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The Media Bends a Collective Knee at the Altar of Joe Biden

The media beclowns itself one more time. – Not that that is any surprise, of course. Creepy Uncle Quid Pro Farty China Joe Biden’s handlers helped their declining candidate up out of his basement yesterday to hold his first press conference after an 89 day hiatus.

Very predictably, press questioners had been very carefully chosen in advance – at one point, Biden actually stated that “they gave me a list” of which reporter to call on – and not one of them asked anything resembling a difficult question.

– No questions about Biden being the guy who suggested the FBI pursue General Mike Flynn using the archaic Logan Act;

– No questions asking the Unfrozen Caveman Presumptive Nominee to explain why he personally unmasked General Flynn in December of 2016;

– No questions about his bragging on camera about blackmailing the Ukrainian president to fire the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, where his son Hunter was on the board of directors;

– No questions about his facilitation of his son’s activities in looting China;

– No questions about his increasingly obvious memory and speaking issues (at one point, Biden could not recall the name of his hometown newspaper. Think about that one for a minute);

– No questions about why he was not wearing his black mask after spending the last month claiming it was absolutely a requirement that he would impose on every American;

– No questions about Biden’s extensive documented history of making racist remarks in public events or his troubled relationship with Corn Pop;

– And most interestingly, no questions about why Biden was suddenly wearing earpieces in both ears, which would indicate to any rational and curious person that he was very likely being fed answers by his handlers.

No real journalists in the room, obviously. Not a single curious mind among them. Just a bunch of Democrat activists with press passes. Despicable, pathetic human beings who refuse to do their job.

 

Hilariously, as Biden stammered and searched in vain for words, his sign language interpreter became obviously frustrated in her attempts to interpret what he was attempting to say:

This is the guy the Democrat Party wants you to believe is capable of standing toe-to-toe with Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. This is the guy they want you to believe is capable of conducting the daily duties of the presidency of the United States.

Now you know why he has refused to hold a presser for 89 days. Count on him not doing another one prior to Election Day. Back to the basement, Joe.

No rallies? You mean, you were having rallies before the pandemic, Joe? – In an act that was entirely predictable if you’ve been paying attention to his campaign handlers’ Hidin’ Biden strategy, Biden gravely announced at the presser that he will use COVID-19 as a handy excuse to not hold any campaign rallies, further isolating himself and his obviously demented presence from potential voters.

Of course, no reporter noted that Biden sacrificing rallies is kind of like President Trump, who is a life-long teetotaler, giving up fine wine – it’s not like Biden was having anything like real “rallies” before the viral gift from China reached our shores. The man’s handlers were in the habit of partitioning off high school gymnasiums to about a third of their size so that the tiny number of attendees would not seem such lonely figures for the TV cameras.

So, Biden has now used COVID-19 as an excuse to hide in his basement for three months, they used it as an excuse to cancel their convention so that Biden can now safely read his acceptance speech from his basement using a teleprompter, and now as an excuse to avoid holding any face-to-face rallies with his fans to avoid giving the few dozen who might show up a real, live view of him.

Mark this down: Unless Biden and his handlers decide that they can get away with the use of those earpieces, they will use the virus as an excuse to cancel any face-to-face debates with President Trump as well.

It’s as predictable as the phases of the moon.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Texas Oil Regulator Poses The Fundamental Question: “How Do We Start?”

After taking more than 10 hours of verbal testimony from more than 50 witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing, the three members of the Texas Railroad Commission tabled any decision on whether to move to limit oil production from Texas wells through its power of prorationing. During the course of the hearing, Commissioner Christi Craddick hit on the fundamental impediment that will likely prevent the RRC from any quick implementation of limits: There is no institutional memory on how to do it.

“We don’t know how to do it at the agency anymore,” Craddick said to one witness who was around during the last time the RRC enforced prorationing back in 1972. “Do we start on Jan. 1? Where do we start? How do we start?”

Exactly. As much as many struggling independent producers would like to think the Commissioners possess some magic bullet power that would boost prices and help them survive the most severe oil industry downturn in modern times, reality tells a different story. No one working at the RRC today was there in 1972, and even if they were, the industry the Commission regulates has fundamentally reinvented itself at least half a dozen times since then. The Commissioners and their current staff can read all the history books on the market about the golden age of prorationing, but that wouldn’t be much help to them in implementing new production limits soon.

Commissioner Craddick’s mention of a possible January 1 date for trying to implement the change is very telling. If professional industry analytical firms like Rystad EnergyIHSMarkit and Wood MacKenzie are accurate, the immediate crisis in global oil over-supply will have been resolved well before then, and oil prices should be well on their way back up to higher levels. It is equally likely that dozens of Texas oil producers will have been forced into bankruptcy in the meantime.

Another potential logical date of implementation would be September 1, which is the start of Fiscal Year 2021 for the Texas government. Even if the RRC currently possessed the budget and staff to meet that quick goal (it possesses neither) it is quite likely that the Texas industry will have already lost upwards of 2 million barrels of daily oil production by that time due to dramatically-lowered drilling activity and voluntary shutting-in of production.

Then there is the other practical limiter that the commissioners must consider: The budget. The Texas government famously operates on a two year budget cycle, with the legislature meeting for 140 days in odd-numbered years to make biennial adjustments. The RRC is currently operating under a budget that does not expire until August 31, 2021. Any upward adjustments to that budget designed to enable the Commissioners to hire in additional staff and build new computer systems to implement and police prorationing would have to be authorized by a special session of the Texas Legislature, subject to a call by Governor Greg Abbott.

Think of how unlikely that is to take place at a time when Texas is currently functioning under an executive order to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also consider how unlikely Gov. Abbott and the legislature would be to agree to increase any agency’s budget during this time of massive economic destruction.

Read the Rest at Forbes.com

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OPEC+, G20 Produce A Very Dim Light At The End Of A Long, Dark Oil Price Tunnel

After the OPEC+ countries produced an oil supply reduction agreement on Thursday that amounted to a half-measure at best, industry observers had pinned some hope on a firm commitment to further cuts coming from G20 call that took place on Friday. Those hopes were not fulfilled, as the G20 communique included only vague language indicating those nations would work towards “market stability.”

The language in the comminique reads as follows: “We commit to ensure that the energy sector continues to make a full, effective contribution to overcoming COVID-19 and powering the subsequent global recovery. We commit to work together in the spirit of solidarity on immediate, concrete actions to address these issues in a time of unprecedented international emergency. We commit to take all the necessary and immediate measures to ensure energy market stability.”

In this political season in the U.S., that reads like issue-specific talking points from a candidate trying to say something to placate the public and media without really taking either side of the issue.

Leaving matters even more up in the air, Mexico refused to commit to its full share of the OPEC+ cuts, saying it could only reduce its own production by 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). U.S. President Donald Trump intervened to commit to his country to supporting Mexico’s part of the deal by supplying 250,000 bopd in cuts of its own, but left the process of how he would achieve that level of firm supply reduction unclear. This is a key question since the national U.S. government has very limited power to force firm reductions in production by the private companies that operate all wells in the country.

Canada, which has not been a participant in any previous efforts to control supply, also remained non-committal in terms of committing to any firm reductions of its own.

Read the Rest at Forbes.com

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The OPEC++ Deal: Calling it a Half-Measure is an Exaggeration

Let’s be honest: The so-called OPEC++ agreement to cut 10 million barrels of oil per day from global crude oil supply is a half-measure. Really, with Rystad Energy reporting that demand for oil will drop by 27 million bopd from January 1 levels during April, calling it a half-measure is an exaggeration.

Even this half-measure has still not been finalized, as Mexico’s government still has not committed to holding up its end of the bargain as of this writing on Friday morning. So, anything could still happen. All of which explains why the oil markets reacted negatively to the OPEC++ announcement, with oil prices dropping by more than 15% in just a few hours.

But here at least are the parameters of the agreement that are being reported Friday morning:

– OPEC++ (the OPEC nations plus Russia, Mexico, Canada, Brazil and several others) agree to cut 10 million barrels per day of exports from April through July;

– The cuts drop to 8 million bopd from August 1 through December 31;

– The cuts further fall to 6 million bopd beginning January 1, to continue for the next 16 months;

– The cuts include no formal contribution from the U.S. oil and gas industry.

President Donald Trump will discuss his views of America’s contribution to a reduction in global supply in a call involving the Group of 20 – or G20 – on Friday.

 

Read the Rest at Shalemag.com

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Russia’s Skepticism Over U.S. Oil Production Cuts Is Well-Grounded

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Russian oil representatives are expressing skepticism about the potential for the the U.S. oil industry to participate in global deal to cut crude production in a real, sustaining way. That skepticism is well-grounded in reality.

With the Trump Administration thus far offering only what it calls “automatic” cuts that will take place in the U.S. as drilling activity drops and oil wells are shut-in as the result of low demand, Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “You are comparing the overall demand drop with cuts aimed at stabilizing the global market. These are completely different things.”

He’s right.

The problem is, as I pointed out over the weekend, is that, absent quick and certain action by regulators in Texas and other states or an emergency declaration by the Trump Administration designed to shut down production in the Gulf of Mexico and on federal lands, any U.S. contribution to a global supply reduction deal must by law be market-based, and thus, temporary. Unlike Russia, Saudi Arabia and many of the OPEC nations, the U.S. oil industry consists of thousands of companies competing in a free market, and the national government cannot cause production to rise or fall on a whim. The situation is further complicated by the fact that any such move by the federal or state governments would be politically controversial and opposed by certain segments of the U.S. industry itself.

Today In: Energy

There is little doubt that, should current market dynamics persist into the third and fourth quarters of this year, overall U.S. crude production will drop dramatically, with Citigroup, Inc. projecting it to be down by over 1 million barrels per day by October. Frankly, that seems to be a conservative estimate. The trouble in the context of this envisioned global agreement is that, once demand is to a large extent restored, the U.S. industry would simply come roaring back to fill the void, absent some artificial governor on its activities.

Read the Rest at Forbes.com

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State Regulators Hold The Key To U.S. Participation In A Global Oil Supply Deal

The energy media was filled with speculation on Friday and Saturday about how much higher crude prices might spike on Monday as OPEC and Russia prepared to hold an emergency conference call meeting that day. That speculation has now evaporated as the call has been postponed, now scheduled to take place on Thursday.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, “Saudi Arabia and Russia have said privately they are unlikely to cut oil output unless North American producers join in.” While Canada has signaled its willingness to be a part of a larger, global approach to cutting supply, it is unclear how exactly officials from Russia and Saudi Arabia envision the United States joining the party.

I’ve written about this several times in the past, but it deserves repeating here: America is simply not like these other countries. It is called the “United States” for a reason. The federal government of the United States has no existing authority to just cause oil wells to be turned off and on at the snapping of a president’s fingers.

Yes, as we saw in the wake of the tragic Macondo blowout and spill in April, 2010, a president can declare an environmental emergency and cause all production to be shut in in the Gulf of Mexico. But beyond 3 miles of the coastline (roughly 12 miles offshore Texas) the Gulf of Mexico is a federal province. The order issued on May 27, 2010 by President Barack Obama to shut-in Gulf of Mexico production applied only in waters of 500 feet or more in depth, limiting it to areas safely within the federal province. In this way, he avoided challenges from state governors that would have certainly resulted had he attempted to shut down the entire Gulf, including all state waters.

This is what the United States calls “federalism,” and it is a concept that leaders in many other countries appear to have a very difficult time grasping. Given that the great preponderance of U.S. oil production comes mainly from beneath state and private lands, solving the conundrum of any U.S. participation in any global agreement to limit oil supply will necessarily involve participation from key state regulators.

In states like Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming and New Mexico, which together are producing the preponderance of U.S. crude oil, regulatory bodies possess various authorities to limit production within their state borders. Those states combined to produce about 68% of the oil produced in the U.S. in January, the latest month for which the U.S. Energy Information has data. Another 15% was produced in federally-owned waters in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Pacific coast.

Thus, at least in theory, roughly 83% of U.S. oil production could be artificially limited by the federal government and state regulators on a coordinated basis. It is important to note that this kind of coordination is the only real way for the U.S. to become a meaningful part of any such deal.

Read The Rest at Forbes.com

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Enemies of the People: Corrupt Media Can’t Decide if Russia is Colluding with Trump or Sanders

The Evening Campaign Update (Because the Campaign Never Ends)

At his rally in Las Vegas Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump taunted the New York Times for its effort to revive the whole Russia Collusion nonsense one more time:

 

No kidding – it’s a point I made in this morning’s Campaign Update, in fact. Of course, Putin would rather have the outright communist installed in the White House.

Oh, and hey, guess what? According to the laughably corrupt hacks at the Washington Post, Putin is actually helping The Commie, not Trump:

C’mon, all you sleazy liberal hacks – which is it? In all seriousness, what we have here is a classic case of split agendas colliding in the Deep State echo chamber: They can’t decide who to try to kill – Trump or The Commie? So, first they leak yesterday’s nonsense about Trump to the Times, and when the initial polling data on that one comes back that literally nobody outside of the DC echo chamber believes any of this crap anymore, they say, hey, let’s go after Bernie instead!, and they get their toadies at the Post to dummy up this story attacking The Commie.

Here’s the real danger in all of this: There have now been so many utterly false media reports tossed around about Russian interference in U.S. elections that the corrupt media outlets and our despicably corrupt intelligence agencies have lost all credibility. God help us if Putin ever does make a serious effort to interfere in a presidential election, because if he does, nobody in the public at large will believe the reporting about it.

At the end of the day, the Democrats and their media toadies have done Putin’s work for him. And who know? Perhaps that was their real goal all along.

After all, they really are enemies of the people.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Does Anyone Care Enough About Joe Biden to Stage an Intervention?

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

We should not be at all surprised if, at some point between now and September, we see our nation’s Unfrozen Caveman Senator, Joe Biden, withdraw from race to become the Democrat Party’s 2020 presidential nominee due to some unspecified “health” reasons. Why? Watch this clip from an interview with Chris Cuomo:

This guy is simply not capable of enduring the long, grueling, race he faces. He proved in the first debate last week that he is unable to think quickly enough on his feet to adequately respond to an attack from just one of his 24 rivals for the nomination. That single attack has over the past week shaved 8-10 points off of his support level in the various polls of the race, cutting his previous 18-point lead down by doubt digits.

What’s going to happen in the next debate when, emboldened by the results produced by Kamala Harris’s 60 seconds as the attack dog, Fauxcahontas and Spartacus maybe even Julian Castro decide to join in the fun? What’s going to happen when half a dozen opponents team up to spend the full two hours treating this fumbling, bumbling gaffe machine to a death by a thousand cuts?

The Unfrozen Caveman Senator can’t even recall basic facts of history or cobble together complex thoughts required to respond to multiple topics at the same time. He says in that snippet that Russian aggression “would never have happened” on his and Barack Hussein Obama’s watch. He appears to have forgotten that Russia engaged in all manner of aggressive acts on their watch, and did so without consequence.

He apparently doesn’t remember Russia’s aggression against the Ukraine on his watch. He can’t recall Russia’s annexation of Crimea that took place on his watch. He appears to have forgotten about Russia’s entrance into Syria on his and Obama’s watch. He can’t seem to recall Russia’s constant prodding and provoking of NATO across Europe on his watch. He is in obvious denial that Russia’s alleged “attack” on our 2016 elections took place on his and Obama’s watch, and Obama chose to do nothing about it.

And even if he did recall those things, you get the clear feeling from watching that video that he would be utterly incapable of forming any sort of coherent set of thoughts about them if put on the spot to do so on live, national television.

Biden is 76 years old, soon to be 77, but he looks and sounds much older than that. His speech is often slurred; he frequently must pause in the middle of sentences to search for words; the scars from his many plastic surgeries are becoming increasingly prominent, defying the ability of makeup artists to cover them. He is clearly, unambiguously a man in the decline of his life.

Like many who find themselves such decline, he’s begun lashing out. A day after the interview clipped above, he was threatening to dig up dirt on his opponents and use it against them, saying “I mean, I get all this information about other people’s pasts, and what they’ve done and not done. And you know, I’m just not going to go there. If we keep doing that — I mean, we should be debating what we do from here.”

It has been clear for some time now that he will not be the party’s nominee in 2020. He is simply not up to that task, and frankly never was. He has always been a buffoon, a mean and frankly bigoted clown prone to embarrassing himself and those around him at he drop of a hat. He’s a guy who has never had any respect for people’s personal space – which is the nicest thing that can be said about his behavior – a guy with a long, documented history of telling racist, sexist and homophobic jokes in public events. You can’t put this guy in charge of anything really important and even hope for a positive outcome.

So why stay in? Perhaps the DNC has some reason for wanting it’s party’s creepy uncle to be out front serving as an attack dog on President Trump, but the utility of even that role drops every time a video like this one gets into the public domain, and Biden’s poll numbers drop another five points.

At this point, though, the people around Biden and those who actually care about him and his well-being need to be seriously thinking about finding some semi-dignified way for him to end his 46-year career in national public life. Because it is getting close to ending, one way or another.

He has three options here:

One is to go out the Jeb! Bush way, which is to just keep struggling on, getting embarrassed in debate after debate, playing out the string until next March or so, when the money finally runs completely out and a string of embarrassing primary and caucus defeats have come and gone;

The second is to go out in utter humiliation, after some giant breakdown takes place on live TV which makes it impossible for him to even continue struggling on;

The third is to face reality, to recognize the harsh fact that he is just not destined to be our nation’s president and never was, and to find some dignified reason for leaving the race. Perhaps get a friendly doctor to discover some previously hidden heart defect or other condition that precludes this man from going on with such a stressful endeavor.

That third, more dignified option only exists if there actually are people around the former Vice President who really do care about him. It’s fair to wonder if such people really do exist, because if they do, you have to question why they’ve allowed him to get to this point without having already staged an intervention.

If you’re out there, there’s no time like the present, folks.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Tillerson Was the Best Sec. of State in a Decade; Pompeo Will Be Better

The Evening Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

So, what to make of the Rex Tillerson firing?  There’s a lot to unpack here, so I’ll try to do it in a fairly orderly fashion.

First, let’s state up front the undeniable truth that Rex Tillerson was the nation’s finest Secretary of State in a decade.  Unlike his two immediate predecessors in the job, Mr. Tillerson is a patriot, a lover of America, a believer in promoting American-style Democracy around the world and protecting U.S. national security at home.  He had no interest in selling America’s foreign policy to the highest bidder or in promoting radical Islam throughout the Middle East and other parts of the world.

So, we all owe Mr. Tillerson our thanks for his service, and an appreciation for the way in which he represented the country for the last 14 months.

That having all been said, no one should be surprised at all that he is being replaced in his job.  The fact of the matter is that Tillerson was not on the same page as the President he pledged to serve in too many ways to have lasted long in the office.  Here are some examples:

  • He is a big fan of the horrible deal the Obama Administration did with the terrorist supporing Mullahs in Iran, and consistently slow-played providing information to the President that was not positive towards keeping the agreement in place;
  • He was accused of having called the President a “moron” behind his back last summer, and refused to either deny or apologize for uttering that insult despite being repeatedly questioned about it.  Not a lot of employees are going to survive calling their boss a “moron” for very long;
  • He is a big believer in man-made “global warming” theory in an administration made up largely of skeptics, and was reportedly upset that the President cancelled U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Accords;
  • He has not at any point been supportive of President Trump’s approach to dealing with the Crazy Little Fat Guy in North Korea;
  • He has been slow to hire people to fill senior posts in the State Department and even slower to clean out the deep state holdovers from the Obama Administration.

There are other examples of Tillerson’s conflict with his boss, but those seem to be the main ones.  Quite simply, Tillerson is not a “Trump guy” and was never going to become one.

He will now be replaced by Mike Pompeo, the current CIA Director, who is a “Trump guy” and will be on board with the Trump program.  Coming out of his CIA role, Pompeo knows where all the bodies are buried, all over the world.  This is a guy who graduated first in his class at West Point, a mechanical engineer with a highly analytical mind who doesn’t take any BS off of anybody.

He has a law degree from Harvard, where he served on the law review.  He’s a three-term congressman from Kansas who served on committees with oversight related to energy, intelligence, business and commerce and the CIA, as well as the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

You probably won’t be seeing any reports about Pompeo calling his boss a “moron,” and if you do, you’ll see a quick and unambiguous denial  from Pompeo, because any such report will be a fabrication.  You won’t see Pompeo slow-walking anything negative towards the Iran deal, or slow-walking anything else, for that matter.  You won’t see Pompeo shedding tears about the Paris Accords or publicly at odds with the President over North Korea.

We all owe Tillerson our gratitude, and we should all be happy that Pompeo will be our new Secretary of State.  The Trump Administration just got stronger with this change.

When news of the Pompeo appointment became public, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued the following tweet, one which he probably thought would make all of his base of leftwing idiots happy as little clams:

But it turned out that not all leftwing idiots were happy after all.  The leftwing idiot who is the de facto propaganda minister for the Russian-supported anti-Fracking movement, Josh Fox, responded to Chuckie’s tweet with a little R-rated missive of his own:

So, as you can see, there is trouble in pinhead paradise.  No doubt, Schumer’s completely insincere reference to getting tough towards Putin and Russia is what really set Fox off.  After all, a guy’s got to make a living, right?  You cut that Russian funding off, why, the anti-fracking movement would have to find some honest money instead.  And that would be hard.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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