Oil & Gas Prices
Rachel Maddow gave covering fire for President Obama on her MSNBC show on Thursday over his initial decision to stay in Martha's Vineyard instead of visiting flood-stricken Louisiana. Maddow spotlighted the "scathing editorial" from a Lousiana newspaper criticizing the Democrat over the move, but defended the President by pointing a finger at former Governor Bobby Jindal.
If form holds, the Democratic Party's presidential candidates in the U.S. will continue to spout various forms of socialism and class warfare as the answers to this nation's woes in hopes of buying enough "free stuff" votes to hang on to the White House.
Venezuela's apparent imminent economic collapse poses a problem for this strategy. The country's problems are the direct result of 15 years of socialism gone wild at the hands of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. So how is the left-favoring press going to handle the meltdown? If coverage of that nation's recent gas-price hike at the Los Angeles Times is any indication, they'll avoid describing the country as "socialist," and they'll try to downplay the unfolding disaster as much as possible.
When gas prices were high, the media pumped their shows with stories about profit. But when prices were low, those stories took a back seat.
In 2015, gas prices tumbled from a high of $2.80 in June to a low of $2 in December after a glut in supply flooded the market. BP and Exxon reportedly lost billions in profit last year, and according to The Telegraph, oil prices crashed into 2016 with depths not seen since the housing crisis.
The Associated Press may be down to one person in the whole wide world who will tell its economics reporters what they want to hear when the federal government releases economic data. That's what you almost have to conclude after reading the wire service's reports on two of Thursday's major releases, namely last week's initial unemployment claims and December's durable goods orders and shipments.
The only outside source AP reporters Christopher Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger consulted in their respective reports about initial claims and durables was one Ian Shepherdson, chief economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics. Naturally, Sheperdson was sunnyside-up despite relatively troubling news in each area.
Morning Joe Tuesday featured a discussion with Bill Nye, known as the Science Guy from his television days, and his new book, “Unstoppable.” The book is about getting America to lead on fighting Climate Change, particularly in transitioning from fossil fuels to wind and solar energy. Scarborough on Climate Change, threw to Nye, about the signficance of China and other developing countries on carbon emissions, and how America can affect their contributions, not just our own.
Daily Beast correspondent Eleanor Clift has decided the law of supply and demand makes no sense, at least not when it comes to economics. It's difficult to avoid concluding that Eleanor Clift makes no sense, economically or otherwise.
A weekly panelist on The McLaughlin Show, Clift was a lonely voice for irrationality on the program this weekend, arguing in favor of an anachronistic ban on US oil exports imposed during the mid-'70s.
It would appear that Hillary Clinton's act is wearing thin even among the people at that liberal bastion known as NPR.
Tuesday afternoon, the headline at an NPR story about Mrs. Clinton's sudden decision to publicly announce her opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline project indicated that her announcement was deliberately timed to coincide with Pope Francis's visit to the United States (HT Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media):
You wouldn't know it from reading the national coverage by the Associated Press or stories at the Los Angeles Times, but California Governor Jerry Brown and his fellow far-left Democratic Party environmentalists suffered significant setbacks last week.
How bad? So bad that the Times editorial board accused "a new crop of moderate Democratic legislators" of succumbing to "oil industry propaganda." What really happened is that enough Democrats to make a difference looked at the impact of Brown's pet pieces of legislation on the state's economy and job market and said, "No mas."
As Venezuela's Chavista economy under Nicolas Maduro continues to crumble, the Associated Press and others in the media to describe its problems as if they came out of nowhere instead of originating with its statist, oppressive government.
Examples follow the jump.
Tonight's report at the Associated Press in the wake of Wall Street's disastrous day isn't quite an Animal House moment — "Remain Calm! All Is Well!" — but it's more than fair to say that the wire service's Matthew Craft and Bernard Condon allowed quite a bit of wishful thinking into their writeup.
In late June, I noted that the AP's Ken Sweet asked a very important question about China ("IS THERE A POINT WHERE I SHOULD GET WORRIED?"), and failed to answer it. He also claimed that "The biggest concern is whether the drop in China's stock market will cause the country's economy to slow." The headline and opening sentence in tonight's AP dispatch attempted to maintain that false appearance (bolds are mine):
In Monday evening’s edition of network bias by omission, CBS and NBC neglected to stories concerning a data breach of American taxpayers at the scandal-ridden IRS and the Obama administration finally giving approval for a major oil company to begin oil drilling in the Arctic off Alaska’s coast. Surprisingly, ABC’s World News Tonight picked up the pieces and provided their viewers with coverage of a full segment on the IRS breach and a brief on the future of drilling in the Arctic.
In a Wednesday column, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman extended his odd obsession with raising the gas tax into the 2016 Republican presidential debate. But Friedman will have a hard time convincing Republicans to listen if he keeps throwing around insults, like describing the party's donors and supporters as embracing the "angry anti-science, anti-tax, anti-government, anti-minorities, anti-gay rights and anti-immigration views of the Tea Party and its media enforcer, Fox News."