Worst President Ever: Obama’s Intimidation Tactics Continue

Obama and his campaign apparatus have been filling the minds of possible campaign donors with calumnies and untruths about the left’s newest, favorite whipping boys: the Koch brothers. Typical of left-wing demagogues, most of what Obama has been saying about the two libertarian leaning businessmen is simply untrue. But that doesn’t seem to stop him from using the Koch brothers as a boogie man who Obama tells liberals are hiding under their beds at night ready to drag them kicking and screaming into the deep, dark pit of American exceptionalism.

Last week, Obama’s re-election campaign sent out a fundraising letter disparaging the Kochs, saying that they were purposefully “jacking up prices at the pump” in order to hurt Americans. The letter, signed by Obama’s Campaign Manager Jim Messina, also attacked the Tea Party and warned that Mitt Romney was going to court the Kochs who he characterized as “two men obsessed with making Barack Obama a one-term president.”

These scare tactics are blatant for their untruths and were easily demolished in a reply letter written by Phillip Ellender, the President of Koch’s Government & Public Affairs department. (Instead of summarizing, I’ll repost the entirety of the letter below.)

So, did this devastating reply chasten Mr. Messina? Of course not. Liberals have no shame, we all know. Outrageously Messina responded by using the power of the president to intimidate the Koch brothers into making their donors public!

This from a president that won’t make any of his own donors under $200 public!

And it wasn’t just a single fundraising letter that Obama had sent out to attack the Koch’s. He’s now launching a full court press effort to attack them with on-line petitions and the like.

Unbelievable.

Think about this, folks. This is a president of the United States of America using the power of his office to attack two American citizens, folks that are not politicians or party operatives. This is unprecedented and uncivil behavior. We have a president attempting to destroy citizens who are merely observing their right to free political speech.

This president is the single most dangerous man we’ve ever had in the U.S. government. He will be the end of this country.

A Letter to the Obama Campaign

Mr. Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Dear Mr. Messina:

Because every American has the right to take part in the public discourse on matters that affect the future of our country, I feel compelled to respond directly about a fundraising letter you sent out on February 24 denouncing Koch. It is both surprising and disappointing that the President would allow his re-election team to send such an irresponsible and misleading letter to his supporters.

For example, it is false that our “business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump.” Our business vision begins and ends with value creation — real, long-term value for customers and for society. We own no gasoline stations and the part of our business you allude to, oil and gas refining, actually lowers the price of gasoline by increasing supply. Either you simply misunderstand the way commodities markets work or you are misleading your supporters and the rest of the American people.

Contrary to your assertion that we have “committed $200 million to try to destroy President Obama,” we have stated publicly and repeatedly since last November that we have never made any such claim or pledge. It is hard to imagine that the campaign is unaware of our publicly stated position on that point. Similarly, Americans for Prosperity is not simply “funded by the Koch brothers,” as you state — rather it has tens of thousands of members and contributors from across the country and from all walks of life. Further, our opposition to this President’s policies is not based on partisan politics but on principles. Charles Koch and David Koch have been outspoken advocates of the free-market for over 50 years and they have consistently opposed policies that frustrate or subvert free markets, regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican was President.

If the President’s campaign has some principled disagreement with the arguments we are making publicly about the staggering debt the President and previous administrations have imposed on the country, the regulations that are stifling business growth and innovation, the increasing intrusion of government into nearly every aspect of American life, we would be eager to hear them. But it is an abuse of the President’s position and does a disservice to our nation for the President and his campaign to criticize private citizens simply for the act of engaging in their constitutional right of free speech about important matters of public policy. The implication in that sort of attack is obvious: dare to criticize the President’s policies and you will be singled out and personally maligned by the President and his campaign in an effort to chill free speech and squelch dissent.

This is not the first time that the President and his Administration have engaged in this sort of disturbing behavior. As far back as August, 2010, Austan Goolsbee, then the President’s chief economic advisor, made public comments concerning Koch’s tax status and falsely stated that the company did not pay income tax, which triggered a federal investigation into Mr. Goolsbee’s conduct that potentially implicated federal law against improper disclosure of taxpayer information. Last June, your colleagues sent fundraising letters disparaging us as “plotting oil men” bent on “misleading people” with “disinformation” in order to “smear” the President’s record. Those accusations were baseless and were made at the very same time the president was publicly calling for a more “civil conversation” in the country.

It is understandable that the President and his campaign may be “tired of hearing” that many Americans would rather not see the president re-elected. However, the inference is that you would prefer that citizens who disagree with the President and his policies refrain from voicing their own viewpoint. Clearly, that’s not the way a free society should operate.

We agree with the President that civil discourse is an American strength. That is why it is troubling to see a national political campaign apparently target individual citizens and private companies for some perceived political advantage. I also hope the President will reflect on how the approach the campaign is using is at odds with our national values and the constitutional right to free speech.

Sincerely,
Philip Ellender
President, Government & Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC

Shortlink:

Posted by on March 3, 2012.
Filed under 2012 Presidential Race, Barack Obama, corruption, Culture Of Corruption, Democrats.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • GarandFan

    Hmmm….perhaps “the most transparent administration, evah!” should practice what it preaches.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

       Well, it isn’t hard to see through – for those who look.

  • LissaKay

    Hail to the Thug in Chief

    • pizz

      Yea, that thug who is now providing health care for college kids by allowing
      them to stay on their parents health plan. That thug who isn’t going
      to allow those scummy healthcare providers to use pre existing
      conditions as an excuse to deny new benefits. That thug who created
      the dept. of consumer affairs so that Lisa doesn’t continue to get
      ripped off by credit card companies.
      Please explain the thug comment again, Lisa!

      How come people like you always vote against their
      own interests?

      How about your man Rush? This is the party you support, Lisa?

      • LissaKay

        Yes, that thug that caused my health insurance costs to nearly double. IT AIN’T FREE, Piss.

        As for credit card protection …. aren’t we responsible for reading the fine print ourselves? I don’t need a nanny to take care of my finances. I’m a grown up. How about you, Piss?

        So yeah … the President is acting like a THUG when he goes after two CITIZENS … private, law-abiding, tax paying citizens … NOT SUBJECTS, mind you, at least not yet … simply because they support a political agenda in opposition to his own!

        Obama has already established that he will invoke the death penalty on American citizens, without benefit of a trial. So this action just fits right in with his thuggish behavior.

        You voted for this, OWN IT, Piss.
        (Oh did I misspell your name? Oh so sorry … )

        • pizz

          Yea Lisa, you just don’ give a shit about anyone else
          but yourself. 
          Your health Insurance went up because you’re getting
          old Liza, just admit it. So idiotic to blame Obama.

          You are a typical old white lady tea bagger who will
          say or do anything to get that Kenyan and his family
          out of the White House.

          Go put on your old stained American Flag Tee shirt
          and go stand in front of Jo Jo’s office and tell
          him what a great man he is.

          Did I offend you Lizza, I’m so sorry

          Love Piss.

          • LissaKay

            Wow. I really struck a nerve on the troll, didn’t I?

            *takes a bow*

          • pizz

            I get a little angry with racist rhetoric.
            That thug shit is old! Boring,

            How did that word become part of
            your vocabulary describing our
            president? Oh thats right he’s black.

          • LissaKay

            The racism is ALL in your little head, the same one with the thuggish potty mouth.

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/thug

            Class dismissed.

          • pizz

            Sure, and in your small world and
            I mean small, you guys never
            associate blacks with crime. Right?

            How about welfare, food stamps,
            unemployment insurance; it
            just never crosses your mind
            either. Does it?

            And perhaps it just crosses
            your mind once in a while
            that Obama gets all those
            votes because this type always
            votes him in.

          • LissaKay

            Wow. You really need help. This projection of your racism indicates some deep seated sociopathy.

          • pizz

            A little sensitive?

            I realize your approach to these
            issues are right
            wing talking points
            but you should take
            another path when
            discussing these
            matters.

            You’re too obvious.

          • LissaKay

            Are you being purposely obtuse now? Or does it just come naturally to you?

            Doesn’t your mom have your dinner ready now?

          • SoBeRight

            Lisa plays the “Mom has your dinner ready” card – nicely done! You sure showed them!

          • pizz

            Guessed

            wrong
            as
            usual!

  • jim_m

    We agree with the President that civil discourse is an American strength.

    Yes, but when 0bama says that what he means is that he will be civil as long as the rest of us shut up.  One more example of “rights for me but not for thee” from the left.

    I had almost forgotten some of this crap that went on. The only good part is that he has not been able to get things like the fairness doctrine through Congress. http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/obama_to_critics_just_shut_up.html

    • pizz

      Yea that fairness doctrine ” Listeners are exposed to a variety of  opinions.”
      is real dangerous. Especially since your right wing air time is about
      10 times more than left wing leaning.

      By the way, how’s that Rush thing looking for you?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

    Wow, the truth must hurt when you have people defending the Koch brothers and their shenanigans.

    • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

      Jay, apparently you didn’t read the above-posted letter from Philip Ellender. Those alleged “shenanigans” exist only in the minds of President Obama’s supporters.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

        David, all fluff.  The data on this suggests that the Koch brothers along with the oil industry have lobbied in Congress for legislation to do whatever they want.

        The oil trading market is made up of 2/3 of the people that speculate on the market.  Regulations are lax.  Shenanigans are at play and the data is out there to show exactly that.

        Also, if you want to imply that I’m some kind of Obama supporter, I’m not.  He’s as authoritarian as they come and I can’t decide if he’s just a spineless coward when Republicans attack him or if this is a grand strategy to make the Democratic party look exceptionally worse by cowing to the GOP at every turn.

        • Mr Kimber

          Who are you going to vote for Jay?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            Deciding between Gary Johnson or Rocky Anderson.  I’m not interested in voting for someone I care nothing about.  Quite frankly, the Democrats are cowards and the Republicans are hideous.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

       You wouldn’t know the truth if it hit you on the head – not that it wouldn’t be a good idea.

      • westcoastwiser

        And if you miss, I’ll be right behind you, and I don’t miss!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

        I’ve been posting about the speculation on oil for a bit now.  Funny, you don’t seem to have anything to argue when I say that 64% of the oil market is speculation and how the Koch brothers held 4 supertankers back for an increased price on oil.

        But I’ll be very interested to know how you seem to want to think that whatever the president says is going to change those facts.

        • herddog505

          Let’s see…

          The world’s largest supertankers presental afloat are the “TI” class built in South Korea about a decade ago.  They have each a capacity of about 3.2 million barrels of oil(1).

          US oil consumption is about 19 million barrels PER DAY(2).

          So, even if the nasty, devious, nefarious, eeeevil Koch Bros. loaded up ALL FOUR of these behemoths with oil and parked them offshore in the hopes that the price of oil would go up(3), they’d have about sixteen hours worth of the US oil demand.  Wow.  Who knew that one could corner the market like that?  And who knew that holding less than a day’s worth of the US oil supply made one such a big player?

          /sarc

          This is what’s going on:

          The price of oil, as Barry TOLD us he wanted, is high.  Unfortunately for him, people aren’t too happy about that and it’s an election year.  So, he has to find SOMEBODY to blame.  Merely blaming “Big Oil” doesn’t work so well; that card is just about played out.  So, his advisors looked ’round and found a convenient villain, some “oil speculators” who also have connections to the GOP and other conservative groups.  They hit upon the Koch Brothers, whom nobody had heard of before Barry came into office.  Voila!  Instant villain!

          Their task was made easier because most people have no idea what speculators actually do – or, more to the point, that people “speculate” constantly in the markets – so it’s easy to turn a routine, mundane market activity into something lurid.

          Barry actually tried this before when he yapped about doctors overcharging for tonsillectomies and whipping off people’s feet.  It didn’t work because people have lots of experience (and trust) with doctors.  Oil speculators, not so much.

          I must wonder, however, why the Koch Bros. are villains for allegedly speculating in oil – distorting / raising the price – while liberal darling Warren Buffett is not.

          Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit.

          The rail option, though costlier, would lessen the environmental impact, such as a loss of wetlands and agricultural productivity, compared to the pipeline, according to the State Department analysis. Greenhouse gas emissions, however, would be worse.

          Shipping oil using tank cars on rail costs about $3 more a barrel than pipeline transport, using prices in North Dakota, a differential “unlikely” to slow the development of oil sands crude if no pipeline is build, the State Department said. The gap is shrinking as larger storage terminals are built, the agency said. (4) [emphasis mine - hd505]

          Is Buffett a “railroad speculator”?

          ===

          (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TI_class_supertankers

          (2) http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/02/28/surprising-facts-about-us-and-oil/

          (3) Does anybody ever invest in anything in the hopes that the price will go DOWN???

          (4) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/buffett-s-burlington-northern-among-winners-in-obama-rejection-of-pipeline.html

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

             I think a speculator is generally defined as someone not normally invested in the given market, and who has neither the desire or ability to take delivery of his contracts.

          • herddog505

            Does this include a middle-man or a broker?  Or, for that matter, a routine investor?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            The price of oil, as Barry TOLD us he wanted, is high.  Unfortunately for him, people aren’t too happy about that and it’s an election year.  So, he has to find SOMEBODY to blame.

            Oh good gracious…  No he won’t blame Goldman Sachs since they’re his biggest partners.  So the Koch brothers are the likely target here, but the big banks are in on this just as much as Big Oil.  Sorry, but all evidence points to both of their involvement in this.  Congress won’t regulate the system so both have driven the price up sky high from the prices set in 2004 (where oil cost 31.61 a barrel instead of the 2008 prices of 137.11)

            And as I’ve stated elsewhere, the Koch brothers holding the supertankers increased the price by $.20-$.40 a gallon.  This occurred in 2008.  That small spike affects us this year since it takes a while to get the tankers and their oil in.  If we the speculators wouldn’t have been in the market, oil and gas would have been $60-$75 a gallon.  Instead, it’s $80-$100 a gallon.  Link

            America’s gasoline and fuel consumers are facing what could become the most expensive Spring/Summer driving season yet, despite declining gasoline demand, record 
            stocks, more refining capacity, and growing volumes of lower-priced ethanol.  While these factors should contribute to lower prices, the falling value of the dollar, OPEC resistance to increasing production, and speculation on Wall Street that have pushed the price of crude oil 
            above $100 per barrel maintaining the upward pressure on gasoline prices.

            So no, I don’t discount the dollar falling as an issue.  I just see the bigger one in the speculation on Wall Street and the oil industry in causing a spike in oil prices now.

            So, his advisors looked ’round and found a convenient villain, some “oil speculators” who also have connections to the GOP and other conservative groups.

            HAHAHAHA!  Obama reacts to everything the GOP throws at him.  You criticize him wrong and he folds like a bunch of cards.  He’s done it over and over again.  His advisors are even weaker in lowballing everything and basically compromising on *everything* that might be good for people.  They aren’t Democrats.  They’re cowards in the White House.

            Barry actually tried this before when he yapped about doctors overcharging for tonsillectomies and whipping off people’s feet.  It didn’t work because people have lots of experience (and trust) with doctors.

            What the hell are you talking about?  I sincerely hope it’s not tort reform, because Santorum exposes the hypocrisy of that stance.

            I must wonder, however, why the Koch Bros. are villains for allegedly speculating in oil – distorting / raising the price – while liberal darling Warren Buffett is not.

            It might have a lot to do with him being right on a lot of fiscal issues.  

            But I guess having only 2500 temporary jobs and an environmental hazard for crude oil is worth all of the problems dumped into these states that are not going to be taken care of by TransCanada.

          • herddog505

            Why is oil only about $110 / bbl today if it was about $140 / bbl in 2008?  Did the speculators take a a couple of years off?  And where were these speculators in ’04 when oil was around $30 / bbl?

            JayIt might have a lot to do with [Buffett]being right on a lot of fiscal issues.  

            Right = agrees with the liberal party line.

            Surprise, surprise…

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            I specifically said 2004 to 2008.  Look here.  or here

            Not a liberal.  But keep talking there because it shows that you only want ad homs instead of actual debates.

          • pizz

            Hey old man, why are you so opposed to getting
            off our addiction? You’re post is bunch of bullshit.

            Just what Obama wanted, a price escalation of
            gas so jerks like you could rant endlessly about
            nothing.
            Hey hot dog, Obama said nothing about Doctors.
            Your continued lies again. He complained about
            healthcare insurance companies who you
            continue to love and support.

            In the meantime hot dog, tell us who you support
            for president. I would love to read your reply.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            pizz, you’re not helping here…

          • pizz

            I was taught from an early age that
            you don’t stand around and watch 
            someone you care for be insulted!

            He calls our president “barry,”
            I’ll call him bullshit.

            Do you think your long winded
            posts have any effect on these
            people? 

            They read the first two sentences 
            and then hit reply.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            Very true.  But I post to show that there are facts behind my position.  So long as others look at those facts and know that not all agree with the conservative positions, that’s good enough.

            Also, Obama really isn’t a saint.  He has his problems just like anyone else.  If he were a true “liberal” he would have been fighting Republicans on a ton of issues that he was winning on.  He’s compromised making me believe he’s a Republican in D-clothing.  I still want to know what in the nine hells made him think to sign the NDAA and have to wonder if he’ll pass the HR 347 bill that goes against the First Amendment.  I’d like to have one Republican actually explain how this individual mandate is so far opposed and yet not ONE WORD has been uttered about this one that bans the ability to protest.

          • pizz

            From Day one the right
            wing extremists have been
            trying to paint Obama as
            being weak and not
            interested in protecting
            the country militarily.
            “Bowing,” “cut and running”.
            It was endless. Any 
            indication that he was
            weak on these issues
            immediately became
            right wing fodder which
            captured every right
            wing headline,
            This dumb downed
            country as a whole doesn’t
            care about indefinite attention if they think it
            keeps them safer.
            Obama had to sign bill
            in order to keep his
            tough military persona. 

            I hate it too. I’m hoping
            he’ll rectify this in his
            second administration.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            pizz, he won’t.  That just isn’t in him.  He’s a compromiser and I’m not an Obama apologist.  He’s had *countless* times to stand up to the right wing and he’s constantly gone down the path of least resistance:

            The NDAA
            Resigning of the Patriot Act
            All drone attacks
            His torture of Bradley Manning

            The list goes on and on…

            Still, I would love it if he would actually grow a spine and pass some damn reforms.  He’s the most powerful man in the world but he can’t take the Republicans talking critically about him. It’s absolutely ridiculous.  That’s why I would vote Rocky Anderson or Gary Johnson.  There’s no way in the world I’m voting for Mitt Obama or Barack Romney.

          • pizz

            I’ll say it
            again if he
            did any one
            of the things you mentioned
            and there was a successful
            attack on U.S.,
             He
            would have
            been crucified.
            Setting stage for
            new republican
            Chaney type adm.
            for 2012.

            Libertarian
            views on 
            any realm
            unacceptable!

            a vote against
            Obama is
            a vote for
            another
            Scalia
            Thomas
            Alito
            Roberts.
            Citizens
            United only
            gets
            stronger.

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

           Oh, I most certainly have something to say if you claim “that 64% of the oil market is speculation” – I never saw that claim before.

          You are a LIAR.  And an ignorant fool who knows nothing about the oil business at all.  Speculation can move the market, but only in temporary situations.  The amount of speculation is quite small though – it’s a huge market and there is little margin for error.  If oil were purchased on speculation and the demand wasn’t there, what happens to the tankers loaded with it?  You think they give it away?  Idiot.

          Now, there IS a  “fear premium” which gets built in when oil-producing areas face unusual unrest or crises.  But everyone pays that – including the oil companies (who are the biggest purchasers of futures contracts, because they have delivery contracts to fulfill and that’s the only way to lock in a price) and major institutional consumers like UPS and FedEx and others who use them as a hedge.

          herddog505 completely refutes your insinuation that delaying tankers could manipulate prices, but that needs some explanation, too.  I’m sure the Koch company DID hold up tankers if the price was rising.  Many contracts do pay at the price on delivery, and with oil tankers going across the ocean the prices can change a lot.  If a tanker is ahead of schedule and prices are rising, they will be held up to deliver at a higher offload price.  Conversely, if prices are falling, the tankers are hurried to port to get the highest price possible.

          EVERYONE does this and has for several decades.  It’s a standard business practice, and makes a lot of sense in a potentially volatile market.  It has NOTHING to do with manipulating prices – the volume is far too low to make a ripple – but it does watch the prices and time delivery for maximum revenue, which is what business is about.

          In conclusion, you are a complete moron who knows NOTHING about the subject yet makes stupidly false assertions, assumes false motives and assigns them to those he dislikes, and pretends he has made some point other than the one at the top of his head.

          This is exactly why I generally scroll past your posts, Zippy.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay


            You are a LIAR.  And an ignorant fool who knows nothing about the oil business at all.  Speculation can move the market, but only in temporary situations.  The amount of speculation is quite small though – it’s a huge market and there is little margin for error.  If oil were purchased on speculation and the demand wasn’t there, what happens to the tankers loaded with it?  You think they give it away?  Idiot.

            No, I have the facts right here:

            That same week, open interest, or the total outstanding oil contracts for next-month delivery of 1,000 barrels of oil (about 42,000 gallons), stood near an all-time high above 1.486 million. Speculators who’ll never take delivery of oil made up 64 percent of the market.

            So speculators make up 2/3rds of the market.  Speculation did NOT make up so much of the market for decades as you seem to suggest.  In the early millenium (2004, there was only $13 billion in oil speculation.  That has now changed to $300 billion dollars as of 2009.

            And the speculators are the Koch brothers as well as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, etc.  They pay off the politicians for laxed regulations and laws to allow them to sell oil anywhere they want.  

            And somehow, I truly doubt herdog refuted anything.  You just decided to rant without any information and make yourself look all the more ignorant.  You should really look into that.
            Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/02/21/139521/once-again-speculators-behind.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

          • herddog505

            Let’s have a look at this article you cite:
             
            It starts out discussing reasons for the high price of oil, including:
             
            1.  The ostensible reason for the climb of crude prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where contracts for future delivery of oil are traded, is growing fear of a military confrontation with Iran in the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world’s oil passes.
             
            2.  Other factors driving up prices include last month’s bankruptcy of Petroplus, a big European refiner, and a recent BP refinery fire in Washington state that’s temporarily crimped gasoline supply along the West Coast; gas now costs an average of $4.04 a gallon in California.
             
            3.  Consider that light, sweet crude trading on the NYMEX changed hands at $79.20 a barrel just four months ago, but soared past $106 a barrel Tuesday afternoon, partly on news that Iran would halt shipment of oil to Britain and France.
             
            So, we have a potential war with Iran coupled with sanctions, a major refiner bankruptcy, and a refinery fire.
             
            Somehow, I’m not seeing how these things are the fault of “speculators” though the author makes it clear that HE thinks they are the culprit.
             
            Fadel Gheit is heavily quoted in this piece as blaming those nasty speculators for all this.  However, I find that this is not a new tune for him:
             
            From May, 2011:
             
            Oppenheimer Analyst Fadel Gheit Thinks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Are Market Manipulators, Need The Government To Open A Can On Their Asses(1)
             
            In another story:
             
            They can invent reasons why oil prices go to $130 or $150, but history has shown that these people are able to move markets. It is not Exxon or BP or Shell that moves the oil markets. It is the financial players. It is the Goldman Sachs, the Morgan Stanley, all of the other guys. It is a shame on the government that allows them to get away with that.”(2) [emphasis mine - hd505]
             
            Consider the second quote and especially the part I highlighted.  Gheit says that the nasty ol’ speculators can “move markets” apparenty at will.  Then why don’t they?  Why is oil only about $100 / bbl rather than $200 or $500?  I’ve never understood why people and entities who allegedly can fix the market… don’t.
             
            Now, I hate to cite this idiot, but Tax Cheat Timmy doesn’t seem to think it’s “speculators”:
             
            Geithner attributed the rise in crude prices, which have sent gasoline above $4 a gallon in some parts of the country to two factors: Better growth expectations, along with “saber rattling” from Iran over its desire to advance its nuclear program.(3)
             
            And in the dog that didn’t bark category, we have this from the same fellow who wrote the article you cite, Kevin G. Hall:
             
            When oil and gasoline prices soared last April, President Barack Obama announced to fanfare that the Department of Justice would lead a task force designed to root out manipulation of the oil market and gouging of consumers at the gas pump.
            Since then the group has met only a handful of times and has never reported to the public.
            The Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group has met only four or five times since its creation last April 21…
            (4)
             
            Yessir, the administration is so SURE that it’s speculators that its investigative panel has met nearly once every TWO WHOLE MONTHS to look into the matter.
             
            Color me unimpressed.  It’s almost like they know it would be a waste of time.  Or an outright embarrassment.
             
            And speaking of incompetent fools, Barry himself blames… People in China, India and Brazil.
             
            “When you start hearing a bunch of folks saying somehow that there’s some simple solution, you can turn a nozzle and suddenly we’re going to be getting a lot more oil, that s not just how it works. Over the long term, the biggest reason oil prices will rise is because of growing demand in countries like China and India and Brazil,” Obama said in a speech in New Hampshire.
             

             
            “Just think about this. In five years, the number of cars on the road in China more than tripled. Over the last five years, the number of cars tripled. Nearly 10 million cars were added in China alone in 2010 – 10 million cars just in one country in one year. So that’s using up a lot of oil,” he said.
            (5)

            The American Petroleum Institute recently did a report on the price of gasoline.  Among other things, they make a point that many commenters here have made:
             
            The value of the U.S. dollar against other countries around the world means that American consumers are more affected by rising crude oil prices than the citizens of other countries that use currencies like the Yen but less than those who use the Euro.  As oil prices have gone up all around the world, the price increase has been less for countries who have a strong currency other than the U.S. dollar, but more for those who don’t.(6)
             
            Follow the link and look at the charts on page 10.  You will see that, while the price for oil (West Texas Intermediate) in $US has increased by 69% and by 70% in Euros since Jan 2007, it has increased by only 8% in Yen.
             
            I was intrigued by this, so I looked into the change in gold prices.  In the past five years, the price of gold has gone up by(7):
             
            USD -  162%
            EUR – 161%
            GBP – 221%
            JPY – 82%

            By comparison, the price of oil (WTI) has gone up(8):
             
            USD –  69%
            EUR – 70%
            GBP – 113%
            JPY – 8%

            Obviously, there is not a direct correlation, but clearly the value of the currency (relative to the price of gold) has much to do with the price of oil.  Or are Japanese speculators much nicer than the total b*stards in Britain?
             
            Finally, I wish to draw attention to other commodities.  The API report cited above also has a chart of the change in other commodity prices so far this year.  As you will see, oil is a terrible investment relative to such things as tin, aluminum, and even the humble soybean.  Are those darned old speculators doing that, too?(9)
             
            In sum, it’s easy to blame “speculators” and the eeeeevil Koch brothers for the price of oil, but it’s at least a very simplistic view and at worst wrong.
              
            ===
             
            (1) http://dealbreaker.com/2011/05/oppenheimer-analyst-fadel-gheit-thinks-goldman-sachs-morgan-stanley-are-market-manipulators-needs-the-government-to-open-a-can-on-their-asses/
             
            (2) http://www.econmatters.com/2011/05/fadel-gheit-throws-wall-streets-big.html
             
            (3) http://www.cnbc.com/id/46511198?__source=yahoo|related|story|text|&par=yahoo
             
            (4) http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/03/01/140564/whatever-happened-to-task-force.html
             
            (5) http://ibnlive.in.com/news/obama-blames-india-china-for-oil-price-spike/235342-2.html
             
            (6) http://api.org/~/media/Files/Oil-and-Natural-Gas/Gasoline/Whats_Up_With_Gasoline_Prices.ashx
             
            (7) http://goldprice.org/gold-price-japan.html
             
            (8) http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=crude-oil-west-texas-intermediate&months=60&currency=gbp

            (9) I don’t want to overstate this.  The price of most other commodities have not showed NEARLY the same rise as oil in the past few years.
             

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay


            So, we have a potential war with Iran coupled with sanctions, a major refiner bankruptcy, and a refinery fire.

            Somehow, I’m not seeing how these things are the fault of “speculators” though the author makes it clear that HE thinks they are the culprit. 

            How can you ignore that the more the US is forcing pressure on Iran, the higher the oil goes up, the more money in the pockets of Koch bros and big banks?  They’ve already spent $137M on Congressional Republicans and they get that money back with 22,000% Returns on Investment through lax regulations.


            Why is oil only about $100 / bbl rather than $200 or $500?  I’ve never understood why people and entities who allegedly can fix the market… don’t. 

            It’s a temporary spike.  OPEC learned this lesson in the 70s.  You can do small fluctuations in gas prices, but larger fluctuations will have people route around the damage. 
            Color me unimpressed.  It’s almost like they know it would be a waste of time.  Or an outright embarrassment.

            No, the FTC is putting together a force to regulate the market, but I’m not seeing anything that refutes what was said about the price of crude earlier.

            In sum, it’s easy to blame “speculators” and the eeeeevil Koch brothers for the price of oil, but it’s at least a very simplistic view and at worst wrong.

            When they make up 2/3rds of a market, I would focus on their influence on that market.  To say that they’re not causing any damage is ignorant of actual facts.  And here you are believing what Geithner is saying about oil prices when he’s the same person that gave the banks free money, no strings attached.  Come on herddog…  You can do far better than that.  Also, China has been manipulating their yuan, so I wouldn’t use that as a basis for how much they’re spending on oil.

          • herddog505

            Shorter:

            The speculators and oligarchs are pushing us into war!  They buy off members of Congress!  They manipulate the markets!

            Except when they aren’t…

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            I’ve proven it in the past and I can show the numbers of how much it costs to buy off a politician.  Or are you telling me that having $137M from the oil industries doesn’t tend to show favoritism for certain political positions in the House or Senate?

            I mean for Gods’ sake, K Street actually has a draft for retiring politicians.  The system is worse off and yet the only thing that happens is that people are polarized against problems instead of coming up with relevant solutions! 

            So sure, deny all you want, but so long as the facts don’t agree with you I’m going to fail to see your POV.

    • westcoastwiser

       Good ol’ Jay is at it again.  Jay, you must be a student of history who still hasn’t read beyond Lenin, and like that chapter so much you keep thinking he was a good man.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

        Nope.  But you’re free to continue the ad homs and make yourself look more ignorant.  *thumbs up*

        • westcoastwiser

           Your rationalizations always justify your ends.  And you always revert to calling those who question you and your rationalizations “stupid”.  Hardly something an intelligent commenter would invoke. Enjoy the time you have free from the asylum; they’re coming to take you away, away!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

              I don’t rationalize.  I have facts to back up my argument.

            And no, I don’t live in an asylum.  But feel free to show your ignorance more and more.  It sure entertains me that you’ve yet to show a valid response to any points presented.

  • jim_m

     And of your defense of George Soros and his felonious actions?  His attempts to manipulate elections by deliberately spreading disinformation and investing many times the amounts of money that the Koch brothers have spent?

    It’s OK when leftists do what you complain the the Koch brothers do. You are just pissed that someone with money is using it to promote a different agenda.

    More proof that the left doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone’s freedom but their own.

    • Brucehenry

      I thought you were taking the weekend off when you disappeared from the other thread, Jim.

      You know, right after I asked you to list all the leftists of 1981 who cheered the shooting of President Reagan and who expressed hope he would die.

      • jim_m

         Those leftists were my parents actually.  My mother (perhaps unsurprisingly) was a news paper editor.  Her news staff held similar ideas.

        Sorry.  My participation is intermittent as I am in Europe on business so the time change makes being interactive difficult.

        Actually the UK take on US politics has been interesting.  There was a great 4 page feature in the FT weekend edition on how obama has lost the white middle class vote.  They spend a lot of time discussing how the economy, unemployment, failed bailouts in the auto and financial industries and government bloat have alienated voters.  But like all liberal press manage somehow to finally come to the conclusion at the end that the real reason these voters don’t like obama is racism.  The only real difference between the UK and US press is that the US would never have published the first part with the substantive criticism of obama. 

        I’ll let you know how the German press takes things next week.

        • Brucehenry

          Europe on business? I envy you. Sincerely. I’ve never been to Europe at all. Have a good time if you can.

          • Mr Kimber

            Bruce, it’s like I said before…it’s not like you are unlikeable.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

             Oh, he’s likeable enough.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

         I remember a few, but only the rabid ones.  That was 30 years ago and basic decency was still the rule among the non-radicals on both sides.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

       There are single leftist organizations who get more than the Kochs hand out every year.  The money advantage of the left is huge, yet they complain about minor expenditures by any of the conservative rich people who dare to fund our side.

      The exact same was true of the demonization of Richard Mellon Scaife in the Clinton years – the amounts he was putting up were far less than the leftists were spending, but they acted as if he were pouring billions into some dark empire.

      Of course, this is because leftists are lying scum.  FYI.

  • SoBeRight

    Sorry, I’m just not seeing the “scare tactics” — what exactly is there to be ‘scared’ about in what’s transpired?

    Or is this one of the those situations where the white folks get scared when a black man talks to them? /sarc

    Seriously. Where’s the “scare” in all of this?

    • westcoastwiser

      Boo!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Icare/100003324712080 Will Icare

       you are, sir, an ass. and a liberal troll.  go thou, and sin no more.

      • SoBeRight

        So you two couldn’t anything ‘scary’ either.

        Anyone else?

        • Gmacr1

          Here’s a nightmare that will make you loose sleep all the way through November 8th…

          The (P)resident is going to loose the election in a landslide to an unnamed Republican.

          • SoBeRight

            From the original post…. “These scare tactics are blatant”

            If they are so blatant, why can’t anyone of Wizbnag’s best (lol) cite where this is at all “scary” — or why can’t they cite the “scare tactics” being employed.

            Apparently, at least according to the commenters so far, there really aren’t any “scare tactics” at all…

          • herddog505

            First of all, let me stipulate that what one man finds “scary” is benign or even amusing to another.  Further, “scare tactics” rely at least to some extent on exageration, half-truths, and deceptions, AND in the target audience already having some sense of dread about the subject.  Therefore, I would not expect a lib to see “scare tactics” in a democrat fundraising letter because, to them, the letter contains rock-solid truths about real problems.

            So, keeping in mind that the letter was aimed at halfwit liberals:

            They’re obsessed

            The very title implies that “they” have an psychologically unhealthy fixation, an obsession.  A stalker has an “obsession” about a particular woman.  A pervert has an “obsession” with child porn.  Even in more benign or amusing cases, “obsession” implies that the person can’t quite think straight: “He’s OBSESSED with collecting antique baseball cards.” The term is intended to arouse fear that “they” are mentally unbalanced, extreme, and will stick at nothing to get their way.

            Americans for Prosperity, a front group founded and funded by the Koch brothers.

            Front group may be defined as:

            an organization that purports to represent one agenda while in reality it serves some other party or interest whose sponsorship is hidden or rarely mentioned.(1)

            “Front group” implies a conspiracy formed with the intent of deceiving or hiding the real backers or agenda in question.  In this case, the term is intended to arouse fear that sinister, shadowy groups or people are behind what’s going on.

            The Koch Brothers are the dems’ villain of the day.  Nobody really knows what they do other than they are rich and have something to do with oil.  Invoking “Koch Brothers” is intended to arouse fear in the way that invoking the name of Goldstein was intended to arouse fear in the minds of the fictional citizens of Oceania.

            Those are the same Koch brothers whose business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump.

            See above.  Here the letter explains why the Koch Brothers are so wicked: they are greedy manipulators of oil prices.  The intent of this statement is to arouse fear that, if people like this oppose Barry, then who knows what will happen to the price of oil?  It’s also part ‘n’ parcel of a well-established dem meme: that big businessmen, especially in the oil industry – are out to run everything in the interests of lining their own pockets.

            Tea Party extremism

            Intended to arouse fear of another democrat boogeyman, the Tea Party.  It even makes it explicit: these people are EXTREMISTS.  We should fear extremists.

            $200 million to try to destroy President Obama before Election Day

            A lot is packed into this phrase.

            1.  Somebody’s spending the HUGE sum of $200 millions.  Well!  We should be afraid of people with that kind of money and power.  Further, if they are willing to spend that much money, it indicates that they are extreme, and we know about how dangerous extremists are;

            2.  “Destroy” Presiden Obama?  A harsh verb, intended to arouse fear that, again, his enemies will stick at nothing.  They don’t want just to defeat him: they want to DESTROY him!

            3.  “Before election day” summons the fear that these people are trying to avoid the lawful election process.  Again, they are extremists who’ll stick at nothing.

            Should I go on?  It’s all very much a “we vs. they” pitch, and “we” should be very, very afraid of “they”.

            ===

            (1) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Front_groups

          • SoBeRight

            Translation: “Fear Tactics = scare tactics… cause when you fear something you’re scared…”

            What a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a Wizbang commenter. It was written quite well, you described the thought process that took place inside your head as you read the letter — you “translated” the words in a sense by describing what went through your mind as you read it — and I followed your thought process completely.

            Thanks for sharing and putting so much work into it as well. I’m impressed!

  • herddog505

    Jim Crow-era democrats had the bloody shirt and the Negro savage.  Hitler had the Jews.  The reds had “wreckers” and “reactionaries”.  The pigs had Jones.  Barry has the Koch brothers. 

    When you plan on f*cking people over, you really need to give them a villain to hate so they won’t notice what you’re doing to them.

  • westcoastwiser

    Too many with Zgo’s attitude and we ought to get Jay Tea to censor!

    • Gmacr1

      JT was not the only person with the ability to use the hammer…

      /just sayin’

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

         Besides Kevin, who owns the joint, Jay Tea was the keeper of the Hammer of Olaf, and used it only in extreme cases.  No telling when or if he will return, though – I hope he’s okay.

    • herddog505

      FWIW, either though I seldom agree with anything he writes, I don’t fine ZGoFish to be objectionable: certainly he’s miles ahead of some of the hateful idiots who have come and gone.  Yeah, he plays the race card a lot, but that’s as normal for lefties as breathing; it would be easier to ask them to write a post without using the letter “e” as it be to ask them not to accuse everybody in sight of being a bigot.  Otherwise, he seems to try to make his points in a reasonable manner (well, as reasonable as one can expect on a political blog!).

      • SoBeRight

        Thanks, herddog. I appreciate the kind words. I’ll try to watch the race card….

    • Commander_Chico

      Censor?  Spoken like a true right-wing authoritarian.

      • westcoastwiser

        No, just one who gets tired of condescending rationalizations!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Icare/100003324712080 Will Icare

    time to water the tree of liberty – with liberal blood, not patriot blood.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

       As long as you don’t call them “unpatriotic” – I hate the wailing lamentations.

  • ackwired

    It makes you wonder what the Republicans and Democrats did before they had the Koch brothers and George Soros to demonize.

  • Commander_Chico

    Right/left

    Yin/yang

    Black/white

    Yankee/Red Sox

    Koch/Soros

    Hatfield/McCoy

    Ho/hum

    • warnertoddhuston

      Chico, you pretend to be the sane one, yet here you are excusing this behavior in a SITTING president.  I find your dismissive attitude a perfect example of why people that claim to be “moderates” (usually they are liberals) should be ignored. They haven’t the sense God gave a rock. 

      • Commander_Chico

        Hey, cut the crap.  Political criticism is not “intimidation.”    A campaign guy sending out an email criticising you is not “using the office” of the president.

        “Intimidation” is a word most often used in a political context by the “politically correct” academic left to try to shut down speech they don’t like, for example gay activists saying they are “intimidated” by Christians who say gay stuff is sinful.

        Real intimidation is when I say, “nice car you have there, it’d be a shame if something happened to it while it’s parked here.”   “Using the office” is when the President has the Attorney General cover up a break-in to the other party’s campaign offices, or orders the IRS to audit his enemies:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon's_Enemies_List

        Money is speech.  The Kochs give $$$$millions to right-wing causes attacking Obama.  They are “in the arena.”   Once in the arena, they can’t whine that it’s unfair that someone talks back. 

        The nearly exact analogue is Soros.  Soros is also “in the arena.”

        Did Soros ever get any criticism from the campaign of George Bush, a “sitting president?”

        Oh yeah, two minutes on Google gives us the answer, give me a effin’ break: 

         http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/TheNote/story?id=120803&page=6

        [December 11, 2003]

        From the latest George Allen/NRSC e-mail:

        And there is a new factor in 2004 as limousine liberals, led by billionaire George Soros, have pledged to spend $400 million in “unregulated” money to turn voters against the president and Republican Senators in each of our battleground states. Most of this warchest will fund attack ads that distort the truth about our accomplishments and mislead voters.

        In the face of these attacks, I need to know we can count on you during these crucial months. If your budget allows, can you help again today by sending $50, $100 or even $150 to help us expand our efforts in key battlegrounds such as Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia?

        And from a recent e-mail from RNC Chairman Marc Racicot:

        One billionaire liberal, George Soros, has already pledged $25 million to get these efforts off the ground. Soros even said that President Bush reminds him of the Nazis.
        Soros got another billionaire leftist, Peter Lewis, an ardent advocate of hard drugs, to promise $12 million as a down payment. Their goal is to raise over $400 million to defeat the president and they’re halfway there.
        To beat these billionaire liberals, we need your help today.

        Writing this stuff, using loaded terms like “intimidation,” either you’re a totally blinkered idiot, or you’re a totally cynical propagandist.

        • herddog505

          While you have a point, I do think that there’s a difference between a political candidate leveling criticisms… and the most powerful man in the world doing it.

          Further, Barry isn’t just criticizing the Koch brothers: he’s launched a petition to DEMAND that they release their donor lists.  Now, why would anybody be interested in that information if not to (perhaps) put a little muscle on them?  “Nice company youse got dere.  If youse keeps associatin’ wid people like the Koch brothers… well… who knows what could… HAPPEN… to it.”

          • Commander_Chico

            Except that the “demand” is purely rhetorical, because 501(c)(4) corporations like AFP do not have to reveal their donors, and the Kochs can and undoubtledly will ignore it.

            The question of secret money in politics is of course something else.  These 501(c)(4)s can be drawing from foreign citizens, governments and corporations.

            The tax treatment is another issue:
            http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/irs-times-political-contributions/2011/05/12/id/396185

            If Obama was going to go full Nixon gangsta, he could use the government’s banking and electronic surveillance tools to compile a list of donors and screw them over very easily. 

            But why waste the effort when you know that the Kochs have bankrolled AFP with $$$millions and the rest of the donorship is made up of the likes of Adjoran, jim_m, Warner Todd Huston, and 914 giving $25 each?

            Some campaign guy making a rhetorical “demand” would be the last thing a real gangsta would do.

          • Vagabond661

            Pretty amazing that the Prez would demand they release their donor lists when Obama’s own records have been sealed.

        • warnertoddhuston

          You make a fool of yourself to excuse Obama for his intimidation because Bush merely mentioned Soros once. Your illicit act of moral equivalence is telling, Chico.

          • Commander_Chico

            What?  Bush’s campaign mentioned Soros constantly in 2003-04.

            Waaah!! Intimidation!!!

  • Hugh_G

    The Koch  brothers are to liberals as George Soros is to right wingers. Fageda about it.

    Oh, wait I forgot. If it’s scare tactics you accuse President Obama and liberals of using, anyone remember the looming mushroom clouds? Hmmmmm.

    • Jwb10001

      You mean the ones LBJ used against Goldwater?

      • Hugh_G

        Very good :)

        But you know the folks I’m talking about. Why I’d bet a nickel you even voted for the other guy from Texas.

  • 914

    Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wish upon a Czar

    I wish he may, I wish he  might

    Bow out gracefully, to utter delight

    • Commander_Chico

      Clever!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UG44B3BSUSA2IKDMLCB2AMJ4OM Porkulus Chopius

    Connect these dots…
    Billionaire investment manager George Soros built on his position in Brazilian oil and gas company Petrobras in the first quarter of 2011 for his Soros Fund Management firm, according to the guru watchers over at Guru Focus.com on May 17. He now owns 1.1 million shares of Brazil’s state owned oil company.http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2011/05/17/soros-builds-on-petrobras-holdings-in-first-quarter/Following the infamous British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration took the opportunity to target oil companies and American workers by issuing a moratorium on offshore drilling, hurting American workers and costing American oil companies millions of dollars. Why then is the Obama administration helping Brazil to expand offshore drilling?http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/energy/6824-obama-commits-american-support-to-brazilian-oil