Sunday, May 1, 2011

Obama's Putting The O in Oil

Obama's Putting The O in Oil

If you're like me, you're wondering what the hell is going on when you go to the pump and your gas price comes out to be something insanely expensive on your wallet. Well, your awesome president is on the job.

Obama is putting together a task force to tackle this serious issue!
Obama administration eyes energy markets for fraud

(Reuters) - With U.S. gasoline pump prices soaring, the Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a working group of federal agencies to probe potential fraud in the energy markets.

The White House is worried that if average gas prices rise above $4 a gallon, the economic and political fallout could dominate next year's presidential campaign and drown out President Barack Obama's message of economic recovery.

Obama said there was no "silver bullet" to tame gasoline prices, but said he asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to assemble a team of agency officials to "root out" cases of oil market fraud that affect pump prices, including actions by speculators.

"We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," Obama said in prepared remarks to a townhall-style meeting in Nevada.

Earlier, the Justice Department announced the working group, which will include representatives from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Justice and Treasury.

Past attempts by U.S. regulators to investigate widespread gasoline market malfeasance have borne little fruit.

Obama devoted considerable time to the subject of rising gasoline prices this week -- seeking to reassure Americans that there was enough global oil supply and blaming soaring gasoline prices on speculators.


Average U.S. gasoline prices hit $3.84 a gallon last week, the most expensive since August 2008, as oil prices have soared above $100 a barrel. With pump prices already above the key level of $4 a gallon in U.S. cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, Obama faces political pressure to act.

The group, which will be part of the administration's Financial Fraud Task Force, will focus on any manipulation of oil and gas prices, collusion, fraud or other violations of state and federal laws, Holder said in a memo.

It will also examine investor practices, supply and demand factors and the role of speculators and index traders in the oil futures markets, according to his memo sent to the task force members.

A former federal enforcement official applauded the move and said he expected to see swift results.

"This is going to send a very strong signal to speculators and others who are committing malpractices in these markets, that there is a cop on the beat," said Michael Greenberger, a University of Maryland law professor and former senior CFTC official.

But if past efforts are any indication, tracking down manipulation claims will be difficult. The federal government has launched several gasoline price investigations in past years -- all of which yielded no evidence of manipulation or other wrongdoing.

Holder said he was acting on a March 11 request from Obama to look into rising energy prices and that during a subsequent meeting last month with task force members and state attorneys general they discussed pending inquiries in some states.

They also talked about "areas that require additional exploration, including whether there is any evidence of unlawful price manipulation at the supplier level or higher," Holder said in the memorandum released by the Justice Department.
Ha! Obama can't even succeed at his tepid technocratic solutions to fundamental problems. But hey, it's going to be really awesome when Obama throws the public under the bus so that oil companies can make more money. I can't wait. I really really can't wait to watch democratic voters cheer him on while he does it.

But hey, how else do you think he's going to afford any political capital with gas prices the way they are now? This really could just be a shakedown for campaign contributions.

It looks like the task-force President is jumping into action yet again. If I wasn't so sick of this shit, I'd be laughing uncontrollably about it. If it's anything like the Financial Fraud Task Force, I can't wait to see what the results are.

When exactly did "Working groups" take the place of a grand jury and criminal indictments?

I just can't believe that with all this real quantifiable power Obama has, he is perfectly content with doing fake things to appease a populace of easily distracted morons. It's obviously a case where he has no intention of actually sending people who broke the law to jail because those people are really in charge.

What can anyone really expect to come out of all of this digging into how speculators rose the price of gas? I'm sure some low level peons will research a bunch of stuff, then send a report up the chain where that report will be tossed and Obama will urge further another study and probably have a bit of bipartisan effort address this issue. However it won't be a task force any longer. By then it will be an "investigative commission".

All in some effort to look like he gives a shit since it's a campaign season. He already has been getting donors by making some ad libbed remark at some function that republicans were big fat meanie-heads.

If anything is going to get some cuts, it'll be everyone's favorite punching bag - Social Security. In a speech a few weeks ago Obama said he was going to take a scalpel to those programs rather than Ryan's proposed machete and that is what passes for progressive these days. Yes, it's truly a sad world.

Remember when we were going to look into that bailout commission he appointed last year? They took down their website shortly after issuing their report a couple months ago. To be forgotten into the darkness.It was the biggest heist of government money in our country's history and no one even knows this commission existed or that it issued a report a couple months back.

Basically commissions are where crimes go to die. Because apparently, the commissions found no blatant admissions of maleficent forethought and thus ended up repeating what several dozen books written on the crisis have already discussed in detail: That it was a broad, multi-causal crisis with delusion, as opposed to criminality, at its heart.

It's as if Goldman Sachs just said "Honestly, we had no idea... we were being stupid, not evil." So if I was a betting man, I would have to venture a guess that this commission to track down what happened with this oil speculators will go much the same way and by the end of it we'll have a report that sounds like this
"Our investigation has turned up something shocking: Oil prices will continue to rise"
Besides, Obama has bigger fish to fry, don't you know what he's up to next? He's all about making sure the FCC doesn't allow tits to be shown to our children!
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court Thursday to reinstate a policy that allows federal regulators to fine broadcasters for showing nudity and airing curse words when young children may be watching television.

The administration is seeking the high court's review of appeals court rulings that threw out the Federal Communications Commission's rules against the isolated use of expletives as well as fines against broadcasters who showed a woman's nude buttocks on a 2003 episode of ABC's "NYPD Blue."

Last year, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York threw out the FCC policy, saying it was unconstitutionally vague and left broadcasters uncertain of what programming the agency will find offensive. The challenge to the FCC rules arose over celebrities' use of the F-word and S-word on live awards show programs.

It's nice to see Obama sticking up for all of our freedom to not have to see a woman's nude "buttocks" on the boob tube. Because if there's one thing I don't want to see on TV, it's some awesome pair of tits. No sir, you keep that filth of our entertainment networks. I won't have it in my god fearing home and certainly not in my country!

No wait, I was mistaken. I actually want the complete opposite. It would be better if I could see more nude asses on my television.

Then again, what did I ever expect from a liberal nanny state? I say again, fuck this task-force president.

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