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Who Will Watch Obama’s Speculation?

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On April 17, President Barack Hussein Obama  called on Congress to pass a series of measures that would help limit what he called speculation that’s driving up the price of oil and gasoline. Obama said “it’s not fair…speculators reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick. We can’t afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage and driving prices higher only to flip the oil for a quick profit,” said Obama. He continued, “None of these will bring gas prices down overnight. But they will prevent market manipulation, and help protect consumers.”

Obama proposed increasing spending on technology to improve the oversight of energy markets, and increasing by six times the funds spent on surveillance and enforcement staff for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Obama has proposed a $52 billion program to monitor speculator activity more closely.

Jay Levine, broker at Enerjay in Portland, ME, says,  “Any outside intervention [by the government] usually doesn’t last or alter the picture that was in place before any threat of intervention. The markets do what they were doing or going to do before. With that said, the intervention throws a monkey wrench in the short-term picture and typically only adds to market direction uncertainty.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) denounced Obama’s plan as unnecessary. “Where is his Federal Trade Commission? Where is the SEC?” said Boehner. “He’s got agencies there. So instead of just another political gimmick why doesn’t he put his administration to work to get to the bottom of it.” But getting to the bottom of it might be  a problem for Obama, since the White House cannot cite even one instance of illegal oil price speculation.

But is not Obama speculating with our tax money on green or clean energy (or whatever it’s called this week) by artificially manipulating markets? Who is going to protect us taxpayers from Obama’s speculation on green energy companies? What penalty should Obama have to pay for speculating with our money? He called on Congress to pass a series of measures that would help limit speculation. Is speculation on availability of oil evil, yet speculation on green energy permissible?

Obama called for speculators to be monitored. Does that mean all speculation, or only on commodities of which he approves? Are we again seeing Obama’s hypocrisy?

And Obama’s speculation lately has not been stellar: Solyndra, Beacon Power, Ener1. Should Obama have to pay a penalty for speculations that went bankrupt, thus driving up the price of green energy?

An oil future (speculation) is a contract between a buyer and seller, in which the buyer agrees to purchase a certain amount of oil at a fixed price. Futures offer a way for a purchaser to bet on whether the oil price will increase in the future. Once locked into a contract, a futures buyer would receive a barrel of oil for the price dictated in the future contract, even if the market price was higher when the barrel was actually delivered. But nowhere does Obama speak to the fact that speculators may lose money. Obama wants to limit speculator profits, but not losses. Is that fair?

But that’s just my opinion.

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  • Jet HUSSEIN-Whose sane? Gardner

    Ohhhh Good!!!! He’s written another satire!!!
    I’ll make some popcorn!

  • Jet HUSSEIN-Whose sane? Gardner

    What is a speculator?
    Financial players with no intention of using the physical commodity often are referred to as “speculators.” In other words, they do not have a business need to buy or sell the commodity; they simply want to trade futures contracts to make a profit. Speculators, for example, could buy large numbers of oil contracts and then sell them to each other again and again. In 2008, on average, nearly 12 times the volume of oil was traded on futures exchanges as was consumed globally. Without proper oversight, transparency and limits on futures positions, speculative trading unjustifiably can increase the price of energy or other commodities-with businesses and consumers picking up the final tab.

    What is a hedger?
    Hedgers use the futures markets to manage risk by minimizing their exposure to significant price swings in commodities. This means that they usually buy or sell contracts at an amount related to the volume of what they will produce or what they will need to sell or purchase (to use in their business). Businesses such as airlines, trucking companies, oil companies and refineries are examples of these forms of hedgers.

    What does trading “on paper” mean?
    “Paper trading” is when speculators buy contracts for oil or other commodities with no intention of ever using, producing or taking delivery of the commodity. Speculators buy and sell these paper contracts to each other again and again. A barrel of oil may trade 20 times or more before it is delivered and used. The prices may go up with each trade.

    Has speculation contributed to unwarranted oil price increases?
    From the beginning to the end of 2008, the price of a barrel of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) moved from $99.64 to $145.29 to $33.87. On the way up, it took just 103 days of trading for the price of crude to soar 67 percent (more than $58 per barrel) to its July 3 peak, followed immediately by a precipitous 77 percent decline (more than $111) in just 118 days of trading. It is difficult to explain that unprecedented price volatility by changes in supply and demand fundamentals. Fewer than six months after the December 2008 low of $33.87, oil prices settled north of $72 on June 11, despite adequate supplies and the sharpest year-over-year drop in global consumption in nearly 30 years.

    Why has speculation increased in recent years?
    Institutional investors (corporate and government pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and university endowments) have poured billions of dollars into the commodities markets. These speculative trades have helped to drive up the price of oil because the majority of new contracts are betting on increases, rather than decreases. In effect, this swell in “artificial demand” for oil is upsetting the balance between physical supply and demand and, once again, fueling a price “bubble.”

    Just the facts ma’am

  • Jet HUSSEIN-Whose sane? Gardner

    It it fair that consumers pay for oil speculators to line their pockets-No

    Is it possible for an oil speculator to LOSE money… pulllease.

    Is it fair for Hussein to try to limit how many times a barrel of oil can be traded UP before it’s ACTUALLY used raising pump prices?

    You’re god-damned right it is-Allah bless him.

  • Jet HUSSEIN-Whose sane? Gardner

    I read this article… twice. I can tell you that this article is NOT about oil or commodity speculation, it is not about prices at the pump and is not about future or proposed legislation.

    What is article is, is another half-baked and rebaked editorial about how a misinformed and ignorant fool hates The President of The United States.

    It is my opinion that his fact checker is Ted Nugent and that Sarah Palin would write a more intelligable article.

    Any comment that follows having to do with speculation or facts having to do with speculation will be ignored. The author will state that the comment writer isn’t writing about the facts he presented, because the only viable fact he has presented adnausem is that he hates Hussein Obama.

    If you don’t comment on how much you hate Obama too, you’re not commenting on the article and didn’t read it.

  • Jet HUSSEIN-Whose sane? Gardner

    As to the illustration, the price at the pump in Columbus Ohio is at $3.69 a gallon.

    Higest reported today is $3.99-lowest is $3.49.

    Why so low?

    The glut of oil in the midwest is forcing prices down, because the oil companies don’t have anywhere to ship it that is cost effective without the XL pipeline… so midwest oil STAYS IN THE MIDWEST.

    Keeping oil in the U.S. would lower prices at the pump across the country, but that’s not what the pipeline is for.

    Just another example of why prices are so high on the coasts, that oil is being shipped to China who pays more for it-despite you bullshit about how everyone pays the same price for oil and refined gasoline.

    I guess we’re all A-rabs in Ohio…
    praise Allah

  • Jet Gardner

    Michelle Bachmann on the president’s efforts to stop oil speculators…

    “This is just about waving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem,”

    The republican party is not racist… keep telling yourself that.

  • Jet Gardner

    By the way if you look closely at his little image there that’s the price for premium, and is for some time ago.

  • Frivolous D

    Hey, Jet. I see you have insomnia too. Check out my comments on “More Unemployment News” to see what I mean.

  • Frivolous D

    Warren, you are what I call a “kitchen-sink” writer. That is, you throw in every negative you can think of to try and make your point.

    What you will learn, in the next 24 hours or so is that, like your last article, so many poorly considered arguments are included that you’ve pretty much left both flanks exposed.

    This isn’t a sprint. Why don’t you take the time to develop one strong argument instead of shooting yourself in the foot with a bunch of weak little arguments.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jet –

    It is my opinion that his fact checker is Ted Nugent and that Sarah Palin would write a more intelligable article.


  • Warren Beaty

    Here is a source that all you Kool-Aid drinkers may find interesting – or not. And y’all may want to read the Preface and Executive Summary of this source. And here, on page 5 of the report, is the damning statement: “…most empirical studies find that financial investment in commodities does not have a significant effect on commodity prices.”

    Let’s see? Did Obama attend the G-20 summit in Cannes, France? Why, yes, yes he did. So does that mean that the report is valid? And was this report available for him to see? Again, yes, it was. So what conclusion can we draw from al of this? Regarding oil speculation, Obama is only interested in votes.

    ‘So what is left? Avoid discussing the original issue, try to obfuscate by attacking the article author, pull out all the librul tricks.

  • Igor

    3-Jet: Obviously Obama is at fault for alarmingly low pump prices that are depriving investors of their just profits.

    Is there no end to Obamas perfidy?

  • Jet Gardner

    Comment 2:
    Explains speculation (your subject?)… I assumed oil because of the picture of a months-old Newt Gingrich campaign inflated gas station sign, but my comment was written at above a third grade level, and was about your supposed subject of a poorly written and researched article… so of course you didn’t understand it.

    I was NOT writing about how every single red-blooded Christian voting American is a foaming-at-the-mouth Hussein Obama hater like you, so it’s understandable you missed that.


    Comment 3 was responding to your “is it fair” rant at the end of your misguided and misleading article, and not about how everyone is a foaming-at-the-mouth Hussein Obama hater like you, so it’s understandable you missed that.


    Comment 4: addressed your perceived motive for writing the article and since I didn’t explain who Ted Nugent or Sarah Palin are, I can understand your confusion that I wasn’t addressing your article directly…

    I was NOT writing about how every single outraged red-faced red-state American is a foaming-at-the-mouth Hussein Obama hater like you, so it’s understandable you missed that.


    Comment 5: addressed the misleading and incorrect aspect of your “borrowed” illustration in your article directly and gave examples of how it was incorrect through most of the heartland of our wonderful and god-governed country.

    I was NOT writing about how every church-going heterosexuual American gun owner is a foaming-at-the-mouth Hussein Obama hater like you, so it’s understandable you missed that.


    Comment 6 is about an ignorant representative of the Republican’t party named Michelle making a racist remark yesterday about “tar babies” at the afro-American President of the United States on the subject of your article.

    But I admit confusion, since that actually is the subject of your article, so it’s natural that I would be confused about my confusion over your confusing article.

    But of course that’s only my opinion of your opinion…

    …after all

    I was NOT writing about how every single red-blooded American is a foaming-at-the-mouth Hussein Obama hater like you, so it’s understandable you missed that.

  • Jet Gardner

    Associated press:

    A spokeswoman says U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann wasn’t referring to race when she used the term “tar baby” to attack President Barack Obama’s energy policy.

    The Minnesota Republican told a conservative blog Wednesday that Obama’s calls for more regulation of oil speculators “is just about waving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem.” In the Uncle Remus story, “tar baby” describes a tar lump dressed as a person to catch Brer Rabbit. But “tar baby” also has been considered a derogatory term for black people.

    Bachmann spokeswoman Becky Rogness says in a Thursday email that Bachmann made a point about Obama’s understanding of oil prices that has “nothing to do with race.” Instead, Rogness says Obama “has gotten himself into a sticky situation.”
    I believe and forgive Michelle, she was probably just quoting Warren…

  • Jet Gardner

    Keep an eye out for black unmarked helicopters with a picture of a tar baby on the side, and check your phone for wiretaps…

    they’re comin’ fer you


  • Frivolous D

    Warren, as I commented elsewhere…

    Including “Hussein” is sophomoric shorthand for “I hate Obama.” If you are trying to be persuesive, there is no “journalistic” motive to open with an irrelevant ad-hominin attack.

    Your five dedicated, though liberal, followers already know how you feel. However, an uninitiated reader will not have the same insight into your particular brand of discourse. There is no reason to loose them in the first sentence.

    After all, how are you gonna sell that car if you can’t even get them to take a spin around the block.

    On the other hand, if you don’t care about alienating your readers, then you are just mastrabating, not writing.

  • Frivolous D

    The National Review Online hates Obama every bit as much as you.

    Go there and I will give you a quarter for each use of “Hussein” that is without an appropriate context.
    National Review Online

  • Dr Hussein Dreadful

    I believe Michele Bachmann when she says she wasn’t being racist with the “tar baby” remark.

    She was just displaying her ignorance: something she did to the world on a daily basis for a few months before deciding, with uncharacteristic prudence, to withdraw from the presidential race.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Of course Michelle Bachmann wasn’t being racist, for we all know there’s no other metaphor in the English language she could have used, right? It’s just like when Rush Limbaugh repeatedly played “Barack the Magic Negro” on his radio show – why, he wasn’t being racist at all!

    And the Republican party is SO diverse, as we can see in the conventions and the meetings and the Tea Party rallies….

  • Warren Beaty

    Re: comment # 11, my closing remark: I rest my case.

  • Dr Hussein Dreadful

    Warren makes the staggering discovery that politicians in election years are interested in votes.

    Will he next make the equally staggering discovery that the other 6,999,999,999 of us on the planet have known about this phenomenon for a while?

    Here’s a question, Warren: If we “libruls” all have no arguments, and nothing to resort to other than personal attacks, then why are we talking? Why aren’t we just conservatives?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    You’ll like this – Ann Coulter just said that “negroes need guns” because of the “Democratic KKK”.

    I’m fairly sure that Warren would agree with her wholeheartedly, never mind that he would also know quite well that the KKK (such as it is) is strongest in the South…which is solidly Republican.

  • Jet Gardner

    A. Are you sure he knows who Ann Coulter is?
    B. Are you sure he knows what KKK stands for (or if he can spell it)
    C. Of course his comment 11 stands, after all since we’re NOT writing about how every single TAR BABY WAVING, red-blooded, Catholic-pretending-to-be-a-sourthern-baptist-Christian, voting American is a foaming-at-the-mouth Hussein Obama hater like him, then it’s obvious we didn’t read the article right.

    For god’s sake Glenn pay attention to the man, he’s trying to teach us something important!

    Because they know every KKK member will now want it to take to their rallys and coat their crosses with it, I’ll betcha half the southern millionaires are investing in tar futures as we speak!

  • Frivolous D


    Does it not strike you as ironic when you call us kool-aid drinkers that use “liberal tricks” and in the same breath, tell us to stop obfuscating “by attacking the article author.”

    To keep your charge in perspective, of the thousand or so comment words posted prior to yours in #11, you have had two brief sarcasms of your writing skills (#1 & #4), an unflattering, though genuinely constructive writing criticism (yours truly, #9) and only one personal attack (#4) from a commentator who had actually troubled to read your article carefully and put up about 950 of those comment words in a direct address to the article’s content.

    And, don’t forget that you are, in effect, insulting anyone who supports Obama by your insistence with including “Hussein.”

  • Jet Gardner

    Don’t forget Ted Nugent, Friv, you forgot Ted Nugent… he doesn’t like to be ignored and he has guns.

  • Jet Gardner

    But I didn’t address his hatred of Hussein and stupidly concentrated on the subject of his article which was oil speculation.

    I’m so ashamed

  • Frivolous D

    Jet – Yikes! You’re right.

    Re: Ann Coulter. The first time I saw Ann Coulter she sounded so ridiculous that I actually thought that she was a comedienne with a faux-conservative schtick. I also remember how I gave way to horror as I began to realize, “Jesus, this chick’s for real.”

    With commentaries such as her memorable tirade against Canada, she was a true pioneer, blazing paths for the likes of Palin. Lucky us.

  • El Bicho

    “when Rush Limbaugh repeatedly played “Barack the Magic Negro” on his radio show – why, he wasn’t being racist at all!”

    You may not think the song is funny but it’s not racist just because you have a knee-jerk reaction to the word “Negro”. The songs satirizes how Al Sharpton might respond to the LA Times article “Obama the ‘Magic Negro'” by David Ehrenstein.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    El B –

    Maybe you didn’t grow up around racists. I did…and I know racist dog-whistling when I see it.

    There’s a hundred different ways Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh could have said what they wanted to say without bringing the matter of race into it…but they did. They could have said different words than the one that is so close to the n-word…but they didn’t.

    This is dog-whistling for racists – because just like someone blowing that dog whistle can claim that he’s not blowing a whistle because no human can hear it, most people realize that he IS blowing a whistle, and that the ones who are meant to hear it, DO hear it.

    I’m a former racist…and I DO hear it. And just like the dogs hearing that whistle, you can tell those dogs all day long that there’s no whistling…but they know what they hear.

    And so do I.

  • Clav

    As so often happens, you completely missed El Bicho’s point, Glenn.

    Go back and read his post again.

    It’s your ongoing problem with reading comprehension coming to the fore once more…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I read his post right – he (and you, apparently) think there was nothing racist at all in the motives of Coulter and Limbaugh since the song (and Coulter’s quote) were not (in a completely objective world) strictly racist. The world ‘negro’ is NOT in and of itself racist…but what he (and you, apparently) do NOT get is that this is dog-whistle politics, and politics is almost never objective. In the world of politics, nuances and verbal implications are there for a reason. And yes, you do know this.

    That’s why I gave the metaphor that I did – one can’t hear the dog whistle unless one is a dog, or, in my case, a former dog with the same ears that heard the same dog whistle a generation ago. I hope you can’t hear it…but I can, I don’t like it because I know the harm it causes, and I will fight it at every turn.

  • El Bicho


    Maybe you didn’t grow up around people who don’t know what they are talking. I did…and I know it when I see it.

    “There’s a hundred different ways Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh could have said what they wanted to say without bringing the matter of race into it.”

    First off, I have no idea why you lumped Coulter in with Limbaugh since I never mentioned her.

    Second, your statement above reveals you clearly have no idea what you are writing about. The piece in the LA Times was about race with its author putting Obama in the position of the character archetype of Magical Negro, as seen in films such as The Green Mile and The Legend of Beggar Vance, for white voters. The song parodied Al Sharpton’s reaction to that idea since white voters hadn’t see Al the same way as they did Obama. If you want proof, you only have to go so far as the VP and his comments when he referred to Obama’s appeal having to do with his being clean and articulate.

    Feel free to enlighten everyone how to discuss race without discussing race. Is Al Sharpton somehow above being satirized because he’s black? Considering Rush savaged Clinton his entire presidency, why would he not go after another Democratic President the same way?

    That’s great you want to fight racism at every turn, but when you see it everywhere, including where it isn’t, you become Don Quixote attacking windmills you think are giants.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    El B –

    First off, I have no idea why you lumped Coulter in with Limbaugh since I never mentioned her.

    I didn’t say that you did…because I am the one who did, in a reply to Doc Dreadful (comment #22), and he and I were discussing this very subject concerning MIchelle Bachmann’s “tar baby” remark. You, sir, joined in the conversation as is your right…but I’m not going to stop using references that were already part of the conversation simply because you hadn’t used them first.

    Feel free to enlighten everyone how to discuss race without discussing race. Is Al Sharpton somehow above being satirized because he’s black? Considering Rush savaged Clinton his entire presidency, why would he not go after another Democratic President the same way? That’s great you want to fight racism at every turn, but when you see it everywhere, including where it isn’t, you become Don Quixote attacking windmills you think are giants.

    Again, Bachman (since she was referenced earlier), Coulter, and Limbaugh all could have said what they wanted to say without referring to Obama’s color. And as far as your Quixotic reference goes, El B, I RARELY use the “that person’s a racist” accusation. In fact, have you seen me say that Coulter’s a racist? No, you haven’t. How about Bachmann? Nope. I probably have called Limbaugh a racist because he’s got a long and documented track record of race-baiting in public. If I call someone a racist, it’s because their actions have gone beyond simple gaffes and poorly-worded statements.

    If I’m Quixotic, then you’re simply naive to deny the extent of the role that racism plays in America. Or do you think that the almost lily-white makeup of Republican conventions and Tea Party rallies is merely a coincidence? Perhaps you should educate yourself concerning the matter by reading about Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” wherein the entire South switched from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican en masse in the immediate years following the passage of the Civil Rights Act and was the single biggest factor in the rise of the power and influence of the Republican party for the next forty years…and it’s still a major factor.

    Don’t be naive, El B – the proof is all there…unless, that is, you’ve decided that you can’t be wrong on the matter.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And El B –

    The Republican party is NOT racist, and most of its members are NOT racist – and I’ve never said otherwise. But the problem is, the ones that are racist are all too often the ones who comprise the strongest segment of the Republican base.

  • roger nowosielski

    It’s still a hell of an assumption that Limbaugh and company were resorting to a kind of racist “dog whistle” you speak of as being prominent in the Delta or the deep South. They mightn’t have been proud owners of a kennel.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    In the first sentence you seem to be backing up El B and Clavos, but in the second sentence you seem to be making a joke…and the two don’t work well together. Which is it?

  • Clav

    I thought it worked fine. You take yourself too seriously, Glenn…

  • Igor

    #34-Glenn: Anyone can find out for themselves if The Republican party is NOT racist,… by using google to check and see how many black republicans the republican party has sent to congress in the last 40 years, since the Southern Strategy was conceived by the republicans.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    I stand by what I said about the GOP and the majority of its members not being racist. The reason for the dearth of people of color among GOP politicians is that the strongest part of the GOP’s base – the Deep South (which does not include Florida from where Allan West hails) – certainly does have a continuing problem with racism.

    It is the Republican base (backed by the pundits) that is driving the direction of the party as a whole – witness the plethora of anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, and voter-suppression laws passed in states with GOP majorities. Reagan would never have supported any of these.

    But with the rising influence of the GOP base came a rise of the influence of the racists within that base, and sometimes the results show up in interesting ways e.g. even though only half the voters in the Mississippi GOP primary were black, counties with a majority-black population or with a major college broke strongly for Romney, but majority-white counties broke strongly for Santorum.

  • El Bicho

    “Limbaugh…could have said what they wanted to say without referring to Obama’s color.”

    You keep saying that but have yet to prove otherwise in regards to the Magic Negro song.

  • Kyle Hunter

    I thought the discoussion was about the “tar baby” remark, which is far less ambiguous.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    El B –

    Try looking at Limbaugh’s actions in the context of his documented track record of race-baiting (see reference in #33). It’s not good to decide what a person’s motives or personality’s like on one action, but it is not bad to do so when one has that kind of track record.

    Context, El B, Context – not of the song, but of Limbaugh’s career.

  • zingzing

    you know, every time i spy a comment about this damn song, even if i try my damnedest not to read the comment, i get that fucking song stuck in my head. whatever good you think will come of this conversation (and i don’t see much upside really), think about what you’re doing to my poor brain and stop it. just stop it. never mention this horrible, obvious, deeply unoriginal earworm ever again. limbaugh’s a jackass for playing it (he knew what he was up to and he knew he could get away with it), but the construct of the “magic negro” is not 100% racist, it’s a comment on racism. there. argument settled. let us never speak of this again.

  • El Bicho

    Glenn, how about you try looking at your false statements since you don’t understand the context of what you are talking about? It’s apparent by your inability to prove the statements you make when repeatedly asked to do so.

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