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Lawmakers want to end oil shipments to US reserve

May 13th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - Amid daily bipartisan sniping over high gas prices, Democrats and Republicans appear to agree on at least one thing: With oil over $120 a barrel, President Bush ought to stop buying crude for the government emergency reserve.

Both the House and Senate are expected to approve, with bipartisan support, legislation Tuesday directing Bush to temporarily halt the shipment of about 70,000 barrels of oil a day to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Bush has refused to do so, arguing that this small amount of oil won’t impact prices and that for security reasons he wants to increase the stockpile to its full capacity of 726 million barrels. It now has about 701 million barrels, equal to nearly two months of oil imports.

Lawmakers’ search for a response to high gasoline and oil prices comes as Bush is preparing later this week to travel to Saudi Arabia where he is expected to try to convince the Saudis to increase oil production. So far, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries have refused to do so, arguing the high price of oil stems from other factors than a shortage of supply.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to bring up for a vote Tuesday a provision to halt oil shipments to the federal reserve until the end of the year. Senate Republicans said they want shipments halted for six months, but are expected to support the Democratic measure.

The House is taking up a similar provision later in the day that also is expected to get broad support.

By all accounts, the president is standing firm.

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Lawmakers want to end oil shipments to US reserve

I would have thought that by now, at this late stage of the game, the Repubs and Dems in Washington would have caught on, dealing with George W. Bush, and trying to change his mind about anything, is like dealing with a spoiled 3 year old, once that mind is made up, no one is going to change it, he’s The Decider

In the last 7 years Bush has done nothing to alleviate the looming energy crisis, now I have to admit, his hands have been tied by a bunch of ‘greenies‘ and global warming nuts, but Clinton did nothing to alleviate this coming crisis during his 8 years in the White House either, and the same goes for Bush 41 and Reagan, and all that have preceded them for the last 50 years that I know of…

Some conspiracy theorists are floating the idea that maybe Bush is tied in with the Saudis and gets an under the table kickback from them for buying their over priced product, maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, I don’t know and I doubt if I ever will and I am not going to throw accusations out there, especially ones that can’t be backed up and substantiated by fact and not just some theory, but after hearing the report on our local news about this last night, and after hearing the financial and economy people on FOX Business talking about how this could impact the price of gas by actually lowering it by .05 a gallon, well, that may not seem like a lot to Mr. Bush, but he’s not the one that’s having to pay for his gas, we are…

Now I don’t know about you, but a .05 a gallon increase or decrease isn’t going to make or break my personal bank account, but I wouldn’t turn down a decrease, and the economists may be right, a hold on buying oil for the strategic petroleum reserve might very well be a good move, but even if it were the most brilliant business decision ever made, if Bush thinks otherwise, you can forget it, The Decider is not going to change his mind…

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How far down is economy headed?

May 8th, 2008 . by TexasFred

House prices are falling, food and energy prices are rising and consumers are gloomier than they’ve been in decades. But the latest data on the U.S. economy shows it still has a feeble pulse.

So which is it? Are we in the early stages of a full-blown recession? Or is this a brief downturn before the economy gets up another head of steam later in the year?

Though the start of a recession can only be seen in the rear-view mirror, many economists now believe the U.S. economy is close to recession or in one. That’s based largely on a string of monthly reports showing the economy has lost about 260,000 jobs so far this year.

“Since the 1950s we’ve never had a period of four months of job losses without that signaling that we were in a recession,” said Jared Bernstein, senior economist of the Economic Policy Institute. “If and when (a recession is confirmed), it will probably be dated based on these payroll numbers as starting sometime around December or January.”

But other economic signals are flashing yellow, not red. The government recently reported the gross domestic product grew slightly in the first quarter, while generally GDP shrinks in a recession. Last week’s employment report for April showed the economy lost only 20,000 jobs, fewer than in previous months.

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How far down is economy headed?

I’m not an economist, I don’t claim to be but I know what the current financial down turn is doing to us and our money…

Just like all Americans, we’re paying more for food and gas, as well as other items from retailers, and like many Americans, we’re on a fixed income, I am retired and unless we get an across the board increase in benefits, my check is fixed every month, I can’t work a few more hours of overtime to make up the difference in our disposable income…

I do have some investments, and they were growing, and doing quite well until 2007, we lost about $10K on our annuity, and that’s a big hit for someone that isn’t rich, it affects our overall lifestyle, as I am sure my readers are well aware, I know that most of my readers are hard working people too, and many are retirees and in the same boat as we are…

I don’t know what the solution is, my investment guy doesn’t know either, he thinks it’s a hic-up, at least he hopes it is, he has money tied up in ALL the same investments that we do…

The sad part is, none of these interest rate cuts the Fed has initiated have made any real difference so far, other than to affect the earnings of those that live off of their interest, and when it comes to a time when you have to start tapping into your principle, well, it may not be a recession, but it’s pretty close…

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Top US commando says strain of war limits forces elsewhere

May 5th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are making such heavy use of the nation’s Green Berets and other elite warriors that they cannot fulfill their roles in other parts of the world, the military’s top commando told The Associated Press on Monday.

“We’re going to fewer countries, staying for shorter periods of time, with smaller numbers of people than historically we have done,” Adm. Eric T. Olson said in his first interview since becoming commander of U.S. Special Operations Command last July.

Olson, himself a combat veteran, saw little chance that the demand for his special operations forces in Iraq will decline anytime soon. Even as the overall American force there shrinks - from about 158,000 now to about 140,000 by the end of July - the number of special operations forces in the war zone is likely to increase, he said.

More of these specially trained, often secretive forces may be required in Iraq in order to fill a niche role in the development of Iraqi security forces as the number of conventional Army troops goes down, he said.

“Nothing I’ve been told leads me to believe that there will be a reduction” in special operations forces in Iraq, “and the door is always open for an increase in demand, so we’re just trying to prepare for that the best we can,” Olson said.

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Top US commando says strain of war limits forces elsewhere

I sincerely hope the ‘powers that be’ are listening, Spec/Ops guys are stretched, that’s one of the reasons there are so many top shelf ‘private’ contractors out in the field now, our entire military is stretched, and that is a dangerous position to be in…

Special Forces, SEALS, Recon, Rangers and the like are ALL troopers, they can and will fight just like the grunts, when they have to, but that’s not their intent and purpose, it’s called Spec/Ops for a reason, these guys are set up to do things that the average troop will only dream of and civilians think only happens in the movies, garrison life dulls a Spec/Ops warrior, long and drawn out deployments to places like the streets of Baghdad only dull them even more, they have risen above the rather mundane, day to day duties of the regular troops, that’s why they are Spec/Ops…

Our military needs to be expanded but the ‘all volunteer’ system doesn’t generate the numbers needed, it does, or should I say, did generate a more well educated and highly motivate troop but there’s just not enough of them to go around, the guys and gals we DO have are awesome but they need some relief too, not just the Spec/Ops folks, the grunts, the sand and mud Marines, all of them, you can run a good horse to death, and that is something we can’t afford to have happen…

The Army has lowered it’s standards of acceptance as I understand it, they are overlooking minor arrests and drug charges, they are accepting what was once considered to be a less than desirable candidate, and granted, many of these guys turn out to be great troops, some just need a chance at making a new start, but for the most part you’re not finding guys with college degrees hitting it every morning for PT at Benning, enlisted Infantry can’t draw that caliber of soldier…

I have close personal friends and relatives that are soldiers, some full time, some reservists and some are National Guard troops, Guard that’s doing 50% of the work in Iraq and Afghanistan, National Guard troops, and right now our U.S. Army would be up the creek without a paddle if it weren’t for the Guard and their magnificent troops and officers…

But even our Guard troops are stretched now, some are on their 2nd and 3rd deployments, just like the regular troops, the big difference is, these ‘citizen soldiers’ make even more of a sacrifice when they deploy to Iraq or other parts of the world, they leave behind their civilian jobs for months at a time, in most cases jobs that pay them and their families a much higher wage and afford them a much more lavish lifestyle, but they and their families make whatever sacrifices they must make for this nation…

But here’s my big question, what do we do when the regular troops are too exhausted to go?? And then our Guard and Reserves are pushed way past any expected limits of human endurance?? What do we do when our depleted forces are so run down that they just don’t have a lot left to give this nation??

And think about this, the Spec/Ops guys are a small force, and they can do some pretty amazing things, but they can’t take up all the slack that we are leaving out there…

It can happen, our guys and galls will give it a 110% effort, but they can run out of gas, and unless our government has some grand scheme to enlist more volunteers, fresh meat so to speak, we’re either going to have to scale back somewhere or risk the loss of even more troops due to sheer mental burnout and physical exhaustion…

And when the troops are too tired, too sick, too old or they are suffering from severe PTSD and can’t serve anymore, what then?? Do we expect that the V.A. is going to provide for them and take care of them??

You can read all the ‘rah-rah’ so-called military support sites you want to, some serve a great purpose, but some are blowing smoke up your lacy bloomers, that’s not going to happen here, I ask the questions some folks are afraid to ask, I call it when others ’spin’ and tout the Bush administration as the greatest warfighting group America ever had, well folks, most of us know that’s not the truth, we need to listen to these warriors that return from Iraq, Afghanistan and other places, these guys that have dedicated their lives to fighting for this nation, we need to listen when they tell us of the strain, we have to get our forces ‘fresh’ and at full strength, and it just isn’t going to happen in today’s economy…

There ya go, I said it, it’s ALL about the money, and if you doubt it, you aren’t paying attention, folks don’t soldier for the money, they soldier out of dedication, money keeps the ranks running, and sadly, the all American taxpayer is stretched pretty thin right now too…  

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Gov’t Says Gas Prices Could Hit $4

April 8th, 2008 . by TexasFred

NEW YORK (AP) - Retail gas prices could climb as high as $4 a gallon this summer, but prices at such lofty levels will make many Americans think twice about hitting the road this summer, the Energy Department said Tuesday.

High prices and a weak economy are expected to cut demand for gasoline by about 0.4 percent during the peak summer driving season, the department’s Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on petroleum supplies and demand. Overall consumption of petroleum products will drop by 90,000 barrels a day this year. Previously, the EIA had projected petroleum consumption would rise by 40,000 barrels a day.

Average monthly gas prices will peak around $3.60 a gallon in June, the EIA said. However, prices could rise much higher than that at times.

“It is important to note … that even if the national average monthly gasoline price peaks around $3.60 per gallon this summer, it is possible that prices at some point will cross the $4 per gallon threshold,” the EIA said.

The government had previously estimated that average monthly prices would peak near $3.50 a gallon. Many analysts predict prices will peak close to $4 a gallon.

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Gov’t Says Gas Prices Could Hit $4

I guess this pretty much puts the libbers LIE to rest, the one that said Iraq was a ‘War for Oil’, because if it really was all about the oil, then Iraq has been a dismal failure.

I never did buy into the libber BS mantra of ‘War for Oil’, Bush isn’t that smart, he is a vindictive guy though, and that is the reason we’re in Iraq, and in MY opinion, us being in Iraq is the reason OPEC and Company have the price of crude oil at over $100 a barrel, and here’s something else to consider, the U.S. military is being hit HARD by the price of fuel to keep the war machine running, Military feels hit from fuel costs.

We are being bankrupted by the Bush administration and his Debacle in Iraq, and it’s going to get worse, everything you wear, eat, drink or whatever you buy at a store, ANY store, was brought TO that store by a truck, likely a BIG truck, a Class 8 18 wheeler that gets maybe 7 to 7.5 miles per gallon if he is a good driver and keeps his foot out of it, and with 300 gallons of fuel capacity, it takes over $1,000 to fill the fuel tanks so deliveries can continue, and take a guess at WHO is paying for that increased fuel expense.

Yeah, you guessed it, it’s us, ALL of us, you and me, as well as the families of the drivers, and the drivers themselves, ALL of us suffer from this out of control economy and high oil prices and the trickle down costs that are added to the price of goods brought by trucks, the cost have got to be absorbed, passed on to the consumer, and that means higher prices to consumers, or the drivers will not be able to keep on running and making those deliveries, and I am pretty sure that it’s not going to get any better, not any time soon.

Maybe we DO need to take the oil, maybe that would be the best thing to do, at least we would see some real gain and a return on the BILLIONS of tax dollars we’ve wasted in Iraq, but remember this, NO amount of oil will EVER make up for our troops losses.

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Military Tells Bush of Troop Strains

March 26th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - Behind the Pentagon’s closed doors, U.S. military leaders told President Bush Wednesday they are worried about the Iraq war’s mounting strain on troops and their families. But they indicated they’d go along with a brief halt in pulling out troops this summer.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff did say senior commanders in Iraq should make more frequent assessments of security conditions, an idea that appeared aimed at increasing pressure for more rapid troop reductions.

The chiefs’ concern is that U.S. forces are being worn thin, compromising the Pentagon’s ability to handle crises elsewhere in the world.

In the war zone itself, two more American soldiers were killed Wednesday in separate attacks in Baghdad, raising the U.S. death toll to at least 4,003, according to an Associated Press count. Volleys of rockets also slammed into Baghdad’s Green Zone for the third day this week, and the U.S. Embassy said three Americans were seriously wounded. At least eight Iraqis were killed elsewhere in the capital by rounds that apparently fell short.

If past performance is any indicator, the Bush Bot sites will be posting how this story is likely nothing more than another lie designed to denigrate their god, The Bush, and his magnificent warfighting skills.

And those couldn’t have been real rockets hitting the Green Zone, it must have been explosive charges planted by the MSM because the news that’s been coming out of Iraq is just too good, and we all know that the MSM plants stories like this to demoralize the troops and to keep the Bush Bots screaming LIAR and TRAITOR as loud as they can when folks like me post these stories, not to mention, the reports of continues death and destruction show the public what is really going on in Iraq.

The Joint Chiefs are particularly concerned about Afghanistan and an increasingly active Taliban insurgency.

The United States has about 31,000 troops in Afghanistan and 156,000 in Iraq.

And IF we had a president that could actually put at least 2 cognizant thoughts together and not get tongue tied in the process, or commit some other obvious gaff, we might have actually stayed engaged IN Afghanistan and completed that job instead of traipsing off to Iraq on GW’s Big Adventure.

One of the leading advocates of Bush’s troop buildup last year, military historian Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, said in an interview Wednesday that security conditions in Iraq, while better, are not good enough to justify any commitment to troop reductions beyond July.

“The military reality is that it’s virtually inconceivable that it will make sense to draw down below 15 brigades this year,” Kagan said.

Wait, what?? According to the Bush Bots that claim to be in the loop and have access to all sorts of glowing reports, and in some cases have made vague reference to being privy to classified information, everything is just rosy in Iraq and the world is a lovely place, everyone is ready for a group hug and a round of Kumbaya, so you just have to know that this can’t be an accurate story, the Bots have told us otherwise, our troops are being kept in Iraq to train the Iraqis and that’s all, the Surge was a glowing success and everything is just lovely, right??

Mullen and Gates have said repeatedly that in addition to reducing troop levels in Iraq, they want to shorten tour lengths for soldiers from 15 months to 12 months as soon as possible. A decision to do that is expected, perhaps shortly after Bush reaffirms that the number brigades in Iraq will be cut to 15 by July. The Army calculates that at that point it could drop tours to 12 months and still give units at least 12 months at home to recover, retrain and rearm before deploying again.

Former Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said it best, “You don’t go to war with the army you want, you go to war with the army you have” but what do you say about going to war when you don’t have to, and in the ensuing process, wearing your army down to a point where inefficiency is the order of the day and funding for that war is bleeding your citizens dry??

I also have to wonder, will the same people that blasted ME for saying things were NOT as advertised in Iraq do the same to Kagan for speaking the truth?? Will there be a cry that these people are traitors?? Are the DoD guys fake military officers?? Are the stories coming from the Pentagon coming from professional writers that are being paid by the word and only write in an effort to disrespect America??

Some people are so blinded by their desire to support The Bush that they just can’t look at any opposing opinion, they can’t stand it when their fantasy lover is shown as the lackluster, and less than desirable leader that he really is as we continue to be consumed by his Debacle in Iraq.

None of our leaders can agree on the best way to handle the Debacle in Iraq either, an all around consensus is needed but I seriously doubt that one will be reached, there are too many opinions and egos in play, and the most powerful, and possibly the most destructive ego is that of the president himself.

Ask yourself these questions and post your ideas and opinions in the comments section and tell me how, in your opinion, do we end the Debacle in Iraq, and do so with a victory for us and the Iraqi people, and end it while maintaining at least some honor. Do we send in more troops and just blast the hell out of anything that even remotely looks like an insurgent? Do we withdraw and leave Iraq on it’s own? Do we maintain a long term presence and carry on as we have, waiting, hoping and praying that the Iraqis will find the guts to stand on their own and stave off the insurgent hordes of radical Islam?

I have an idea that we’re going to be in Iraq for many years to come and we’ll spend countless more BILLIONS, perhaps even into the TRILLIONS of U.S. tax dollars on this ill-advised undertaking and we will likely lose many more fine young troops in this audacious adventure.

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Military Tells Bush of Troop Strains

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Authors Note: Bold and Italics in the original story were made by me to highlight certain words and/or phrases.

Oil Futures Rise to $100 a Barrel

January 2nd, 2008 . by TexasFred

NEW YORK (AP) - Oil prices soared to $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time ever, reaching that milestone amid an unshakeable view that global demand for oil and petroleum products will continue to outstrip supplies.

Surging economies in China and India fed by oil and gasoline have sent prices soaring over the past year, while tensions in oil producing nations like Nigeria and Iran have increasingly made investors nervous and invited speculators to drive prices even higher.

Violence in Nigeria helped give crude the final push over $100. Bands of armed men invaded Port Harcourt, the center of Nigeria’s oil industry Tuesday, attacking two police stations and raiding the lobby of a major hotel. Word that several Mexican oil export ports were closed due to rough weather added to the gains, as did a report that OPEC may not be able to meet its share of global oil demand by 2024.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery rose $4.02 to $100 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to Brenda Guzman, a Nymex spokeswoman, before slipping back to $99.48.

Crude prices, which have flirted with $100 for months, have risen in recent days on supply concerns exacerbated by Turkish attacks on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq and falling domestic inventories. However, post-holiday trading volumes were about 50 percent of normal Wednesday, meaning the price move was likely exaggerated by speculative buying.

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Oil Futures Rise to $100 a Barrel

Why we are so reliant on foreign oil is no secret, up until now it was cheaper and the government didn’t have to piss off the tree huggers but we are now in a position that drilling and refining in America is an urgent issue…

We have oil, plenty of oil, but the environmentalists have all but stopped offshore drilling, and have severely curtailed onshore drilling as well, and in the process, are holding America hostage to these oil producing nations that are run by militant insurgencies and Islamic moonbats, and we are making them mega-rich…

Domestic oil production can and must be increased, we have huge resources off the coasts of California and Florida, and the east coast as well, we can produce oil here, in the USA, for many years to come, and maybe during that time a viable alternative will be found, and speaking strictly for me, taking money away from the Nigerians, the Arabs, Chavez, Mexico and a few others isn’t a bad idea…

Do you think we’ll ever have a POTUS and Congress with the balls to get that job done??

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Bush Says US Economy Is Safe and Sound

December 17th, 2007 . by TexasFred

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - President Bush worked to reassure Americans on Monday about the economy but said “there’s definitely some storm clouds and concern” because of the nation’s credit crunch and mortgage problems.

“But the underpinning is good,” Bush told business and community leaders at a gathering of Rotary Club members.

“We’ve had a pretty good economic run,” the president said in a speech intended to show he is aware of the public’s edgy mood these days. Consumer confidence has eroded as turmoil in the housing and credit market have battered the economy.

Bush tried to position himself as an advocate for working families by taking aim at his favorite target: the Democratic Congress.

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Bush Says US Economy Is Safe and Sound

The economy has been the one thing that Bush hasn’t drawn a lot of criticism over in recent times, the economy has been very good but the stock market is going through a highly volatile stage right now, huge swings, mood swings maybe??

In any case, Bush needs to be very careful about what he says, how he says it and when he says it, his enemies have a way of striking at times when Bush has given them the biggest invitation..

Does ‘bring it on’ bring back any memories?? He told the insurgents to ‘bring it on’ and they did…

If he says the economy is ’safe and sound’ it tends to make me worry, I have calls in to my wealth management folks now, and the calls aren’t being returned…

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