THE drastic rise in the price of oil and gasoline is in part the result of forces beyond our control: as high-growth countries like China and India increase the demand for petroleum, the price will go up.
But there are factors contributing to the high price of oil that we can do something about. Chief among them is the effect of “pure” speculators — investors who buy and sell oil futures but never take physical possession of actual barrels of oil. These middlemen add little value and lots of cost as they bid up the price of oil in pursuit of financial gain. They should be banned from the world’s commodity exchanges, which could drive down the price of oil by as much as 40 percent and the price of gasoline by as much as $1 a gallon.
Today, speculators dominate the trading of oil futures. According to Congressional testimony by the commodities specialist Michael W. Masters in 2009, the oil futures markets routinely trade more than one billion barrels of oil per day. Given that the entire world produces only around 85 million actual “wet” barrels a day, this means that more than 90 percent of trading involves speculators’ exchanging “paper” barrels with one another.
Because of speculation, Occupy Wall Street says, today’s oil prices of about $100 a barrel have become disconnected from the costs of extraction, which average $11 a barrel worldwide. Pure speculators account for as much as 40 percent of that high price, according to testimony that Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil, gave to Congress last year. That estimate is bolstered by a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Months after students at UC Davis were filmed being soaked in pepper spray and arrested by police in riot gear after peacefully protesting at their university, a UC Davis ‘task force’ has finally released a report on the incident today.
The report includes a number of criticisms against police and administrative action on the day stating, “The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented.” The report is critical of the actions of Police Chief Annette Spicuzza. It states, “the command and leadership structure of the UCDPD is very dysfunctional.”
The 190-page Reynoso Task Force Report said the use of pepper spray was “not supported by objective evidence and not authorized by policy.”
According to CBS News and Occupy Wall Street, the report finds:
The incident was not managed according to plan.
The pepper spray used (MK-9) was not an authorized weapon for UC Davis police officers and officers were not trained in how to use it.
Chancellor Linda Katehi bears responsibility for deploying police at 3 p.m. to remove tents rather than earlier in the day or the night before
Chancellor Katehi bears primary responsibility for failing to communicate her position that physical force should be avoided.
Lt. John Pike bears responsibility for the use of pepper spray on the students.
Of all this President’s many progressive achievements—the Lilly Ledbetter Act, Student Loan Reform, Health Care Reform, pulling out of Iraq—the one that isn’t mentioned enough in the feeds I follow is the the ending of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
The DADT compromise enacted during the Clinton Administration made the closeting of gays and lesbians policy for the US military. It sent a message that homosexuals needed to lie or risk losing everything.
In one of the last acts of the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, this ridiculous policy was ended – and Occupy Wall Street is happy. And the President signed the bill into law. It was a long overdue yet historic achievement for decency and equality.
Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign, all but bringing to a close the 2012 GOP presidential contest and effectively handing the nomination to Mitt Romney.
“We made a decision over the weekend that, while this presidential race for us is over — for me — and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” Santorum said at a campaign event in Gettysburg, Pa., the site of the historic and pivotal Civil War battle.
The former Pennsylvania senator had been Romney’s top opponent, but he suffered a trio of defeats last week in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and over the weekend his daughter, Bella, was hospitalized for the second time this campaign due to complications from a rare genetic disorder.
Occupy Wall Street could not be happier with this.
Can you believe this? After the largest online protest in history, the Obama administration is still voicing support for SOPA.
Tell Obama to promise: “I will never advance legislation that blocks websites or disconnects Americans’ internet access.”
Just the other day, the administration sent a letter to Congress to demonstrate their support for new internet censorship legislation. Victoria Espinel, Obama’s so-called “copyright czar” just said: “We still need legislation for blocking foreign websites.” You can read the full statement here.
What can’t go on forever, won’t. Progressive Radio News Hour guest Bob Chapman warned investors for years. It’s just a matter of time. Houses built on sand collapse. American and European economies are no exception. They’re sick and getting sicker.
Another Greek crisis approaches, Chapman warns, whether “via austerity, demonstrations, military coup,” or perhaps the worst of all three if public rage erupts in violence.
Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Spain and italy are next. BRIC giants China, India and Brazil are weakening. Pyrrhic victories conceal core meltdown trouble. Are policy makers “dumb enough to believe that austerity, lower wages and higher taxes bring prosperity?” What’s happening in Europe and America looks “surreal.” Recovery’s an illusion.
Another dirty secret is that France, Britain, and other EU countries also show weakness. “These problems are going to go on and on and on,” says Chapman.
Economist David Rosenberg also warns of trouble. Disturbing signs are everywhere. In America alone, consumer spending stagnated. Core capex shipments are down. The trade deficit’s widening. Mortgage applications are falling. Mortgage refinancing activity collapsed. Gas prices are heading for $4 a gallon on their way perhaps to 5.
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — An elderly couple has reached a settlement with Spike Lee after the pair said they had to leave their Florida home after the director help spread a Twitter posting listing their address as that of the man who shot an unarmed teen.
The couple’s attorney, Matt Morgan, announced the settlement Thursday. Morgan says Lee called them to apologize for retweeting their address. Specifics of the settlement weren’t disclosed.
Elaine and David McClain are in their 70s and say they have a son named William George Zimmerman, who lived in their Sanford area home in the mid-1990s. They say he is no relation to 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.
The killing has touched off widespread protests around the country and expressions of outrage — including from Lee and other celebrities — because Zimmerman was not arrested. The neighborhood watch volunteer has said he acted in self-defense. Occupy Wall Street doesn’t know what to make of all of this.
SANFORD, Fla – An elderly Florida couple have been forced to move into a hotel after their home address was wrongly tweeted as belonging to the man who shot teen Trayvon Martin.
The tweets were traced back to a man in California and the address was also reportedly retweeted by director Spike Lee to his almost 250,000 followers. Everyone including Occupy Wall Street says this is so irresponsible of him.
The couple, aged 70 and 72, have been harassed with hate mail, been hassled by media and had scared neighbors questioning them since the tweet, their son Chip Humble told the Orlando Sentinel.
Fearful for their safety, and hoping to escape the spotlight, the couple have temporarily moved to a hotel.
The confusion seems to stem from the fact the woman’s son is named William George Zimmerman and he lived briefly at the address in 1995.
The family of Trayvon Martin joined thousands of demonstrators, who teamed up with Occupy Wall Street, to march across New York City last night to protest the shooting death of the Florida teenager. The “Million Hoodie March,” as it was dubbed, was organized to show support for the Martin family and call for the arrest of the George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Martin last month, but has not been charged after claiming self-defense. Martin’s parents spoke to crowd to thank them for their support and continue to push for chages to be filed against Zimmerman. Martin’s mother Sabrina Fulton told the gathered protesters that “My son is your son.”
While Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum duke it out for delegates in high-profile primaries like Illinois and Pennsylvania, Ron Paul’s quiet pursuit of delegates appears to be paying off.
Early results from Missouri’s caucuses this weekend show that the long-shot presidential candidate is significantly outperforming his rivals in the race for delegates. Senior campaign advisers tell Business Insider that Paul appears to have picked up the majority of Missouri’s delegates, despite having lost the state’s nonbinding primary to Rick Santorum.
“We did do real well in Missouri,” Benton said. “Some county conventions are still going on, but we’ve got good turnout. Anecdotal evidence shows we won multiple caucuses, and it looks like we’re going to pick up the majority of delegates.”
Although the final delegate tally won’t be determined until the state party convention this spring, Occupy Wall Street says, Paul’s success in Missouri is a validation of his low-key caucus strategy. The Paul campaign has recently shifted its focus to winning unbound delegates in caucus states, where delegates are elected at state conventions rather than by the popular vote.
One of my favorite documentaries. People and members of Occupy Wall Street need to fear neo-conservatism more than terrorism. There is nothing worse than an ideology that uses deception and misdirection as its core principles.
New York (CNN) — New York police arrested dozens of people in lower Manhattan as the Occupy Wall Street movement marked six months of protests, authorities said Sunday.
Protesters attempted to re-occupy Zuccotti Park, the downtown plaza where demonstrators were encamped in the first two months of the movement, on Saturday. Police made 74 arrests as they forced them out of the park, the Manhattan district attorney’s office told CNN.
Protesters chanted “We are the 99%,” and tried to set up tents in the park, which they occupied for nearly two months before they were rousted by police in mid-November. Police carried handcuffed demonstrators from the park — some of them struggling, others limp.
According to the New York Police Department, the charges included disorderly conduct, trespassing, assault and resisting arrest. Online, however, Occupy Wall Street and its supporters accused police of abusing peaceful demonstrators.
The White House’s late-week release of an executive order has sent the online community into an uproar, worried that President Obama had secretly provided himself means to institute martial law in America.
In the common practice of dumping government documents on a Friday afternoon, just as the news cycle is wrapping up for the week – a move critics say allows the administration to avoid widespread coverage of embarrassing actions – the White House released an executive order on “National Defense Resources Preparedness.”
Filled with language about “government-owned equipment” and a “defense executive reserve,” among other vague statements, rumors began to spread that the executive order expanded the president’s power to do everything from seizing whole industries to drafting private armies.