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The Politics of Gas

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Democrats suddenly have a gas problem that is causing party leaders indigestion heading into the final 50 days of the campaign. The headline in today's Lousiville Courier-Journal says it all: "As Oil Falls, the Cost to Fill 'er up is coming down."

Ohio River Ramble

Jim VandeHei

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Jim VandeHei
» About Jim

The numbers are troubling for Democratic candidates hoping to capitalize on economic unease among voters. Only a month ago high gas prices were among the top complaints I would hear from voters in competitive districts. But that was when gas was three bucks a gallon.

The story in this morning's paper -- the largest in the state -- shows that gas prices have fallen precipitously in the past month.

In Louisville, the cost of a gallon of gas has dropped by 58 cents to $2.23. It is even cheaper to drive in Lexington, where prices have dropped by 63 cents to an average of $2.11.

"The likelihood of finding $2-a-gallon gasoline in some parts of the United States is increasing by the day," the story begins.

If that is the case, voters might be paying $20 less than they were this summer to fill up their SUV en route to the voting booth on election day. That would be welcome news for Republicans.

Remember to check out all our stories from the road on the Ohio River Ramble main page.

-- Jim VandeHei

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 20, 2006; 7:34 AM ET
Categories:  House , Ohio River Ramble  
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Comments

Hmmm, KOZ I have a follow up question for you regarding spending. If you and I disagree about WHAT to cut, but agree that we need to balance the budget somehow, why can't Democrats and Republicans simply AGREE that we have to have a balanced budget and then fight out how to get there? By agreeing to that overarching goal - which Republicans currently refuse to be bound by, FYI - it would actually be possible to have an intellectually honest debate about spending. The population IS going to have to make a choice at some point regarding whether they want to keep all their services - including the big entitlement programs - OR whether they want to keep the Bush tax cuts. By agreeing to balanced budget rules, the two parties could put some real contrasts in front of the american people. If you are SO SURE that your view is correct, why are Republicans so afraid to present that kind of a stark choice?

My opinion? Republicans know that while americans dislike the idea of "big government" in the abstract, they LIKE the most expensive programs that government provides -- like SS, Medicare, etc. Telling people they have to lose or modify those programs in order to pay for "their tax cuts" (by "their" I mean the top 1%'s tax cuts) isn't the most popular message, even though it would be an honest one.

Curious to hear your reasons as to why my proposal is "ridiculous," "crazy liberal" or any other insulting phrase you care to use. Keep in mind, however, that Republicans used to agree with me (and I'm a moderate, FYI, whose favorite presidents include Eisenhower)that fiscal responsibility mattered.

Posted by: Colin | September 21, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

what was the result in '00? talk about fact challenged. Two elections since 1980. And the first was tainted by a third party, which led to the second. Not what I would call a stellar performance. Three elections since 1967. Not Impressive. 3 wins in 40 years.
your analysis is just like Kruggman - surprise, surprise - pick the lowest point and start there and then pick the highest to end the analysis. that will distort the results sufficiently to "prove" my contorted agenda. No wonder econ is so hard for you.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 21, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

This is off topic but for fans of Keith O., and I know a lot of you are, a little ditto on "cut and run". Come to think of it it is somewhat on topic. On T-shirts. A good laugh for all.

Posted by: lylepink | September 20, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

" If you all were as smart as you think you are, you would have won more than one election in the last few decades."

????? I count three elections since 1986 ('92, '96 and '00). These facts are not in dispute. 3 out of 5 ain't bad.

Only KOZ could talk about intelligence and be dramatically unintelligent at the same time.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

No, but I'd sure be happy to go back to the Clinton economy. Most middle-class people would.

Posted by: EdwardNC | September 20, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Level of debt - the answer is are there any programs you find that are troubling? the absolute dollar amount of the debt will almost always be a "new high" because of inflation. that is why some say we can grow our way out of the problem. In theory, any debt is a bad. but in reality, you have to balance that against the goods you are purchasing. If we are purchasing our future safety, then it would be hard to put a maximum price on that. One could consider that an investment. but the overwhelming portion of the budget goes to SS amd medicare, not an investment. this design for these programs is completely out of kilter with reality and needs serious redesign.
Of course, I don't support the spending that has been going on but I am sure we would disagree on the programs to cut. You wouldn't be able to think of any besides "eliminate fraud and abuse, corporate welfare, tax cuts for the rich, military programs" and the usual chants.
I would privitize SS and eliminate employee sponsored health care, putting the consumer back in the loop of decision making. I would eliminate Fed schooling and other nanny programs. so yes, I am troubled that a lot of Rs are now acting like Ds and spending like crazy.

As far as profits go, yes, times are good thanks to the Repubs and tax cuts. would you prefer we resort back to the Jimmy Carter economy? Or perhaps you are suggesting that you somehow know exactly what level of profit each industry should be entitled to, like the old CCCP. BTW, they went broke using that method. If you all were as smart as you think you are, you would have won more than one election in the last few decades.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 20, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow, KOZ doesn't even need a person to argue with anymore. You have truly evolved past me and everyone else on this site King - very impressive.

One question. As a "conservative," are you seriously arguing that our current level of debt isn't troubling and irresponsible? Notice I didn't ask whether it was the highest ever relative to GDP. I asked whether it was troubling and irresponsible. I doubt you'll answer this question, since there really is only one honest answer, but maybe you'll surprise me?

Posted by: Colin | September 20, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Profits for the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies increased by more than $8 billion during the first six months of the new Medicare program. From January to June, the top 10 drug manufacturers raked in $39.8 billion in profits, according to the report, a 27% jump over profits for the same period in 2005.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The most fascinating thing in politics is the intersection between a grave policy question and an individual leader's personality. In my opinion, there's a major psychodrama playing out in Joe's head about Iraq. He aborts every sentence that implies a concession that he made a mistake. It's like his conscience starts to get just a bit ahead of his pride, and then the hubris races to catch up and tackles the concession midsentence. After a month of interviews, I'm convinced many voters generally like Joe and that he could have taken the wind out of Ned's sails by simply saying he miscalculated in his optimism on the outcome of the war and asked for voters' forbearance. That he refuses to pay them that respect infuriates people. He may just lose his career over the simple human inability to concede a possible mistake. Interesting.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

run and hide. that will impress them. And a high-level dialogue. now why didn't anyone think of that?
At least you now admit that Syria and Iran are sponsoring terror. the consequence: high-level dialogue. Ha ha. that sure worked well when peanut boy tried it in 1979. do you want more malaise and surrender - vote D!

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 20, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Durbin: Will the Senator yield for a question?
Mr. Reid: I will be happy to yield for a question.
Mr. Durbin: Can the Senator refresh my memory? Was Mr. Bremmer the recipient of a gold medal or something from the President? Didn't he receive some high decoration or medal for his performance in Iraq?
Mr. Reid: The answer is, yes, he received that. I assume one would expect that from somebody who had a throne while he was over there.
Mr. Durbin: Isn't it also true that George Tenet, who was responsible for the intelligence that was so bad that led us into the war in Iraq, got a medal from the President the same day?
Mr. Reid: That is true.
Mr. Durbin: Did Michael Brown with FEMA receive a gold medal from the White House before he was dismissed?
Mr. Reid: I don't think he did. Even though he was doing a heck of a job, I don't think he obtained a medal from the White House.
Mr. Durbin: Apparently, these gold medals were being awarded for incompetence. They missed Mr. Brown, but they did give one to Mr. Bremmer. Will the Senator yield for another question?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

THE BAKER/HAMILTON COMMISSION....Last month we printed a story by Bob Dreyfuss about the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan team headed by longtime Bush family friend James A. Baker III and former 9/11 Commission chair Lee Hamilton. Their charter is to figure out what to do in Iraq, but the ISG's work has been done under such a heavy veil of secrecy that no one has much of an idea of what they'll recommend. Nonetheless, there were clues, and our piece ended with this quote:

"The object of our policy has to be to get our little white asses out of there as soon as possible," another working-group participant told me. To do that, he said, Baker must confront the president "like the way a family confronts an alcoholic. You bring everyone in, and you say, 'Look, my friend, it's time to change.'"

Today, Eli Lake at the New York Sun says that the ISG met with its expert working groups on Monday and were told pretty much the same thing:

According to participants in that meeting, the two chairmen received a blunt assessment this week of viable options for America in Iraq that boiled down to two choices.

One plan would have America begin its exit from Iraq through a phased withdrawal similar to that proposed this spring by Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat of Pennsylvania and former Marine. Another would have America make a last push to internationalize the military occupation of Iraq and open a high-level dialogue with Syria and Iran to persuade them to end their state-sanctioned policy of aiding terrorists who are sabotaging the elected government in Baghdad.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

the biggest debt load ever? this simplistic analysis is so infantile it warrants a response. It is never approriate to discuss debt without considering the assetts. I have a student loan (debt) but also have a college degree. Am I better off? Is the record wealth of this country a consideration. did your house equity go up? Are you better off? It doesn't matter what the note says, the monthly payment matters. should we forego defending ourselves to obtain a lower debt. how about one Lib out there comes up with a single program (other than military) that they would cut? none? that's what you are known for. you think its bad now, remember the Dems tried to pad every single one of those budgets with additional unrequested spending. and you blame Bush. Blame your selves for being pampered and allowing all those programs to continue. bike paths, museums, studies, bridges, on and on. Who demanded prescription coverage - Dems. who wanted federal education - dems. who won't fix SS - Dems. who is happy teachers and admin do well but students don't learn - dems. Keep talking. Your weaknesses are being revealed every word.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 20, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

you have absolutely nothing worth hearing to say, and you know it -- that's why all you can do is keep parroting the same negative crap over and over. as a human being, you are a waste of space.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

JEP never has a clue but that doesn't stop him from offering reams of text on any topic. I suspect he is paid by the word to fill in this blog with ideas so far-fetched it keeps everyone from debating anything sound. It seems to work on most of the Libs in here who have not offered any sound ideas in years. come to think of it - no Libs anywhere have had an idea since about 1960. Peace Man!

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 20, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Drindl again with the highbrow analysis? you know I noticed that most beach toys are on sale now and I just realized that Bush is fixing these prices too. Just to keep us real Americans at work during the summer. you see only the rich can afford to go to the beach in the off season because of the travel, so lowering prices after labor day favors only the rich.

More Kruggman-esque economic analysis from math challenged Libs. BTW, another KRuggman article has been exposed for the sham that it is.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmRmNjdkMDRlNDI0NjE1ODA4NmM4NTFkNjYzMjZjZmQ=

Stats never was his strong suit.

the more you Dems and Libs talk about the economy, the further behind you fall in the polls. Keep talking, only 5 more points to a landslide and a veto proof majority. then you can mention safety from attack and lose any hope for the next 10 years. It is so rewarding to see your ideas discredited and voted down again and again by the wonderful American population.

will you admit the error of your ways after this next election loss or will you again try to blame it on stealing, or on voters going against thier own interests, or some such nonsense? what will it take to finally admit your ideas are failures?

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 20, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a smart, non-partisan, and fact-based post. Keep it up Iowa, you might start a trend.

Posted by: murphy | September 20, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

JEP,

You have no clue what you are speaking about in terms of biofuels. I am in favor of biofuels its rather obvious you did not read my post correctly. I am an environmental chemist and I work with people in the biofuels industry. My point was that those who say biofuels consume more energy than they produce are wrong. I was pointing out that those who say it takes more energy have error in there calculation. Please read my post before you shoot from the hip. I am neither R nor D, and I have voted for both parties something I am sure you will never do. What I despise is this narrow point of view that many on this blog entertain (this goes for both R and D). You loath Rush but I find your arguments no better than his (narrow and simple).

I have also read a few of your post on Biofuels and your sources are overly simplistic in their glowing respect of biofuels. There is much work to be done before biofuels can become viable. It will take large incentives (tax breaks) and research dollars (I have no problem with either). Brazil is a poor model for the US since their environmental laws allow for many of the biofuels producers to get away with a lot not to mention how industries are structure.

Some environmental information (which might be dangerous for you), currently we feed 70% of our corn and soybean to animal for meat production. However, if we start putting that into energy production our sources for cheap digestible energy (carbohydrates) will be taken away. The waste from these biofuels plants can be fed the animals but at a lower energy content. It is estimated that N in the animal diet will increase 22% which means that ammonia production from farms will also increase. Ammonia is one of the leading sources for particulate matter (trust me on the chemistry PM formation). There are no free lunches.


Posted by: Iowa | September 20, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

'If they had there druthers Hugo Chaves would be President.'

Why would I want a non-citizen to be President? Unlike Republicans, I believe in the Constitution.

Most of what you say is just silly childish drivel, bhoomes. Red herrings, strawmen, nonsense. why bother? I guess that's why they call you Rush Limbaugh fans 'dildoheads'... oh I guess that's dittoheads... same difference.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry zathras for ruining your lunch but I really had to post it. No discussion about gas prices is complete without documentation of just how much bush is in bed with the saudis, the 9/11 attackers.

Anyway, it was such a tender kiss. Wonder if he ever kissed Laura like that?

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

'The social engineering projects of the dems , the related dependancy of the recipients and the associated long term staggering debt load, will pull our country down much faster then high priced gas.'

Braindead. Staggeringly braindead. We have the biggest debt load now in history -- do you think ths person has had any neural activity since 1975?

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Biofuels do not necessarily have to depend on traditional energy sources for their own production, there are "gear-up" renewables that can change the entire model, just by utilizing already-available resources.

If we use our own local waste material's methane to provide the heat for the ethanol and biodiesel production process, there is again a closing of the loop, to keep it local.

Here's a PDF from a study in Yolo County California, suggesting that by using a modern system of methan extraction, we can utilize every bit of our human trash and waste materials.

www.energy.ca.gov/2005publications/CEC-500-2005-109/CEC-500-2005-109-SD.PDF

Consider it as just the first step of many that eventually produces local energy, along with a surplus of transportable, liquid fuels.

That it can actually replace the entire oil industry is rarely argued, even by the most enthusiastic biofuels supporter.

But I suggest it is quite plausible, especially if we go at it with all the American ingenuity we can muster.

Then the transition is assured.

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone figure out what this means?

"Asked point-blank whether the United States is winning in Iraq, Abizaid replied: "Given unlimited time and unlimited support, we're winning the war."

We don't have unlimited time, and he knows it. We don't have unlimited support, and he knows that, too.

It means we're losing.

Posted by: NoVA | September 20, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"Returning control of the government back to the dems means every non-producer within our country, and the relative of every illegal outside the US who can migrate here, will receive free money and benefits from the sweat of US taxpayers."

No, lets spend it on another war!!!

And help more underpriveleged millionaires to become billionaires!!!

That'll protect us, fer sure, man!!!

This "world charity" crap has gotta stop, it just makes people think we're weak when we feed them and send them medicine..."

dunderheads...

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Iowa: Seems you missed reading my response to you in my 12:51pm post.

Posted by: lylepink | September 20, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Iowa: Seems you missed reading my response to you in my 12:51pm post.

Posted by: lylepink | September 20, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes -- 88% of WHO votes Democratic? The reporters? Secretaries at newspapers? I'd love to know what you're referring to and how someone was able to take a poll of "the mainstream media." For what it's worth, I would note regarding this whole media bias myth that Republicans have created: (1) the people who OWN most media outlets today are conservative, not liberal, and (2) the bias of the media today, as always, is towards sensationalism and laziness rather than towards a liberal or conservative ideology. Honestly, how can you claim ANY media outlet has a liberal bias after watching EVERYONE (NY Times, Washington Post, etc.) beat Clinton up brutally during Monicagate? I think it's time to retire the "liberal media" BS.

Regarding oil "conspiracies," I find it fascinating that everyone is so sure that the President of the United States has NO ability to influence gas prices short term. OPEC has consistently worked to keep gas at high but not too high levels so that alternative energy research wasn't really valued. Why? Because that's an intelligent business decision for oil producing countries. To argue that big oil wouldn't be inclined to take similar steps on a smaller scale seems - frankly - laughable. Now, do I have proof that's occurring? No, of course not. But it certainly is possible and would be rational for the industry to take such steps. Does anyone really dispute that that's true?

Posted by: Colin | September 20, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

JEP, one issue I'm currently researching is the evolution of ethanol production. You should see what Brazil is doing. They started a truly monumental project to have their entire auto fuel needs to be produced be native crop production within ~10 years. The auto companies are bending over backwards there to be the first to mass produce cheap ethanol cars. It really shows what some governmental initiative can do.

Posted by: Zathras | September 20, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If anyone douybts that the neocons are using the gas prices politically, allthey need do is read past posts from our trollpatrol, within days of the first big dip, they were extolling the virtues of Bush because of falling prices.

I get it...

Bush can take credit for the falling prices, but when they go up, he's not responsible? Reminds me of a three faced, monkey, the Hear-no, See-no, Speak-no-evil George...

well, at least he's got the the first two perfected...

HYPOCRITES!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

All this hot air about the corrupt pubs under control of the oil industry.

As a younger person I voted democratic. Now, in middle age, I vote for the pubs. This article illustrates a prime reason why I'll continue to vote for the pubs.

The pubs are the lesser of two evils.

Returning control of the government back to the dems means every non-producer within our country, and the relative of every illegal outside the US who can migrate here, will receive free money and benefits from the sweat of US taxpayers. The social engineering projects of the dems , the related dependancy of the recipients and the associated long term staggering debt load, will pull our country down much faster then high priced gas. Even a war budget debt goes away more quickly then the debt created by the dems social programs.

The pubs are the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: Truth Teller | September 20, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"The process from the higher yielding plants still has production issues and we are taking more than 10 years away in development."

We built the atom bomb in less than a year, once we had the technology...

Politics alone are to blame for the Delay, not technological development.

This "yes, we can, but not yet, we aren't ready" tortoising is just another stall to keep us burning the black stuff up, at ever-rising prices.

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

JEP, I'll take Spitzer for AG any day of the week. He'll do much more good for the country as AG than as New York governor. And it will put him in the national spotlight for a presidential run that much quicker.

Posted by: Zathras | September 20, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"The Politics of Gas"

What a nice ringing sound. I didn't know gas was political, except that emiting from the orifices of politicians. For my part any reduction at the pump is appreciated, and if it is motivated by forces that desire maintaining absolute control, the running of the largest country by far when measured by consumption of oil, by politicans of their liking, there is really little we can do about it. If supply and demand is the main factor, we could push it along a little more by keeping our tanks on the low side of capacity, and only buying daily what we need. This would really fill the pipe lines and station tanks quickly. Just think of the extra billing effort we could pass on to oil companies for a little payback.

All the forces we have been told, that caused the price per barrel change from under $18 to over $70 still exist. Unrest and uncertainly in all Mideast producing nations, and the desire of producers not directly effected by unrest to cash in on those factors while they can, including US producers. Katrina, "shortage" of refinery capacity, blending, and Alaska pipe line leaks, is just a short term pimple. What does any of those short term problems have to do with the price of oil at Mideast well heads?

It's human nature to maximize return on investments now, remembering the lessons learned in the late 70's when America, with full support of the government, really was on a path to develop alternates to oil. Oil producers quickly reacted with super low prices, and bankrupting any programs in process to develop alternates. Even in some instances buying control of the alternate programs, and quitely shutting them down. This history will repeat if alternates to oil really start to emerge to more than a surface scratch.

Oil from coal, biofuels, wind, nuclear, local generation, etc. will all fade back into investor/taxpayer regrets/losses if they ever become a real threat again to oil as we now know it. Only a strong committment from our government to "Stay the Course", not "Cut and Run" for alternate sources would prevail. Would a very contoversal plan for the government to be the only negotiator of buying oil from any source, and reselling to our refiners/ distributors at a steady high price, regardless of what the government pays for the oil be an answer to the rollercoaster search for alternate fuels. If prices would drop to a very low price, invest that difference in alternate fuel research and development. This would keep our domestic producers able to compete with the Mideast, and increase production here. Never mind, too socialistic, won't work.

Does our upcoming election play some part on prices receding slightly, maybe even substanual, sure. A lot has been invested in obtaining an absolute and favorably political power base. Over and above the power of those controling oil hand picking our elected leaders, and their hugh contributions which helped their elections, the millions, maybe billions, spent on turning the deep south from Blue Dixicrats, poseing as Democrats, into Red Republicans was no small task. Years were taken in the process, as committee chairs were effected. Blue State taxpayers are, maybe even unknowningly, recruited in this process by recieving a much lower return on federal tax dollars, so southern Red States are returned much more than they pay. Often 69% vs 131%. One major way to buy electorial votes.

So enjoy whatever savings you receive at the pump, while you can. Just do some independent thinking about weather absolute power is best for our great country, or should there be some checks and balances in the branches of government.

The only way we can do this in the short term, is with our votes by turning over at least on body of congress to an opposition party. A split government can do very little harm, however can prevent absolute power from being ABSOLUTE!!!!

Posted by: EdA | September 20, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"What you read about energy production from biofuels is false."

look into my eyes... you are growing sleepy...very sleepy...now you are fast asleep...

WHAT A BUNCH OF ENERGY INDUSTRY INDUSTRY HOGWASH!!!

That tired talking-point line was promulgated in Cheney's Energy Industry Task Force, Rove probably wrote the lines himself.

The only obstacle between biofuels and commercial marketability is the oil industry and its big-contribution stranglehold on our Congress, White House and Supreme Court (remember the Pelican Brief? It wasn't all fiction).

Why pay for a cleaner future, when you can just pay for politicians?

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I thought the SEC was defunct?

SPITZER FOR AG, 2008!!!

there's a thought that makes the ganglia twitch.

and just plain scares the willies out of the book-cooking ceo's on Wall Street (aka the Cayman Islands)...

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter,

What you read about energy production from biofuels is false. Those who demonstrate that it takes more energy to produce gasoline from corn have some error in their calculations. One example is the yield for corn. Those against use what is the average yield in the US, however, corn yield in Iowa is vastly different than national average (180 bushel to the acre as opposed to 140 bushels). If you use the national average, you underestimate total production of ethanol by almost 30%. Figures from USDA have 1.3 net production of energy for corn ethanol. However, if we converted to plants with higher carbohydrate yield, the net production would be higher. The process from the higher yielding plants still has production issues and we are taking more than 10 years away in development. If the price of oil drops that pushes all the biobased fuels back in terms of production efficiency.

Posted by: Iowa | September 20, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"Bush sensing that the public has grown tired of his price manipulation calls his oil buddies and has them drop the price of gas in September thereby surprising the Democrats. Yes, this makes perfect sense.."

No, they made these agreements months, even years ago, Bush didn't just decide to call them "cuz' it hurts", they actually promised him the same thing just before the last election, it is on public record.

How can you be so naive?

Look back over the record, don't just opine from your imagination, check it out first to see if its true.

Once you look at the patterns, you would have to be pretty thick to actually deny it, and still believe yourself . So either you are just a dunderhead, or you are a phony, there's not much wiggle room on this one.

Don't defend yourself or a failed cause, until you really look at the evidence.

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,

Please be careful of what photos you put links for. It's the lunch hour, and clicking to that picture almost made me lose mine.

Posted by: Zathras | September 20, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

That the MSM is liberal is beyond dispute when 88 % vote democratic. That Drindl & Jacass think they are Bush syncophants tells you how far out of the mainstream they are. If they had there druthers Hugo Chaves would be President. Someone who hates the US as much as them.

Posted by: bhoomes | September 20, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Iowa. Bingo.

Dont forget about corporate contributions that keep the corrupt R's in power (think Domenici, Burns, Pombo, DeLay until he resigned, Joe Barton, Lisa Murkowski, Ted "Internet is a bunch of tubes" Stevens, on and on and on):

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?Ind=E01

Posted by: F&B | September 20, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Interesting idea JEP. Just be careful about your representations---you might have the SEC sicced on you.

Posted by: Zathras | September 20, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Again, let me suggest, this is any Democratic investor's golden opportunity, we know they manipulate the price of gas in political patterns, so, just by tracking those inevitable political patterns, a derivitive fund could be assured some degree of profit, which is more than can be said for many prospecti.Then, they would only have a couple choices, either let that hedge fund grow to its inevitably embarassing conclusion, or take gas prices out of the political loop.

If you have any doubt as to the veracity of this pattern, just look BACK, it's there like a SEVEN YEAR roller-coaster.

I would guess many neocons make investments based on that pattern. Just one more bit of profit, at the public's expense...

As long as they expose their weakness, lets exploit it. I would venture to guess "they" are too greedy to dodge this bullet, its like that macacan monkey trap, where they put a peanut in a coconut that is hooked to a tree with a rope. When the monkeys reach inside grab the peanut, their little fists make a ball so they can't pull their paws back out, and they will literally allow themselves to get caught before they will let go of that peanut.

Just had a thought, Abramoff was one of those peanuts...

Anyway, since it a sure bet that they will lower gas prices before an election, is there an investment fund out there that could better guarantee a profit?

Just a thought...

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

These conspiracies are hurting my brain with your comments from all sides that counter act each theory. If Bush is having the oil companies drop the price of oil before the election why did he jack up the price of oil above $1.22 due to his Saudis connection?

However, I think I am starting to see the "Truth," Bush has the oil producing regions of the world raise the price of oil to the point it hurts the economy and since oil companies make about 7-10% profit margin they earn a major windfall in cash. The unwitting public who are blind to this entire creation are reeling. However, Bush sensing that the public has grown tired of his price manipulation calls his oil buddies and has them drop the price of gas in September thereby surprising the Democrats. Yes, this makes perfect sense.

Posted by: Iowa | September 20, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I live in Lexington, Kentucky and I attend UK. Recently gas has fallen a great amount, from the high of $3.19 to a low of $2.02 off Winchester Road. However, within a 24 hour period gas rose in this town 22 cents. Gas currently sits at $2.24. That is enough to remind people of failed oil policies and gas policies of a Republican held Congress. I dont think it is justifiable to have gas prices rice so sharply in such a small window time. I believe that this will greatly help Ken Lucas. I am orginally from Grayson, Kentucky. Grayson is in Carter County. Carter County, Elliot, Greenup, and Boyd Counties generally provide a coushin for a Democrat to counterweight the more heavily populated Northern Kentucky area. Gas prices in Grayson, Ashland, and various other N. Eastern Kentucky cities was over $2.30. This was at a time when gas prices in Lexington were at $2.02. Thats real politics people. People from N. Eastern Kentucky grip a lot about how the oil refinery is located near us, yet we rarely see any difference in gas prices. I think this benefits Democrats. What does anyone else think?

Posted by: aaron | September 20, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

If you still think we have a 'liberal' media, look at that photo again, of bush kissing a saudi prince full on the lips, quite romantically. As I said, this was after Saudi men perpetrated 9/11. Did the media even blink at this? I think it ran in one paper only.

But imagine if a Democratic president had frenchkissed a Saudi after 9/11? The media would have gone wild! The republicans would have gone nuts. But everyone just seems to accept the homoerotic tendencies of this administration without question.
Why is bush always kissing men?

http://mjhinton.net/slides/duhbya/bush-abdullah-8.jpg


Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

So if I agree with Bush I am crazy, yet you fault me for saying the opposite? Name a single 911 hijacker that came across the border in Mexico? why would they when a student visa is easier? I have never heard of Savage - I don't listen to the radio. Name a single American that has been harmed by wiretapping, eavesdropping, US torture etc.
You forgot that Dems want to raise the minimum wage. that is their earth-shaking idea for change. Maybe they haven't figured out teenagers don't vote. and all the old pholks who have been petrified by the scary SS talk, can't poke the chad they have been instructed to poke. those Dems are so brainy compared to those moronic Repubs, who still somehow manage to win elections, despite being so stupid. and all that market manipulation doesn't take any brains either. Or all those cover-ups. Just who does this wackiness make sense to? Oh yeah, all those smart Dems who still can't figure out how gasoline is priced - that a similar price around the area is a sign that the market is working well, not that there is some nefarious plot transpiring.

why won't the country trust Dems with economics and security - the answer is obvious. as is the election outcome.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 20, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Iowa: You misread what I said. Everyone with any knowledge knows the conspiracy theories abound with little, if any, facts. That is in fact fact. Hope this clears it up for you.

Posted by: lylepink | September 20, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Jaxas has hit on an important point, that of the media (televised) iw too enamored of the Presidency. The Office is now much too exaggerated in importance, and has been since FDR. DDE and other more "laid back" types (few and far between) tried to de-empahsize the office and bring in back into balance with the other two (remember??)branches of government. The best time for that would have been the early 90s and end of the cold war. It should be brought back into sync now, but continues in overweening importance and coverage on the Tube, and thus has to find "projects" to get involved in. God help us if a screwier cowboy(cowgirl) gets elected in 2008. Banana Republic(an) here we come........

Posted by: L.Sterling | September 20, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Even better than the holding hands was The Kiss:

http://mjhinton.net/slides/duhbya/bush-abdullah-8.jpg

Remember this was after the Saudis gave us 9/11. Looks hot, doesn't it?

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Theoretically we might get more truthful answers if the oil company executives who appear before Congressional committees are required to testify under oath. But, I suspect that all we would really hear then is "spin."

However, appearing before a Grand Jury might provide clearer responses.

First, market forces play a significant role in the price of oil and gas everywhere. Second, the vast majority of the people in the system from the wellhead to the pump can do little to affect the price of gas. But Third, there are a few players who can and do affect it significantly. The producers (OPEC, etc.) and the processors. They excercise a lot of control in the pricing scheme. Their motivation is profit/loss, just like any "for profit" business.

For the most part, consumers in this country legitimize the business practices of the producers and processors, because the consumers fail to exercise the leverage which they have, a) by buying more efficient cars and b) by driving less.

November is one of two perfect times for elections for the energy industry. Summer demand is over and Winter demand is only at its very beginning. In the Spring and Fall consumers are at their most content and least likely to vote based on energy prices.

Lastly, why do I keep reading as minor items in articles tucked away on page 28, that the production of bio fuels may be more energy intensive than the energy output of the fuel produced.

Anybody have any information on that? Are bio fuels part of the Great Iowa Energy Conspiracy?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 20, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

All I ever hear about from dems is:

1. Against the war in Iraq.
2. Against high gas prices.
3. Against the Bush-Cheney world conspiracy.

I don't vote for someone just because they can heckle from the sidelines. How about some proposals? How about some debate on the issues? How about anything that's not just a knee-jerk reaction to something the republicans did?

The fact that dropping gas prices are bad news for the dems in November indicates that they don't have much else to stand on.

Posted by: murphy | September 20, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Phil. That was so precious, them strolling in the garden together, holding hands.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

One should recall that gas was $1.22 per gallon before Bush walked hand and hand with the Saudis.

Posted by: Phil Boiarski | September 20, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with ENRON after Kenny Boy hinted to me I should dump my ENRON stock. Even if I didn't sell, it wouldn't had hurt me that bad because if you don't have enough sense to have your portfolio diversified, you shouldn't invest.

Posted by: bhoomes | September 20, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

lylepink,

I hate to burst your conspiracy theory bubble, but congress did investigate the October surprised and found that it held no validity. However, I am sure both the October surprise and your gas price theories in September have the same level of truth.

Colin,

I think you are misguided in the idea that oil companies are dropping the price of oil to keep their own in power. However, I do agree with your comments on energy conservation and responsible energy polices.

Posted by: Iowa | September 20, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Koz, I guess your political guru is Savage who says on his talk show (and has even written a book about the subject) that liberalism is a mental disorder.

Otherwise, why all of the "normal" references. You honestly think that people who disagree with the Bush mob's arrogant administration "don't value our own safety over the terrorists"? That is just plain crazy talk.

Insofar as bomb shelters are concerned, our porous borders may be the BIGGEST threat to our security. Since there has been no real action on the part of the GOP-controlled government to fix this problem, bomb shelters may be our only, and last, resort.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 20, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

One word for you bhoomes. ENRON.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Chris: Your one of the smart democrats who understand the price of gasoline is very complex and not subject to manipluation by Bush or any other american. But a lot of your fellow dems are much simpler animals who smell consprisacy everwhere. Its going to get a lot worse for you Dems because the Dow Jones is getting ready to break an all time record. LOW GAS PRICES + BOOMING STOCK MARKET = Big REPUBLICAN VICTORY.

Posted by: bhoomes | September 20, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

After Labor day, people start paying attention to the elections. most folks are out having fun in the sun before school starts, not nursing wild conspiracy theories on their laptops. Once intelligent people start to pay attention, the Dems portfolio starts to lose value. It is because the Dems have nothing to offer. The Rs are not correct all the time, but they work at it.

normal people value our own safety over terrorists rights - Dems don't.
normal people think it is OK to listen in on terrorists phone calls - Dems don't.
Normal people would rather kill the terrorists over there and not hole up in bomb shelters over here - Dems don't.

Result: "Zogby told me, "I don't see the landslide that others are seeing. That doesn't mean it can't materialize, but, as of today, it's not happening and this is September." and ""I'm reluctant to predict a Democratic takeover because I appreciate the Republicans' success," elections analyst Rhodes Cook told me this week. "They know how to win of late, and the Democrats don't." "

from http://www.townhall.com/columnists/column.aspx?UrlTitle=poll_numbers_moving_gops_way&ns=DonaldLambro&dt=09/20/2006&page=2

Desm lose --- again.
Too bad when the media occasionally reports some actual news it makes Dems look bad. (e.g., Path) this is not a conspiracy - it is enlightening. but you all were never much for letting people make up their own minds about anything.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 20, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Saying gas prices are predicated in large part on supply and demand (which is true, on a macro level) completely ignores the fact that it is QUITE POSSIBLE to limit or expand available supply in the short run. I don't KNOW that the current administration has taken steps to try and expand the available supply of oil over the last several months - both by lobying OPEC and/or big oil, which controls the refining process - but it's certainly possible. And if you really think that it's beyond the pale to question the timing of this drop in prices, then I question whether you've been paying attention to politics in this country since watergate.

Here's a thought. If you were big oil and new that a Republican administration is more sympathetic to your issues, would you be willing to work to temporarily lower gas prices to keep that administration in power? Seems to me that may very well be a rational choice. Regardless, however, this whole debate ignores the more important issue. LONG TERM, our energy use is unsustainable and we need to truly invest in other energy sources. Preferably ones that aren't controlled by volatile nations that hate the US.

Posted by: Colin | September 20, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

'Yes Drindl is blinded by partisan spite and makes absolutetly no sense on any matter. there are many others who wander in here with the same affliction. Now you all understand why Dems keep losing elections. this is a good cross-section of thier political thinkers - batty aren't they? Dimwits more like'

Yeah, I'm the one blinded by spite. This individual regularly puts up unintentionally hilaarious posts like this -- a loser with no self-awareness whatsoever.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

An add-on to my recent post. Could this be the October suprise coming in September??

Posted by: lylepink | September 20, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Iowa.... Well duh.... oversupply thus creating high inventories, presto, lower prices. Big red truck (for those of you who know the joke).

Ever notice how Koz always makes his arguments personal, attacking the messengers. Love you too, Koz.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 20, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

That grain of salt needs to apply to the media too.... and, well done Jaxas.

Turd Blossom is a master of propaganda. Those taking this mob in the White House at their word will make us all, especially our children and grandchildren, pay a very heavy price for their gullibility which amounts to culpability.

The price of oil is just one of their election season tools of manipulation.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 20, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

A little story about gas prices: About three weeks ago the lady that helps me twice a week got gas and when she went to pay was told it had been paid for by the car just pulling out the cashier told her. She looked and could not reconize the car. By telling me this story brought up the price of gas, and in this I told her to look for the price to fall before the elections and start their rise shortly after. So far I am at least half correct and can only wait until after the Nov. elections to see if I am 100 % correct, which I think I will be. Think politics doesn't play a part in this. Think again.

Posted by: lylepink | September 20, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"I don't blame Bush and the GOP."


Aren't they the ones in charge?

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

there are actually some normal people on this site today. how refreshing. but don't believe for a second that you can have a sustainable debate with any of the loony Libs on this site that has to do with anything economic. they have no idea how markets work and thier intelligence is only able to "understand" the enemy and figure out how underhanded all Rs can be. Yes Drindl is blinded by partisan spite and makes absolutetly no sense on any matter. there are many others who wander in here with the same affliction. Now you all understand why Dems keep losing elections. this is a good cross-section of thier political thinkers - batty aren't they? Dimwits more like. It is revealing that challenging someone is called "picking on". are you that defenseless, like you wish our country was?

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 20, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

'It's official now. What was very strong evidence that the Tom Kean Jr campaign was behind all the troll postings is now irrefutable proof. Below is the header information from an email sent out by Tom Kean Jr campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker. Some information has been removed to protect the innocent, but the important thing here is that Jill Hazelbaker's IP address is 70.90.20.85:'

You should be aware --. It's recently become clear [through IP addresses] that a lot of people who post to blogs like this are campaign operatives-- take everything your read with a grain of salt.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter,

"Further, U.S. distillate inventories are at 7-year highs, levels the oil companies can affect to keep prices suppressed."

I think this is called supply and demand.

Maybe you should change your name to "Fable Hunter" for it fits your posting. Drindle can go on all she wants about her theories, but she will lose all credibility if she does not have facts to support her allegations. When oil sky rocketed in the late 70s and the US economy went into a recession in the first Reagan administration, the price of oil plummeted due to a lack of demand, not because oil tycoons had a meeting with the president. This is why Carter had trouble holding down inflation and partially why Reagan was able to maintain low inflation. I would also add that lower prices are also in response to the Gulf region not being hit by any major hurricanes as was anticipated (they still might). If a major hurricane hits the Gulf, I can assure you that the price of oil will climb even if it happens before the election.

Posted by: Iowa | September 20, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I do not know why gas prices are falling at this particular point in time. It does seem awfully convenient for the GOP.

I do know this: Just like the trains ran on time in Nazi Germany, the political season is predictably witness every election year since 2000, right after Labor Day, a Bush-GOP propaganda onslaught in the major media--particularly cable news media. And, its always the same. The President suddenly discovers that we are in a crisis and finds it necessary to make speeches every day that are dutifully covered by a complacent media as major policy addresses even though a schoolboy would instantly recognize them as political in nature.

It is this strange symbiosis between the White House and the media that always improves Bush's and the GOP's fortunes in every election cycle. Why? Because they have a national forum to spread any propaganda they want and not even hgave to pay for it! And even more galling, they usually stimulate debate on issues that have little or nothing to do with the election at hand--just as John Kerry's war medals had nothing to do with his positions on Iraq in 2004, Max Cleland's votes on homeland security had nothing to do with his courage, honor and sacrifice on the battlefield in Vietnam in 2002, and Al Gore's muddled statements on the invention of the internet had nothing to do with anything in 2000.

I raise all of these instances because they highlight precisely how the GOP has won past elections and the national media's culpability in allowing them to do it. Now, Labor Day has past and they are at it agains, regurgitating on a daily basis the repetitive nonsense that Bush is uttering about a "clash of civilizations" just as they did with the "mushroom cloud" nonsense in 2002.

If Bush has learned nothing from his failures in Iraq he has learned this one lesson: That a media that is in awe of the office of the Presidency can be easily manipulated once more because they, like himn, hjave learned nothing from his past failures.

This strange alliance has now been institutionalized to the point that it can be predicted with every post-Labor Day period before an election. Note how suddenly all is forgiven of Bush on the part of the media. He is in our face every single morning on the cable news networks not because we are in any more danger than we were last year at this time, but because we have an election coming up and his poll numbers--and the GOP's--are not so good.

I don't blame Bush and the GOP. If we have a stupid media, that more or less acquiesces in such obvious manipulation, and they drag an even stupider and more easily manipulated electorate with them, then please don't back at us next year when things collapese into absolute chaos and pandemonium compalaining about how dishonest the Bush administration has been with you.

For my part, I have no sympathy for any of you. You fully deserve every body bag coming home from Iraq, every dollar your children and grandchildren are going to have to fork over to clean up Bush's costly misadventures, and every sling and arrow you receive from the citizens of other countries who rightly see you as being the dumbest people on the face of the planet.

Posted by: Jaxas | September 20, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Truth, it really got to be a pile-on there. I certainly agree that the energy busines is 'complex' but price manipulation has been going on well over a hundred years.

And why, when oil company execs recently testified before Congress, did republicans refuse to swear them in? That's standard practice. And why does Cheney still refuse to disclose which energy companie he met with, and what went on? That is public policy and there is no reason to keep it secret--unless you've got something to hide. You can attack me all you want but you can't change the facts.

'Democrats Called on Stevens, Domenici to Place Oil Executives Under Oath. Yesterday, Sen. Maria Cantwell led a group of eight Democratic Senators in sending a letter to Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici asking them "to ensure that oil company executives testify under oath" at today's joint hearing before the two committees. The Senators wrote, "Not only will this give us and our constituents the utmost confidence in the testimony that is offered, it will also provide us a reasonable opportunity to request additional information to aid in this investigation."

This Morning, Republicans Rejected Democratic Attempts to Swear-In Executives. Following up on yesterday's letter, a number of Democratic Senators today asked Chairmen Stevens and Domenici to require oil executives to testify under oath. As today's hearing began, Cantwell made a motion "to have the committee vote on whether the executives be given the oath," but Sen. Ted Stevens immediately rejected the motion.'


Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Iowa.... Are you honestly trying to tell us that the behind-closed-doors-energy-policy and corporate-oil-company-favoritism Cheney/Bush administration can't "rig" lower gas prices?

Are you trying to tell me that the steepest fall in oil prices since the Gulf War in 1991 is because vacations are over?

OPEC usually steps up and defends a price, something they haven't done, the Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi even said on Tuesday, current oil prices (between $50-$60 a barrel) were fair.

Further, U.S. distillate inventories are at 7-year highs, levels the oil companies can affect to keep prices surpressed.

Dear Fixers, if you believe the drop in oil prices have nothing to do with the coming elections, then you have bought into the Bush administration fairy tales.

BTW, for those of you who like to pick on Drindl, I think her wit and insights intimidate you. You go Drindl!

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 20, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Jenny,

I grew up in the DC area during the second oil crisis (i.e., price increase and long lines) that occurred during Carter's administration. The situation in Maryland was such that you could only go to the gas station if you tags ended similarly to the date (odd number ending could go when the date was an odd number and same goes with even numbers). It was reported that oil tankers were sitting in Chesapeake Bay waiting to be unloaded, but when people investigated the citing it was nothing more than a myth. I am afraid your memory of the situation is similarly an urban legend. Congress has conducted numerous investigations in the past and almost every time the conspiracies were found not to be true.

Posted by: Iowa | September 20, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

You forgot Pennsylvania"s 3rd District - just across the Ohio line.
Phil English is in trouble with more than just gas, home heating oil nd Iraq. NAIS and the Oman Free Trade agreement could really hurt him.

Posted by: Kathy G. | September 20, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

How come no one is talking about what happened in Arizona yesterday?

While Jon Kyl is running television ads calling Jim Pederson pro-amnesty, the Arizona Republic revealed that the only pro-amnesty candidate in this contest is Kyl himself.

Kyl, who supported the 1986 amnesty bill during his first run for Congress, also voted in 1988 to extend the amnesty application period helping even more immigrants get amnesty.

A new Survey USA poll also came out showing that Pederson trails Kyl by just 5 points, 48-43 with 7% undecided.

The Arizona Senate race is closer than ever - why is it being ignored?

Posted by: Andrea G. | September 20, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

'Yet it is funny how the Democrats loved the low low priced oil last winter to help the low-income people in the USA.'

So Tina, you think it's a bad thing then, to want to help low-income people who can't afford to keep themselves from freezing to death? Yes, you are a republican, I can see.

By the way, I am not a man. Never have been. And you?

'No, it's not as easy to fix gas prices as you think!'

Oh please, Scott. Grow up. Did you not read the emails between the Enron execs who thought it was so hilarious that they'd be 'bankrupting grannies' by manipulating energy supplies and prices in California?

It's actually quite easy when you have the right political connections.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Off topic, but here's some more information on a thread which ran yesterday. The following URL links to a Dana Milbank article in yesterday's Washington Post on the Allen/Jewish issue:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/18/AR2006091801014_pf.html

Not looking to discuss this any further, just providing it for informational purposes.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 20, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Remember: The Oil Companies have talked about $4.00 and $5.00 per gallon. Just wait. If the Repugs get in - hold on to your wallet.

I have lived in the Texas Gulf Coast for almost 60 years. When NIXON was president gas went from 19 cents to 29 cents to 39 cents to $1.00. We had to stay in lines for hours until they got people happy to pay $1.00.

BUT - if you went to the Gulf Coast of Texas - from Galveston to Port Arthur TX you would see a lot of oil tankers just sitting. They had no place to unload their oil.

Years later I met a lady named LINDA. She said that her dad worked for the GULF Oil Co in Port Arthur. He took Linda to the beach and said, "Look, Linda. There are seven tankers out there, loaded to the gills, and we can't take in any oil because we are loaded to the gills with Gasoline and they won't let it out.

Years later I also met a lady named ANN. She worked for a company that sold oil to small independent gas stations. She said that they had plenty of gas but they could not let it out either.

NOW - in 2006. There was a small Electricty Blackout in Texas. A lady called into KTRH radio station in Houston and said that her husband worked for a company that sold electricy. He had told her that on the day of the blackout the company had two lines of electricity for sale and NOBODY asked to buy more electricity. Since then we have not had any more blackouts.

Look at the politicians who get GIGANTIC money from the Oil Companies -- the majority of that money goes to the Repugs.

Thanks.

Posted by: Jenny Hurley | September 20, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Drindl,

Obviously, you have nothing better to do than to invent scenarios on how big oil is manipulating the election. I remember a post of yours in how upset you were with the price of gas and how it was Bush's fault. However, I and others pointed out gas prices are based on supply and demand and the uncertainly in oil producing regions (i.e., Middle East, Africa, and South America). The summer demand is over and the softening of the US economy has reduced demand for gas. Most informed people accept this reason since it is economist pointing out the facts. Maybe more economists should write you and find out the "Truth" because obviously you know. You and others who come up with these conspiracy theories do yourself no favors and expose youselves for your lack of intellect. I am no Bush lover; however, I do not see an oil conspiracy in every corner. If you don't like Bush fine but wait for a topic that you can bash him on (like handling of the war), please spare us all your rhetoric.

Posted by: Iowa | September 20, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, I certainly understand that the Democrats are mostly sore losers. Possibly after November it'll be the Republicans' turn to be sore losers.

I just think it's sad that everyone is so determined to hate the other side that they relentlessly attack everything the other side does, even to the point of not making sense. I'm sure I'm guilty of having done this myself, but hopefully not in a public forum.

Andy, if you don't want to trust our leaders, that's fine, but it's not like this is the first administration (even in the last decade) to have issues of trust.

As for drindl, I'm sure he(she?) is very knowledgable, but clearly incapable of holding any kind of reasoned, fair dialogue. People complain that Bush squandered an opportunity for bi-partisanship 5 years ago, but judging from the comments I see on this board, I'd say it took two sides to remove that opportunity (after all, "bipartisanship" does not mean that the election's winner should bow to the desires of its loser, as Democrats seem to believe when it comes to judicial appointments and other issues).

Posted by: HokieG | September 20, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you scott. 1) gas prices drop after the 'summer driving season' almost every year. 2) no hurricanes in the gulf (so far) this year. 3) relative stability in oil-producing countries; i.e. the pumps are working in nigeria, iran, iraq, venezuela, saudi arabia, etc.

Of course the GOP is trying to take credit for lower gas prices; just like the Dems were trying to gain advantage from high prices. If you're going to blame the GOP when prices are high, its reasonable to describe low prices as a problem for Dems.

Posted by: bsimon | September 20, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Look people, I'm about as committed a Democrat as you're going to find, but even I have to say let's stop the nonsense about price gouging by the oil companies. No, it's not as easy to fix gas prices as you think! The price of gasoline is an incredibly complex number to determine, and a heck of a lot more goes into it than just political concerns. If it was so easy, why wouldn't the Republican cabal have kept the prices lower earlier this year, and avoid some of this electoral trouble? And for god's sake, quit attacking Chris Cillizza for his supposed "neo-con agenda". I don't care about his politics because his political reporting is top-notch

Posted by: scott | September 20, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Why would the government raise efficiency standards? There is no incentive for anyone in the oil business (i.e., this government) to do so - it hurts profits. Too bad that it is a very short-sighted strategy - despite recent 'huge finds' in the Gulf of Mexico, oil is a limited resource - a very limited one. And we will be beholden to the terrorists until we get off of oil from the Middle East.

The number one and only effective way to prevent terrorism is to quit using oil - unfortunately, the Bush family is all about oil and any other form of energy is a threat - anyone thinking long-term would see that it is in their own (i.e, the Bush family's) best interest to find another way to run our cars - and it doesn't matter if they are big or small cars - some of us need big cars for good reasons.

Anyway - the real shame is that innovation is what has driven this country for 200+ years, but where is it now? Sure, the internet thing drove the economy for a few years, then the housing boom, now what? We could have the same success with developing alternative fuels and medical research - but this admin has given no incentives for fuel reasearch, and has halted almost all stem cell research, which has extreme promise for both medical and financial benefit. This is what drives me crazy - there is no long-term thinking - it is all reactionary and geared toward getting a win in the next election, not what the long-term benefit is, regardless of political leaning.

The first immigrants came here looking for religous freedom. For the most part, we have that today (although certain groups have too much control). Today we need to seek our independence frm oil, completely, whether imported or domestic. The day we stop importing oil from the Middle East is the day we will be able to stop fearing the terrorists.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

HokieG, I hope your comment was aimed at Drindl and his goofy remarks about the media "it's a wholly-owned subsidiary of the republican party." This is the Washington Post website, hardly a mouthpiece for the President and the Republicans. The paper is not a cheerleader for the Republicans and neither is the massive Media Octopuss of Gannett News. From coast to coast, Gannett news has control of the message and it is hardly on the side of the Republicans.

On the topic of gas prices, the oil refineries are back on line, repaired after long months of being down after Katrina. The Democrats are confused. Chavez of Venezula has control of the national oil market because the government controls all oil. Citco is the Venezula company profitting in the USA. I have been boycotting Citco for years. Yet it is funny how the Democrats loved the low low priced oil last winter to help the low-income people in the USA. So the Democrats must think it is ok for a government to own the oil industry.

The US government does not own the Oil Industry, never did. Sorry Drindl. Ask your buddy Al Gore about his long time family connection to Occidential Oil and how Daddy Gore got sweetheart deals for Occidential Oil during his days in the Senate and then got a FAT CAT job after he left the Senate. So I wonder what the Democrats have to say about that?

Posted by: Tina | September 20, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

No Hokie, you're confused. The republcians are very very good at the things they actaully care about, like propaganda, war profiteering, and seizing and holding power and campaigning.

But they they very very bad, careless and incompetent about things that mean less than nothing to them -- like governance.

Got it?

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I understand your point Hokie but there is a reason why we don't trust the other guys. It is called Iraq, and Halliburton.

Posted by: Andy R | September 20, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

In reading The Fix and these comments over the last year, it's fascinating how everything that happens that is bad for Republicans just shows them all to be a bunch of bumbling idiots who have no idea what is going on in the world and who need to be swept out of power before the nation is ruined, yet everything good for them is because of their vast conspiratorial ability and power to keep the message on them while manipulating all the machinations of government.

I guess when your only goal is to bash one side relentlessly because of your narrow-mindedness, silly concepts like that of contradicting onesef and acting based on emotion instead of logic just leave the conversation.

Posted by: HokieG | September 20, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey it could be worse. You could be the prime minister of Thailand. That guy got hosed.

My point on the gas prices is that before Katrina (I guess a year and a half ago) two dollar gas was really high to most people. In my opinion unless gas goes really low like below 2 bucks and Stays there this is a winning issue for the democrats.
And the kicker to all of this is that all you would have to do to fix the problem is raise fuel efficeincy requirements on cars thereby lowering the demand. But I guess folks would prefer their Humvees and suburbans to sane energy and environmental policy.

Posted by: Andy R | September 20, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

But just this one creepy little bit ...

"On his first meeting at the White House, Obama remembers shaking the hand of the president, who turned to "an aide nearby, who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president's hand."

Sounds like Micahel Jackson, doesn't it?

Posted by: drndl | September 20, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Okay F&B, just sharing my morning roundup of outrage. Will try to do better. Does anyone remember that Bush Senior was called 'the Saudi connection' for his close ties to the Princes? Had an office in Riyadh before almost any other Aamerican citizen. The family ties go back at least 50 years... and I don't know how many to the bin Ladin family itself, but a long and close association.

If people in this country could step back and look at it, it's surreal. On 9/11, in fact, Bush Senior had a reservation to have lunch with bin-Ladin's brother at the Waldorf Astoria, a little irony that never escapes me.

The price of gas, Ken Lay, Enron, 9/11, Iraq, Iran -- everything we are doing in the Middle East [which is our entire foreign policy, there's nowhere else in the world this administration even fainly cares about] and the Bush family... it's all inextricably intertwined.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The post should read: "The new lower price of gas is a joke"...

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 20, 2006 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. It is big oil and your presents are being delivered until November 8.

This manipulation is so clear, is this the best CC can do?... "Democrats have a gas problem.... The numbers are troubling for Democratic candidates hoping to capitalize on economic unease among voters."

The new lower price is gas is a joke, literally. Most people get it, unless they have their heads in the GOP echo chambers.

Maybe a better story would have been how the reluctant and tardy confirmation by CCC-loving Macaca Allen of his Jewish roots will affect his campaign.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 20, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

To Andy R -

One year ago, gas was not $2/gallone - it was more like $3.60 or more 'because of' Hurricane Katrina.

I told my husband that I was worried about there being some sort of attack of some sort of announcement from the current admin about thwarting an attack just before the election - giving voters more of a reason to keep the status quo. What I didn't think of was a real big drop in gas prices, which is just as bad for the Dems. It is unfortunate that the Dems just can't get a real message together, that for some reason, the Repubs have a hold on the media, that there is no sense of reality right now.

As much as it pains me, I do not think the Dems will take over the House in the upcoming elections at this point. There just isn't enough anger anymore. The power of the Republicans is something amazing, and frightening, to watch. We will regret this period in time not so far in the future. The short-sightedness of it all is unbelievable.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, love the posts but can we keep it on topic for this thread? Theres enough dirt on this topic to stretch around the world and back. Thx :)

Posted by: F&B | September 20, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"...companies like Enron and Reliant had their finger on the wheel. It's something that merits investigation, but we wouldn't get anything serious from this Congress."

There it is, in a neat little nutshell. Which is why a change of leadership in DC would be the best start to a new way of life for American energy consumers, that works on the law of supply and demand, not the law of the jungle.

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Umm, I think Allen stepped in it again. Just can't seem to keep it off his shoes...

'Virginia Sen. George Allen (R) said for the first time publicly yesterday that he has Jewish ancestry, a day after responding angrily to an exchange that included questions about his mother's racial sensitivity and whether his family has Jewish roots.'

That was the best thing he could have done to save it, but by calling it an insult to suggest he was Jewish, well--it raises icky questions of self-loathing and shame. This is a sick puppy. But those of us who'd heard about his sister's book knew that already.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The oil-supply deal between Bush and Saudia Arabia's royal family was quite public, they make few attempts to hide their manipulation at the top levels.

We need a new Teddy Roosevelt, with a "D" behind his name this time, to bust these trusts up.

Alternative energy development should not be the red-headed stepchild of our energy technology program. When "The Public" realizes there are COMMERCIALLY VIABLE alternatives to the oil industry, there will be changes.

But as long as the oil inductry also owns, through its shady tentacles of corporate connectivity, the brainwashing media, we won't see those changes.

If you have any doubt as to whether the American Public is fed up with our energy policy and our culture of SOB's in SUV's just look at what has happened to Chevy and Ford in recent months.

Is there any doubt our coroprate icons just don't get it? America's two biggest automakers have been decimated by this lack of foresight and innovation, isn't that proof enough Corporate America and its book-cooking CEO's should not be running our government.

Especially our Military.

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Your Congress is wholly owned by global corporations--at the expense of American businesses and jobs:

'For three generations, the Dungey family of Auburn, N.Y., has produced handmade dog collars and leashes for pet stores around the country. The family's six-person shop has staved off competition from cheaper foreign labor by offering a range of products, from affordable "Sparky's Choice" leashes to a $100 beveled-brass collar known as the "Gatsby."

One day this spring, the company president, Anita Dungey, happened across a few words on a Web site, leading her to a startling discovery: One of her small advantages over imports was about to disappear, thanks to a little-noticed proposal in the Senate. The plan, it turned out, had been promoted by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

In Connecticut, chemical company executive Kenneth Kelly got a similar jolt when a business associate called to warn that a bill tailored to benefit a German-owned competitor was working its way through Congress.

Dungey and Kelly had stumbled upon a largely unknown congressional apparatus that allows companies to erase tariffs -- taxes levied on products and materials shipped to the United States from overseas -- for years at a time.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Courageous article by Iraqi reporter:
'I've lived in my neighborhood for 25 years. My daughters went to kindergarten and elementary school here. I'm a Christian. My neighbors are mostly Sunni Arabs. We had always lived in harmony. Before the U.S.-led invasion, we would visit for tea and a chat. On summer afternoons, we would meet on the corner to joke and talk politics.

It used to be a nice upper-middle-class neighborhood, bustling with commerce and traffic. On the main street, ice cream parlors, hamburger stands and take-away restaurants competed for space. We would rent videos and buy household appliances.

Until 2005, we were mostly unaffected by violence. We would hear shootings and explosions now and again, but compared with other places in Baghdad, it was relatively peaceful.

Then, late in 2005, someone blew up three supermarkets in the area. Shops started closing. Most of the small number of Shiite Muslim families moved out. The commercial street became a ghost road.'
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-letter20sep20,0,4188916.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

JEP, you are 100% correct. Distributed renewable energy generation is the answer to the energy crisis. Add in green building techniques, CAFE standard raises and sustainable urban planning and you have yourself a vastly superior society and economy. The job creation of all that entails would be akin to a New New Deal. But why would the energy megacorps or the Neocon govt have anything to do with that? The sad truth is that the "red states" are damaging their own interests and future sustainability by voting Republican.

Posted by: F&B | September 20, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

As the farm belt develops its fledgling biofuel industry into an energy giant, local towns and municipalities should consider taking "first advantage" of this new bounty.

By producing their own electricity with generators, fueled with locally produced ethanol and bio-diesel, community utility companies channel user fees back into the local economy, in numerous ways.

Not only do the area farmers get the benefit of a new market for their crops, the local townspeople get high-tech engineering and production jobs at the ethanol plant, the bio-diesel plant, and the electrical plant. And they spend their wages in town.

And they all get cheaper energy prices.

Most rural communities in the Mid-West could produce a substantial supply of fuel well beyond local needs, and clusters of these communities could form into energy co-ops, creating a hundred county-sized OPEC's and establishing a very competitive market.

As fuel-plant co-op members, local farmers, city services, and school systems could get discount fuel for their ethanol and/or biodiesel powered vehicles and equipment.

This is not a new idea. Renewable fuels as the energy source for generators is something of a "retrotech" retrofit.

In decades past, every small community typically had their own power generating plant. Those of us who grew up in the 40's and 50's remember those local power stations. Only in the last 50 years have mega-plants, super-dams and nuclear facilities extended "the grid" to its current monstrous proportions.

And lets consider homeland security.

Not only would it make local economic sense to diversify and disperse our energy production, it would be a much more secure form of energy. The monster grids of today are, inherently, vulnerable to manmade and natural disasters. While an untimely disaster, tornado or terrorist, could take out one of the big grids, it would be nearly impossible for nature or mischief to disable a thousand local systems, spread out across the nation.

The U.S. farm belt has an historic opportunity to take advantage of the promise of bio-fuels, especially if they keep it in the local loop.

It would behoove state and federal governments to facilitate this transition, with loans and outright subsidies, and the local utility bills would pay off that loan, instead of corporate raiders.

After a couple decades paying off the state and federal loans, the community would own and manage its own power grid. And the ingenuity of a thousand American engineers would eventually develop the most efficient systems, as models for the future.

Think about it: The farm belt could be a veritable laboratory for biofuel research, churning out the kilowatts while advancing the technology towards its most efficient form.

It would give new opportunities to every facet of our local ands state economies. The engineering and the ag departments in some of our favorite Moo-U's would become conjoined in a new department. Surely MidWestern Academia would find a way to make a new major course of study out of that union.

Don't let biofuels become another tool of big business and factory farming.

Keep it local.

John Patterson

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 8:59 AM | Report abuse

It would certainly be interesting to know why oil and gas prices are dropping, but we're not going to find out before Election Day. Since we're not going to find out, there is no way to make it a serious issue for politics, except as possibly a way to energize the base on the Left. Don't try to make it a larger issue, or Democrats will sound like crackpot conspiracy theorists.

I don't know why oil and gas prices are suddenly dropping. A lot of economists say it is a simple supply and demand issue. Perhaps. But they said the same thing about electricity during the California energy crisis, and it turned out that, no, corrupt companies like Enron and Reliant had their finger on the wheel. It's something that merits investigation, but we wouldn't get anything serious from this Congress. We would just get something like the farce they held over the summer, when Ted "Squeaky Wheel" Stevens refused even to swear in the oil execs who were testifying.

Posted by: Zathras | September 20, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone figure out what this means?

"Asked point-blank whether the United States is winning in Iraq, Abizaid replied: "Given unlimited time and unlimited support, we're winning the war."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I think Democrats should start a "gas price manipulation mutual fund". If enough of us buy gas in the last week of October, then sell it when the prices spike after the election, it would go a long way in paying for campaigns that will install an some honest government in DC.

Wish I was with you guys, on the road, but we will all live vicariously through you for now.

I hope you aren't all wearing those geeky stuffed-shirts and ties as you travel, c'mon, put on jeans and t-shirts, otherwise I might agree with the neocon label.

I am only half joking about a "Democratic Party gas futures program", if they are going to conspire against us, we can use to to enrich the party's political war chest, which would help level this uneven playing field.

Name any other industry or product where every retail source has prices within one or two percent across the country. If we put a fraction of the tax breaks we give to Big Oil and put it into alternative-fuel development, we wouldn't be so dependent on unstable areas of the world.

My next post is a cross-post from Tom Vilsack's "Heartland Pac" blog, and it addresses a REAL ANSWER to our addiction to oil. And yes, it IS on-thread.

You guys started the conversation about gasoline, I'm just adding to it...

Posted by: JEP | September 20, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Joy Padgett and Zack Space party designations are wrong. Space is the Democrat and Padgett is the Republican.

Posted by: Wayne Witherell | September 20, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Boston Globe - "Deval Patrick Wins Easily"

Yeah, Judge, it's really kind of pathetic, the wide-eyed way the media just accepts the sudden plunge in prices, without question, without thinking even for a second about the implications for democracy when an enormous global cartel can manipulate elections at will. Guess they don't have a problem with that.

But then the 'free press' is so longer free -- it's a wholly-owned subsidiary of the republican party.

Funny too, how Chris paints lower prices as a 'problem' for Democrats, framing the issue in such a way that not so subtly suggests that Democrats want people to suffer, just so they can win elections.

Funny, Rush Limbaugh says the same thing.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 8:49 AM | Report abuse

A better column would've asked: WHY are gas prices coming down? Yes, I can hear the oil companies providing nonsense explanations before a congressional panel: "new oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico;" "a slow down in summer auto travel;" "peace in the Middle East." Did I leave anything out? Oh, yes: "the price of tea in China."

Unfortunately for Chris, the wall of BS that the oil companies have put up to justify their "pricing structure" is too impenetrable for him to explain why, at this particular point in time, gas prices have suddenly dropped so dramatically. Maybe the NYT will take a crack at this but it's clearly beyond the WaPo.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 20, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The thing is that people were screaming bloody murder when it was 2 dollars a year ago. Three was just crazy in most peoples eyes. Unless the price of Oil goes back to 35 bucks a barrel (Not bloody likely) there is no way we go back to under two dollars. Also with the growing tension in Iran, and the Hurricane Season warming up I think we will see 3 dollars a barrel very soon.

Posted by: Andy R | September 20, 2006 8:19 AM | Report abuse

At least we know where The Fix stands on every single issue. Pro-NeoCon all the way.

Posted by: F&B | September 20, 2006 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Funny how the price of gas dropped just before the election. But of course, it's not like Exxon Mobil and the rest of the cartel can fix prices or anything to help Republicans. Nah, of course not. I have a $100 bet on now that the price of gas shoots up on November 8. I guarantee it.

Posted by: drindl | September 20, 2006 7:56 AM | Report abuse

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