Republican Presidential Primary Open Thread

By Loudoun Insider

I missed writing anything about the most recent contests in Michigan and Arizona, both won by Romney.  It looks like Romney has cleared a bit of a hurdle and squashed some of his opponents’ momentum with those wins with Super Tuesday right around the corner.  Feel free to discuss and argue amongst yourselves.


  • BlackOut says:

    I like the litmus test: who would you want to have a beer with?

    I am still thinking….

  • Newt? Newt?

    Bueller? Bueller?

  • NateDogg614 says:

    I’m voting for Romney in the VA Primary.

    I’m voting for the Republican nominee (whoever that is) in the General Election.

    No matter how many ads I see, how many mailings I get, or how many Obama supporters come to my door asking for me to vote for him (and I would not be surprised if Loudoun County residents get hammered with all of these between now and early November) I am not going to do otherwise.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    Romney wins the nomination, imo, which in and of itself is something of a victory from my perspective. I will be voting Obama in November but if the worst I have to face will be a Romney win (especially after he pivots back to the center)…okay with that.

    I think Romney will lose, however, to Obama. He is just another Bob Dole or John Kerry.

  • AFF says:

    Republican Presidential candidates= Barack Obama reelection committee.

    The question that comes to mind- how could they be any worse?

    Romney wins nomination but fails to gain traction in the general, dragging down the bottom of the ticket

  • BlackOut says:

    AFF, that’s assuming Romney doesn’t pick Palin as his VP to come in and save the day.

  • AFF says:

    Palin’s negatives are so high I believe that her presence would be enough to flip the House.
    I’ll tell you one thing- best election cycle ever. I don’t know how it could be more entertaining than it already is

  • At the risk of sounding a little confused. What in God’s name is the resounding logic for voting for Obama in November?

    BTW, RIP, Andrew Breitbart. Even if you hated him, a 43 yr old husband of father of 3 dying suddenly is never cool:

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    LC, economy on rebound, bin Laden dead, country secure, DADT eliminated, social issues dead, on balance I will take that over what the R’s are selling.

  • NoMoreSecrets says:

    I am voting for Ron Paul…he is TRULY conservative…not a pseudo conservative!

  • AFF says:

    I will be voting for Ron Paul too. I don’t think he will break 20% but you never know.

  • Troll

    $5 a gallon gas, world-wide apology tour, debt levels = Greece, Iran with a bomb. A ham sandwich would beat Obama.

  • BlackOut says:

    Clarke, do you think it possible to have an opinion that is not formed by the brainwashing zombie rays that come from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh?

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    I guess it is no surprise, but I am in for Ron Paul over Mitt Romney in VA.

  • Liz Miller says:

    Greece is Obama’s fault? Amazing. Iran’s been working on a bomb under at least 5 presidents.

    And gas prices are the oil companies’ fault. Look Arcturus record profits.

  • In fact, gas prices are Obama’s fault. Here’s why

    Oil futures are used by speculators as a hedge against inflation and have little to do with the actual supply or demand of crude. When folks see insane deficit spending and the onevitable inflation that omes with it, those futures, and the price of oil, go up.

  • By the way, Liz, did you get your March edition of Northern Virginia magazine?

  • liz says:

    Re: NV Mag, nope.

    Re: Gas and Obama, I didn’t make the mistake of blaming Bush for high gas prices when he was President, and I’m not making the mistake of blaming Obama now. It’s the oil companies.

    And Clarke? Where are you seeing gas for $5 a gallon? Most expensive I’ve seen for premium (which I never buy), is $4.07.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    Lloyd, you are too smart to try to make the argument that speculators are running up the price of oil as a hedge against inflation. That is something Clarke Con would try.

  • Ben Dover says:

    “A ham sandwich would beat Obama.”

    Well this seems as good a time as any to ask people to put their money where their mouth is (for the sake of charity, that is). Clark Conservative, if you believe that the R nominee is going to win in November, how about putting a Benjamin on that prediction?

    Hmmm? How about it?

  • clarke conservative says:

    Blackout – That funny since the majority of commentators on this website espouse more liberal ‘group think’ than the Daily Kos.

    I am still trying to figure out why it is called “Too Conservative – A Northern Virginia Republican Viewpoint”?

    How about a little truth in advertising?

  • Eric, first of all, I’m not too smart for anything.

    Second, take a look at the numerous articles about hedging inflation with crude. Here are two to start.

    And for a discussion of the correllation between oil hedging and the price of gasoline, go here.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    I don’t really know a whole lot of folks who use /CL to hedge against inflation, unless they own or are obligated for forward delivery of the underlying (airlines, etc.). Traders that speculate in those contracts for the most part are riverboat gamblers and gunslingers, not people trying to hedge their business. You only need look at the storage capacity in Cushing and compare that to the number of outstanding contracts (this ratio usually runs about 10:1) to figure that one out.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    Very good, Lloyd. The first two articles discuss the futures market and its legitimate uses. The use of futures contracts to hedge against inflation and rising and falling commodity prices IS what they are there for. That is why they are important to our economy.

    The second article accurately tells us how speculators moved to them and took advantage of the lack of governmental oversight (as a result of the Bush era failings) to manipulate these vehicles to drive up oil prices for their own benefit. It has been happening since 2000 (as the article accurately conveys).

    Here are some key points from that article:

    “­As in all cases, Wall Street heard the word “bet” and flocked to futures, taking the market to strange new places on the fringe of legality.”

    “Despite U.S. petroleum reserves being at an eight-year high, the price of oil rose dramatically beginning in 2006. While demand rose, supply kept pace. Yet, prices still skyrocketed. This means that the laws of supply and demand no longer applied in the oil markets. Instead, an artificial market developed.” (Aside: So much for he “drill baby drill argument”)

    “A speculator purchasing vast futures at higher than the current market price can cause oil producers to horde their commodity in the hopes they’ll be able to sell it later on at the future price. This drives prices up in reality — both future and present prices — due to the decreased amount of oil currently available on the market”.

    “Investment firms that can influence the oil futures market stand to make a lot; oil companies that both produce the commodity and drive prices up of their product up through oil futures derivatives stand to make even more. Investigations into the unregulated oil futures exchanges turned up major financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. But it also revealed energy producers like Vitol, a Swiss company that owned 11 percent of the oil futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange alone.”

    “The CFTC was established by Congress in 1974 specifically to prevent speculation from artificially inflating the price of commodities. Over time, its powers were slowly stripped.”

    “The CFTC gave up more regulatory power in early 2006 when it allowed the Intercontinental Exchange to install terminals in the United States [source: Engdahl]. Up to that point, only OTC speculators could trade outside of CFTC oversight. But once the commission allowed U.S. futures to be traded on ICE, rather than only on NYMEX, the CFTC lost its ability to regulate even formal exchanges. Once traded on ICE, an American futures derivative fell out of the jurisdiction of the CFTC. The convergence of the Enron loophole and the establishment of ICE meant the CFTC could no longer accurately police speculators who sought to drive up energy prices through futures speculation.” (Aside: Note this was under Bush).

    “But a report issued the following September contradicted the IEA report, pointing to correlations between the influx of money in oil futures markets and the rising cost of oil. The price of oil doubled, tripled and eventually quadrupled in step with the increase from $13 billion to $260 billion in the market from 2003 to 2008 [source: U.S. Senate].” (The result of the Bush deregulation…)

    “In response to calls for better regulation of oil futures, Congress introduced the Consumer-First Energy Act in May 2008. The bill would have extended CFTC oversight to foreign markets, but the act died on the Senate floor the following June.” (Note: that would be REPUBLICANS that killed that bill)

    Ending with this sad note…

    “After the bill was defeated, the argument over oil speculation changed focus. No longer was the debate over what caused oil prices to rise beginning in 2006, but how long the United States would allow speculation to continue.”

    I think it continues to this day, wouldn’t you say?

    Now as to your contention that speculation is in response to inflation hedging, would not you then expect the run up in crude prices since 2000 to reflect a parrellel run up in inflation if this were true? Is that what happened? I don’t think so, Lloyd.

    In summary, the article shows that inflation hedging has had nothing to do with run up in crude prices (which has driven gasoline prices). Further it shows there is no shortage in crude supplies from a proven reserve basis. Any shortage in crude is artificial and results from speculators manipulating the market. Finally, it demonstrates that the ability for speculators to manipulate the market and drive up gas prices for us all to their profit is a result of Republican deregulation under Bush and stonewalling legislation in the Senate.

    Thanks for the article, Llyod.

  • My use of the term “hedging” was inartful. I should have said “betting.” Speculators drive up the price of crude because they are betting that oil prices will go high because of inflation.

    Eric, I’m not going to bother to refute who’s wrong (or whether it’s even wrong at all) in not regulating oil futures because the fact remains that the economic uncertainty caused by Obama’s policies and his administation’s reckless spending is what is fueling the speculation.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    “Finally, it demonstrates that the ability for speculators to manipulate the market and drive up gas prices for us all to their profit is a result of Republican deregulation under Bush and stonewalling legislation in the Senate.”

    Which conveniently ignores the fact that your team has had three + years to bring some sanity to the marketplace but has failed miserably. Not to mention that there are many, many things that can be done with the stroke of a pen to torch excessive speculators. It must rock to live in an alternate reality.

  • mosborn says:

    “Eric, I’m not going to bother to refute who’s wrong (or whether it’s even wrong at all) in not regulating oil futures because the fact remains that the economic uncertainty caused by Obama’s policies and his administation’s reckless spending is what is fueling the speculation.”

    Hasn’t every important economic indicator been trending up for the last 6 months or so? If economic uncertain was driving oil ffutures, wouldn’t they mirror the economy and be dropping?

    The fact is that domestic production hit an 8 year high last year (that includes the last term of a Texan Republican btw). Makes the “It’s Obama’s fault” argument hard to swallow.

    You can continue to call your theory “fact”, but that doesn’t actually MAKE it fact.

  • liz says:

    Perhaps our team would have done more about it if your team hadn’t been concentrating on uteruses.

    Jobs and taxes, right? Jobs and taxes?

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “A ham sandwich would beat Obama.”

    This chart says that this conclusion MIGHT just be a bit premature.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “Speculators drive up the price of crude because they are betting that oil prices will go high because of inflation.”

    Two things. First, no, speculators drive up the price of crude because they are betting that their speculation will continue to drive oil prices higher – NOT because of inflation. My proof? Simple, they have been doing it since 2000 (that’s 12 years, Lloyd) there has been absolutely no inflation – so why are oil prices continuing to climb? And sorry Lloyd they are not buying 20 year contracts.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    Tell me, does Obama get credit for this chart, Cato?

  • TCJohnson says:

    So instability in the middle east and in Europe aren’t also affecting gas prices?

    Should also be noted that the highest average gas prices were under president Bush in 2008.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    Compared with the five-year average, heating costs for We Energies customers are projected to be 27% lower this year and $300 less than for the record high winter of 2007-’08.

    Natural gas prices were at a record under Bush – but now under Obama they are 27% lower. Right, Cato? Why is that?

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “Which conveniently ignores the fact that your team has had three + years to bring some sanity to the marketplace but has failed miserably. Not to mention that there are many, many things that can be done with the stroke of a pen to torch excessive speculators.”

    Average annual crude prices rose from $27.39 in 2000 to $91.48 in 2008. In 2011 it was 87.04.

    So why weren’t the “many, many things” done by the Republican administration’s pen, Cato?

  • Cato the Elder says:

    Stop deflecting and start issuing permits.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “Stop deflecting and start issuing permits.”

    Where do you think all that gas is coming from, Cato? The Congress?

    If I were deflecting I would start talking about how only under the Obama administration has there been any new nuclear reactors approved since 1978. Relevant but deflecting.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “Stop deflecting and start issuing permits.”

    Shallow water: To date, 114 new shallow water well permits have been issued since the implementation of new safety and environmental standards on June 8, 2010. Just 5 of these permits are currently pending; with 11 having been returned to the operator for more information

    Deepwater permits requiring subsea containment: Since an applicant first successfully demonstrated containment capabilities in mid-February 2011, we have approved 312 of these permits for 94 unique wells, with 30 permits pending, and 14 permits returned to the operator with requests for additional information, particularly information regarding containment.

    Deepwater activities not requiring subsea containment: Since the implementation of new safety and environmental standards, 61 of these permits have been approved, with 3 permits pending, and 0 permits returned to the operator with requests for additional information. These activities include water injection wells and procedures using surface blowout preventers.

    BTW, Cato, by “to date” they mean the new permits SINCE the Deepwater Horizon incident.

  • TCJohnson says:

    “Stop deflecting and start issuing permits.”

    They have been.

    Around 2010 Obama issued a moratorium on new drilling rigs. In October 2010 this moratorium was lifted. Sine then 114 shallow-water permits for new wells have been issued and 312 deep water permits have been issued.


  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    In case you weren’t counting, Cato, that would mean that of the 520 applications for permits, they have approved 94%, returned 5% for more information, and have a mere 1% pending. Do you think you could do better?

  • TCJohnson says:

    Dang it Eric, if Bush was still in office there would be 0% returned!

  • Pragmatist says:

    Add me to the “Obama wins” category and I’m happy to put a Benjamin on the line.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    “do you think you could do better?”

    Why yes, yes I do. Open up ANWR. Aggressively issue *exploration* permits. Give me one week and the power of the pen and crude will be 80 bucks and speculators would be bleeding from every orifice.

  • Dan says:

    Speculation is not necessarily a dirty word. Besides, I don’t know how you eliminate it from the marketplace.

    It isn’t evil to look at all the nitwit politicians doing their phony tough guy acts and saber rattling with regard to Iran and conclude that the price of a barrel of oil might go up because of it and to place a bet accordingly. And if, as was pointed out, you run an airline you have a genuine need to protect yourself from those rising prices.

    I think people often confuse speculation in a market with manipulation of the market. They are two entirely different things. Now, if Cato wants to make those engaged in manipulation of the market bleed I am all for that.

    I suppose you could open ANWR, drill off the California coast again, start work on Keystone XL tomorrow and say all other considerations be damned. But unless you are willing to become some sort of socialist and tell the oil companies they can’t sell it on the world market for the highest price it will bring then there is no reason to expect that oil to stay here in our domestic market.

    While drill, baby drill sounds great to simpletons like $arah Payme and it makes a dandy bumper sticker, even doing all the things I mentioned probably won’t have much of a short term impact on the price of a gallon of gas. And there are other considerations to take into account. Some that also have national security implications.

    Decreasing our dependence on foreign oil (which we have done a bit over the last few years) has national security implications. It would be nice to stop fighting all these wars that are NOT (wink,wink) about oil. But before we build Keystone (which I believe we should) we might want to take a couple minutes to reconsider the route. Oil pipelines leak. In time ALL oil pipelines leak. Until you can get Jeebus to design and build the things I imagine that will always be true. Destroying the Ogallala Acquifer would have pretty severe implications for our country and national security too. And if the oil that travels through that pipeline simply is shipped overseas we might not think that is such a swell bargain.

    I’m old enough to remember the 1970s Arab oil embargo and being pissed off the first time a tank of gas cost me $7. Outrageous! And in the intervening decades the United States has lacked any semblance of a coherent energy policy. I know people like to laugh about Jimmy Carter putting solar panels on the roof of the White House. But since Reagan ripped them down and essentially said “Energy policy? We don’t need no stinkin’ energy policy!” we haven’t taken any steps to deal with an obvious problem that was staring us in the face. Maybe we could take our heads out of the sand and start formulating some sort of rational energy policy at this late date.

    What am I saying? We have much more important things to do. Like giving full citizenship rights to zygotes and getting the government into women’s vaginas.

  • Dan says:

    That last comment was terribly off topic. Sorry.

    Here’s hoping for a mixed result on Super Tuesday that keeps this show going.

    Blingrich wins Georgia.

    Screech Santorum wins Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

    Thurston Howell III wins Massachusetts and Vermont.

    Paul wins the caucuses in Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota.

    That leaves Virginia. I’m counting on all the Newt and Screech supporters to join the Paul supporters in keeping Romney from winning Virginia. Let’s keep this thing going all the way to Tampa!

  • Cato the Elder says:

    “I suppose you could open ANWR, drill off the California coast again, start work on Keystone XL tomorrow”

    No no – we’ve already established that the futures market isn’t connected to supply and demand. You don’t have to actually do any of those things, you just have to make people believe that you’re going to and be very convincing about it.

    And yes, there’s a difference between (honest) speculation and manipulation. The guys up at NYMEX are trading paper where the underlying doesn’t exist and can’t possibly be delivered. That’s my beef. And an aggressive administration could chop them off at the knees, but no one does. Why? Because they fund both sides.

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