Who’s blaming Obama for high gas prices?

Five dollars per gallon of gas by 2012! A former president of Shell Oil considers this likely.

The average price on Christmas Day for a gallon of regular gas reached $3.28 in Los Angeles County, the highest price since October 2008. In one month, the price rose 13 cents, up 35 cents year to year.

Where are the calls to sic Obama’s Justice Department on Big Oil to hold the oil companies accountable for “market manipulation”? Why aren’t we hunting down the amoral “oil speculators” responsible for repealing the law of supply-and-demand in order to line their pockets?

During President George W. Bush’s administration, we constantly heard demands to hold the President accountable for “Big Oil’s price gouging.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., just two years ago, knew exactly whom to blame for “skyrocketing” oil prices:

“The price of oil is at the doorstep; $4-plus per gallon for oil is attributed to two oilmen in the White House and their protectors in the United States Senate.”

In 2007, when the average national price ranged from $2.17 to $3.22, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., demanded that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Big Oil for “price manipulation.” In 2008, presidential candidate Obama urged the Justice Department “to open an investigation into whether energy traders have been engaged in illegal activities that have helped drive up the price of oil and food.”

Obama also called for “a windfall profits penalty on oil selling at or over $80 per barrel.” As of Christmas 2010, a barrel of oil sold at slightly above $90. What happened to the windfall profits tax?

Yes, back then the average price per gallon was four bucks. But blaming “oilman” Bush for high prices began when the average price was well below today’s $3.05 national average.

The average price was $1.72 on March 5, 2003, when CBS News posted a story online with this headline: “Dems Blame Bush For High Oil Prices.” It referred to an investigative report by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Levin blamed Bush’s post-9/11 decision to increase the amount of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 40 million barrels in 2002 — bringing the total to 600 million.

Read more here.

2010: The Year of the Tea Party

The grassroots conservative political movement made its clout felt the entire year, from the healthcare reform debate to GOP primaries and the general election last month.

Senior Democrats, ranging from Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.), aggressively attacked the Tea Party in the lead-up to the midterms, hoping that doing so would soften losses to the GOP. House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and other Republicans embraced the movement, believing its energy would benefit their party at the polls.

In the end, the Tea Party was in many ways a net asset for the GOP as Republicans grabbed control of the House and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate.

However, there was collateral damage as Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) and other Senate GOP hopefuls seen as the party’s best chance of winning general-election races were ousted in primaries. Some blamed Tea Party candidates for costing Republicans a Senate majority to go with their new majority in the House.

Frances Fox Piven Rings in The New Year By Calling for Violent Revolution

She’s considered by many as the grandmother of using the American welfare state to implement revolution. Make people dependent on the government, overload the government rolls, and once government services become unsustainable, the people will rise up, overthrow the oppressive capitalist system, and finally create income equality. Collapse the system and create a new one. That‘s the simplified version of Frances Fox Piven’s philosophy originally put forth in the pages of The Nation in the 60s.

Now, as the new year ball drops, Piven is at it again, ringing in 2011 with renewed calls for revolution.

In a chilling and almost unbelievable editorial again in The Nation (”Mobilizing the Jobless,” January 10/17, 2011 edition), she calls on the jobless to rise up in a violent show of solidarity and force. As before, those calls are dripping with language of class struggle. Language she and her late husband Richard Cloward made popular in the 60s.

“So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs?” she writes. “After all, the injustice is apparent. Working people are losing their homes and their pensions while robber-baron CEOs report renewed profits and windfall bonuses. Shouldn’t the unemployed be on the march? Why aren’t they demanding enhanced safety net protections and big initiatives to generate jobs?” [Emphasis added]

Those are the questions that frame what can best be called a roadmap for revolution. And it’s not long before those questions give way to directions. The first instruction: get angry.

Read more here.

Oil’s surge in 2010 paves the way for $4 gasoline

The price of oil is poised for another run at $100 a barrel after a global economic rebound sent it surging 34 percent since May. That could push gasoline prices to $4 a gallon by summer in some parts of the country, experts say.

Flying, shipping a package and ordering a pizza all likely would get more expensive in the new year if that happens and companies pass along higher energy costs. Some economists say rising energy prices will slow economic growth.

The U.S. is the world’s largest oil consumer, but prices since spring have been on a roll primarily because of rising demand in developing countries, especially China. China’s oil consumption is expected to rise 5 percent next year; that compares with less than 1 percent growth forecast for the U.S.

Benchmark oil for February delivery rose $1.54 on Friday to end the year at $91.38 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It reached $92.06 earlier in the day, the highest since Oct. 6, 2008. Nationwide gasoline pump prices now average $3.072 per gallon.

Gasoline expert Fred Rozell predicts that 15 states — including Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut and Rhode Island — will see gasoline prices top $4 a gallon by Memorial Day. “A dollar more per gallon isn’t that much — probably about $750 more per year for each motorist, but there’s a psychological aspect to gas prices,” he said. “People are going to be up in arms about this.”

Read more here.