The Deflationary Death Spiral Has Begun

Oil down.  Euro down.

Deflation is such a theoretical concept.  It should be called "Saving".

You save when you think prices are going down.  And, gosh almighty, they go down!

To prove me wrong, you have to point to an area where prices, in dollars, are going up.

Housing?  The stock market?  Try harder.

A key question: when US consumers get a taste of the benefits of not having to spend as much money on oil this winter, are they going to blow it all at the mall?   Not so much.

[We're still sinking on Friday. Guess people don't want to be long over the weekend. The theory that this is all an interest rate scare because of good economic news will certainly be put to the test. Hope it's right!]

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GOP Graft Costs American Consumers

One of the most often heard retorts to criticisms of the oil and pharmaceutical industries made by progressives is that they will oppose these companies no matter what, that they are maligning them in a knee-jerk way, that they are opposed to American companies making a profit. These retorts also often embedded with the notion that for all of the attacks, these companies are providing necessities for today's society: in the case of pharmaceuticals, new drugs that can help save countless lives; in the case of oil companies, the energy needed to make our world run.

There may be some truth in these arguments. At the least, they might sound plausible to the outsider's ear, which is as important as almost anything else. Yet while this is the case, these arguments also hide the larger, more profound truth: pharmaceutical and oil companies are putting profits above all else -- even their customers -- and are fleecing the federal government, and thus the American people. Two new federal studies show the extent of this. First, The New York Times' Edmund L. Andrews reports on an investigation that the Bush administration has fought long and hard to keep out of the public eye.

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Obama vs. ISG: Yes Blood For Oil!

Cross-posted from Patterns That Connect

On Dec 04, Chris Bowers wrote a post, "The Two Obamas and Me, Part One" which contrasted the principle-driven Obama who first inspired tremendous netroots support with the compromise-driven Obama who now seems intent on demonizing the very people who helped get him his start.  One example Chris cited of the second Obama was this:

In town-hall meetings, when those who opposed the war get shrill, Obama makes a point of noting that while he, too, opposed the war, he's "not one of those people who cynically believes Bush went in only for the oil."
Chis followed up:
Did anyone with any power every say that? Did any leading Democrats ever say that? Did any progressive or liberal of any public stature ever say that? If they did, I'd love to see the quote.
Well, now it appears that someone has come quite close to saying that: The Baker/Hamilton Iraq Study Group (ISG).  Privatizing Iraq's oil is one of their fundamental recommendations--regardless of what the Iraqis want.  Democracy--well, that was always an afterthought.

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The United States' Manic Phase is Nearly Over

Read this post on the Oil Drum: 5/17243/2556#more

The slope of the curve is unsustainable.  When Americans realize that they cannot drive more and more every year, they are going to become very depressed.

Recall that someone has superimposed the graph of Prozac usage and asset prices in the United States.  It is the same graph.  Recall also that gasoline is an asset.

1929 is going to look like a Pre-School field trip.

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I gotcher Obama right here sucka...

Forget the personality stuff...the I hate Obama mantra from the netroots...the netroots need to focus on the issues and the people who are on the right side of the issues.

1. Voting - we need to clean it up and get more people voting since progressive issues do better the more people vote.  Kerry, Wyden and Obama sponsored a bill to fund voting by mail which solves a whole raft of voting issues, machine issues, turnout issues, etc.

2. Oil/Energy - we need to cut our oil use and eliminate oil imports via conservation and new technology are key.  Obama voted for the 40mpg standard and for hybrid car incentive for US industry.

3. Iraq - get out. US will be out before 2008 election so candidates who have track record saying don't go in are the ones to have. Obama one of the few who spoke up while running for office and said don't go in.

4. Civil rights.  We need to get back right of habeas corpus. Obama has spoken out on restoring habeas corpus taken away by Patriot Act.

Those are some of the key issues that US needs to address.

Hey...lookitthat...Obama's a leader on all of them...and he's charismatic and he can articulate the issues and he appeals across party lines.

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