering 4.9%. There was so much talk about a recession (technically 2 quarters of economic contraction – which as of the date of this article still has not occurred) that in 2007 a majority of Americans believed the economy to be bad even though that same majority thought their own economic conditions to be favorable – of course that’s not possible except in people’s perception – a perception the MSM created.
Indeed, so many years of such negative talk about the Bush economy actually had a negative effect (driving down consumer confidence) just as years of your boss telling you you’re no good would have on you. In this case, the public believed the Bush economy was bad and that set the table for demands for change well before the economy actually went bad.

The Edwards Affair

In the fall of 2007, Obama and John Edwards were a tag team bashing the front runner Hillary Clinton. Their strategy was to cut Hillary down to size and then climb over her. At the same time, the MSM was privy to a story about the John Edwards affair/love child. They sat on it. They did not investigate it to any great degree and did not say a peep. Keep in mind that Gary Hart had to get out of the race in 1988 over an affair outed by the Media. No such Media effort this time. No. No. They wanted this election to much.
The New York Times, on the other hand, published a ludicrous story about an alleged John McCain affair – a story devoid of real facts. McCain yes – Democrats no.
If the MSM had outed Edwards in November/December of 2007, then Hillary would have had one less opponent, the story would have taken up at least a week, Obama would have been out of the news and Hillary may well have won. Don’t believe me? Ask Hillary.
Overlooking Fannie Mae
The housing crisis was an outgrowth of a bad federal program that distorted the housing market. The program was started under Democrat Jimmy Carter and put on steroids under Bill Clinton. It was promoted by the Democrat run Fannie Mae. The Democrats blocked reform by McCain and others in 2005 and Fannie Mae contributed heavily to Obama and the other Democrats who blocked reform.
Prior to 2008, that was considered corruption and a scandal worth running a Party out of Congress. After all, the Foley scandal was evidence of Republican corruption and worthy of countless stories down the stretch. That was one guy’s terrible acts that were projected onto an entire Party.
This time, however, it was a scandal that cost the country trillions and an entire party got a free pass from the MSM and worse yet, convinced America that it was a Republican scandal. That alone should have been cause for the Democrats to lose control of Congress, instead it was used against Republicans by Obama and his Media.

Pillaging Palin.
Sarah Palin has the highest approval rating of any Governor in the nation. She earned it by fighting corruption and making government work. Contrast that with the Fannie Mae saga. Yet, the MSM treated here like a pariah unlike any politician in history. The Media went after her daughter’s story with all the class of the Enquirer (the mag that outed Edwards – the far bigger story the MSM ignored in favor of a candidate’s daughter – hitherto untread ground) and drove Palin’s national approval ratings into the ground.
Contrast that with the Joe Biden coverage. Biden, of course, makes more gaffes than any 20 politicians – yet he was given a free pass as Joe being Joe.

Jumping on Joe the Plumber.
So there he was, minding his own business when he was approached and asked a question. So what is more important, the question of a Presidential candidate? Or the background of person who is 1 in 250,000 million that are interested in the candidates? The Media thought the latter and we knew more of Joe the Plumber in 3 days than we did Obama. And just what do you think the MSM will do to Obama’s detractors after the election?

Praising and Protecting Obama
The Media ran more stories about Obama, they ran better stories about Obama and they avoided serious questions about Obama.
As for the stories they avoided to protect him, there are simply too many examples that fall under this category- but I shall give it the ole’ college try:

Why didn’t the Media investigate and highlight:

1. Obama’s overseas internet fundraising which was wildly illegal?

2. Who funded Obama’s stay at Harvard?

3. What Obama was doing at Columbia in the early 80s;

4. The full extent of the Bill Ayers relationship;

5. Why Obama employed ex-Farrahkan employees;

6. Why the SF Chronicle didn’t trumpet Obama’s coal remarks;

7. Why the LA Times withheld the Khalidi tape;

8. Whether anyone else was at Rev. Wright’s church during those 20 years, heard his hatred and watched Obama hear it as well;

9. Why did Obama’s school transcripts from Indonesia designate him a Muslim?

10. Where Obama was really born;

11. Whether Obama really wrote his own books – which are not written in his manner of speaking whatsoever;

12. Why Obama said Wright’s sermons were too spicy which led Obama to cancel Wrights appearance at the opening to his campaign; and

13. Why Obama gave Wright $23,500 in 2006.

Keep in mind that Trent Lott was hounded out of leadership because he made one offhanded comment about Strom Thurmond’s presidential run (“the nation would have been better off if you won”) at a birthday party for his friend who was 100 years old. They said the comment was racially insensitive (even though Thurmond gave up his segregationist views and even though Robert Byrd can stay in the Senate after being in the KKK) and ran stories until Republicans succumbed and Lott was gone. Obama, on the other hand, could fund a racist and the Media could look the other way.
Beyond that, why didn’t the Media ask Obama countless policy questions such as:

1. How 95% of people can get an income tax cut when only 54% of people pay income taxes? or

2. Exactly what budget cuts you claim to have set out to offset your $1 trillion in new spending?

Rather than ask him those obvious questions, or any one of countless others such as Obama’s true Palestinian leanings, the Media glorified Obama like no other candidate in American History – actually covering stories using the word ‘Messiah.’

This Race Is Over.

The MSM designated 2008 the Year of the Democrat early in 2007. There was no question in their minds that a Democrat was going to be President. That narrative remained the storyline throughout 2008 and then morphed into claims that the race was over a month in advance because the turnout for Obama would be huge. Actually, voter turnout was not higher than 2004. They didn’t need facts, however, and instead – they began running stories of Obama’s transition team and his cabinet in October. Inevitability was their mantra.
~~~~~~~
Consider, if you will, the totality of all of those issues above. In the past, candidates were felled with a single arrow. The Media, however, has sheilded Obama from countless arrows and built him up into a myth before he has accomplished a single thing of import. They well knew what they were doing. The net effect of all of the above was the desired effect – making a Democrat the presumptive winner – long before the voters had the audacity to chime in.
If Republicans are to win again at the nation level, they need to understand that the Media has that much power and worse yet, they are willing to use it shamelessly. In sum, long before 2012, Republicans better start working on an entirely new way of reaching voters.

A Flag, on a Hill


It’s not often that a writer has an eloquent response to the election of last week. Bill Whittle is one who has written such a piece. A post about how a battle lost in the Civil War was won when everyone thought it was over. Bill writes about Phil Sheridan and the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Here is an excerpt from Bill posting. Go read the full essay to understand the power of a leader.

A Flag, on a Hill

It has been a source of delight for me these past few days to see nothing but evidence of this, all across our defeated lines. Nowhere have I heard a shred of defeatism or despair. On the contrary. In point of fact, the magnanimity and graciousness I have seen in defeat in so many places on the right tells me that this is a eager and seasoned army, one able to look defeat in the face and own up to the errors in tactics and strategy that got us there. And nowhere do I see a call to abandon our core principles and sue for terms, but rather that our loss was caused precisely by our abandonment of the issues we which hold dear and which have served us so well on battlefields past.

So consider this, my fellows in arms:

On Tuesday, the Left – armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of a historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months… who ran against the oldest nominee in the country’s history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent – that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunity…

Yielded a result of 53%

Folks, we are going to lick these people out of their boots.

There is much to do. That a man with such overt Marxist ideas and such a history of association with virulent anti-Americans can be elected President should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone of this Republic. The great lesson from Ronald Reagan was simply that we can and must gently educate as well as campaign, and explain our ideas with smiles on our faces and real joy in our hearts, for unlike the far-left radical who gained the Presidency on Tuesday, we start with 150 million of the most free and intelligent and hard-working people in the history of the Earth at our backs, with a philosophy that — unlike theirs, which has resulted in 100 million dead in unmarked graves — has liberated and enriched more people and created more joy than any nation or combination of nations in our history.

How can we lose this greater fight, my friends? How can we lose, unless we give up?

I urge everyone to read, contemplate and then look towards the mid-term elections in 2010.