Friday, March 9, 2012

Sandra Fluke on Rush Limbaugh's Apology: "It Doesn't Change Anything."

March 05, 2012 | Posted at 10:25 AM

Today we welcomed Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student and contraception advocate who was recently called a "slut" and a "prostitute" by Rush Limbaugh for wanting birth control to be covered by her university's insurance. Limbaugh has publicly apologized for his comments, so we wanted to see what Sandra Fluke herself had to say about his apology and the scandal as a whole. Watch the full interview below, and tell us what you think!

Sandra Fluke Responds to Rush Limbaugh, Part 1

March 05, 2012 | Posted at 10:13 AM
Contraception advocate Sandra Fluke responds to Rush Limbaugh's apology for calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute".

Sandra Fluke Responds to Rush Limbaugh, Part 2

 What do you think of this debate over birth control and insurance? Do you think Limbaugh's apology was sincere? Should advertisers have walked away from his show the way they did? Sound off in the comments!

Bill O’Reilly & FoxNews A perfect Pair

Bill O’Reilly Asks ‘Who Is Running Sandra Fluke?’… It ‘All Goes Back To White House’


“Who,” Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked on his program Thursday night, “is running Sandra Fluke?” He explained to viewers that The Factor believes that the controversy surrounding the activist and Georgetown law student has been manufactured in a calculated move to help the Obama administration.
The Factor is having some trouble, O’Reilly explained, tracking down who it is, exactly, that has been setting up Fluke’s media appearances. Just last week, he shared, his show called Fluke on her cell phone, inviting her onto the show. She has yet to call them back. “Very unusual,” said O’Reilly. “There was no other public contact for the woman, just her cellphone.” All the show has been able to gather so far, he continued, is that a man named “Mike” has booked her onto a few programs, but it has not been able to find out his last name or obtain his contact information.
“Why the subterfuge?” O’Reilly asked.

It turns out that Fluke is now being represented by a “progressive PR agency” named SKDKnickerbocker, where none other than Anita Dunn happens to be managing editor.
“Ah-HA!” O’Reilly announced. “So this whole deal comes back to the White House, at least indirectly.”
The host gave a brief synopsis of how Fluke ended up on our national radar, calling the controversy she has been linked to “completely bogus” because of the existence of Title X, which allows those who want to purchase birth control to do so for a mere 9 bucks per months at your local drugstore. (Nine dollars?! That’s cheaper than a sandwich in Manhattan.)
O’Reilly brought on radio host Laura Ingraham to weigh in further. Ingraham was surprised that Fluke, as a law student, is able to find the time to “jet around the United States” and talk about contraception.
“She doesn’t have enough money to buy the pill at nine dollars a month,” said O’Reilly (Again: Nine dollars? Is it really nine dollars?) “But she has enough money to fly coast to coast and all that.”
He summed up his theory on what is actually going on with Fluke:
There is no doubt in my mind, in my investigator’s mind that this woman, from the very beginning, was what they call “run” by very powerful people. It’s not an accident that Elijah Cummings, Nancy Pelosi, all these people, got her and put her in a position to get national exposure.
But now we see, alright, that Anita Dunn and her firm have embraced her. Now, she appeared on NBC 1, 2, 3, 4 times, CBS once, CNN once — no, five for NBC — and The View also. And each of these times, alright, there was a shadowy booking process. Because I spoke to some of these people. [...] She appears, she shows up. Somebody pays for all of that.
So I’m going to say — and I can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, I think I will be able to — that this was run out of the White House. The White House ran this.
Check it out, from Fox News:

Bill O’Reilly Talks Viagra, Gas Prices And Mitt Romney’s Hair On The View


Bill O’Reilly was one of the featured guests on The View this morning , and they rolled out the red carpet for him (i.e. he got to sit on the couch rather than join them at the table. The hosts wasted no time asking him his opinion on the Rush Limbaugh debacle, which he characterized as “inappropriate.” He went on to say that Rush’s remarks obscured the bigger issue, which is the “entitlement state versus Ms. Fluck’s [sic] opinion” on birth control.
When Joy Behar challenged him on insurance coverage of Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs, he shot back that the Center for Disease Control categorizes various conditions as “medical,” and ED is one of them, while contraception is not. When Behar followed up with a question about whether or not he considered vasectomies contraception, he deflected with “I don’t consider anything anything!” and deferred to the CDC once again.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck switched gears for a moment to ask him about the current Republican primary race. He blamed Barack Obama for high gas prices and speculated that they would play a role in the general election, and when Joy said, “Americans know that gas prices have nothing to do with Obama,” to applause from the audience, O’Reilly countered with “I don’t know that!” and argued that it was Obama’s job to solve speculation that is driving up oil prices, which was also punctuated by loud applause.
Man, that is one confused studio audience!
You can see the clip here, via ABC:

Bill O'Reilly

Thursday night on The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly delved deeper into his investigation of the Sandra Fluke controversy. In the Talking Points Memo, he stated that The Factor “believes that the Sandra Fluke contraception controversy was manufactured to divert attention away from the Obama administration’s disastrous decision to force Catholic non-profit organizations to provide insurance coverage for birth control and the morning after pill.”
He described The Factor’s attempts to reach out to Fluke and the difficulty the show has had in tracking down Fluke’s representatives. Well, O’Reilly reports that late Thursday, The Factor “found out that Ms. Fluke is now being repped by the progressive PR agency SKD
Knickerbocker where Anita Dunn, the former Obama communications director, is the managing editor,” tying the Georgetown Law student back to the White House, at least indirectly.
O’Reilly stated, “So, it seems there is a powerful presence behind Sandra Fluke. And as the polls show, the controversy has benefited the President of the United States, who is on the ropes with the church deal.”

Obama Issues ‘Policy Directive’ Exempting American Citizens From Indefinite Detention

Skeptics fear future administration could still incarcerate US citizens under NDAA

Paul Joseph Watson

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Despite the fact that it was his administration that specifically demanded the controversial ‘indefinite detention’ provisions of the NDAA be applied to Americans, President Obama has issued a ‘Presidential Policy Directive’ that forbids the law from being used against US citizens.
Obama Issues Policy Directive Exempting American Citizens From Indefinite Detention  tumblr lyug4vDfHd1qcujoko1 500
A “fact sheet” released by the White House last night contains details of a “Presidential Policy Directive” which explains that the administration will not seek to use the so-called ‘kidnapping provision’ of the National Defense Authorization Act to incarcerate American citizens without trial.
“Section 1022 does not apply to U.S. citizens, and the President has decided to waive its application to lawful permanent residents arrested in the United States,” states the White House fact sheet (PDF).
Obama’s PDD contains a number of other circumstances in which people would be exempt from indefinite detention, but the language concerning American citizens states that to be exempt, a US citizen must be “arrested in this country or arrested by a federal agency on the basis of conduct taking place in this country,” meaning Americans arrested abroad could still be kidnapped and held without trial.
The NDAA bill, which was signed into law by President Obama under the radar on New Years Eve while he was on vacation in Kailua, hands the federal government the power to “allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge.”
There’s no doubt that this represents a victory for civil libertarians on both sides of the political spectrum, but skeptics will be keen to stress that just because the Obama administration, which could be out of office by this time next year, has indicated it will not indefinitely detain Americans under the NDAA, doesn’t necessarily mean that future administrations will also refrain from doing so.
Indeed, if the administration was so concerned about the indefinite detention provisions, why did it specifically lobby for them to be applied to American citizens in the first place?
As we documented at the time, shortly before the bill was signed into law, Senator Carl Levin revealed that it was the administration which demanded the removal of language that would have protected Americans from the ‘kidnapping’ provisions of the NDAA.
“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
Don’t expect Obama’s PDD to be the end of the matter. Senators John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) have already indicated that they will argue against exempting American citizens from indefinite detention.
“Although we have not been able to fully examine all the details of these new regulations, they raise significant concerns that will require a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee,” they said in a joint statement. “We are particularly concerned that some of these regulations may contradict the intent of the detainee provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress last year.”
In issuing the policy directive, Obama is attempting to head off a potential states’ rights rebellion against the federal government. With Virginia already having passed a bill in the House and Senate that nullifies the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, Utah has introduced a resolution with the ultimate intention of doing the same, along with several other states.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

Stephen Colbert: Rush Limbaugh is a prostitute

The Sandra Fluke vs. Rush Limbaugh discussion was just too good a topic to pass up for late-night talk show funny guys Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, but each took slightly different approaches.
Stephen Colbert went on a rant on “The Colbert Report,” completely tearing Limbaugh (or, as Colbert put it, the "poster boy for contraception") apart.
Limbaugh absolutely knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the importance of medicated sex, Colbert said, "because every time he’s slept with a woman, he’s had to slip her a pill first."
Next, Colbert showed clips of the GOP presidential candidates giving less-than-outraged reactions to their fellow conservative’s choice of words. Rick Santorum brushed the whole ordeal off saying an "entertainer" like Limbaugh can “be absurd," while Mitt Romney said merely that Limbaugh's use of "slut" and "prostitute" to describe Fluke “weren’t the words he would have used."

'Course not, said Colbert: Romney's substitute words would also have included "trollop" or "harlot."
At least a dozen advertisershave pulled their products from Limbaugh’s show in the aftermath, including ProFlowers, Sleep Train, Sleep Number, and Quicken Loans. All products, Colbert said, that were necessary for "the slut lifestyle." Mattresses to have sex on, flowers to thank her for it, etc.
Limbaugh did apologize, but as Colbert pointed out, Limbaugh’s on-air apology was for calling Ms. Fluke that “s” and "p" words ... though clearly he stands by all of the other kind things he had to say about her -- like discussing all the sex she clearly was having and wanted to have.
"I don’t understand why this man has gone through four wives," Colbert added.
Colbert wrapped up by explaining that since Limbaugh hosts his nationally syndicated radio show with more than 15 million weekly listeners, it’s clear that he will say anything on air to keep the money coming in, and to keep audiences and advertisers satisfied. When you really think about it, he says, that makes Rush Limbaugh the prostitute. Touché!
Meanwhile, “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart slammed into Limbaugh in a segment entitled “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Gross" while wearing a bright yellow "prophylactic measure."
"You have to misunderstand so many things," said Stewart, completely debunking Limbaugh’s logic and how he came to the conclusion that Fluke is looking for a government payoff. But "the fun part" is watching the GOP candidates respond, he added.

He added Newt Gingrich to the mix -- Gingrich blamed the "elite media" for supporting Fluke. And Stewart also suggested that Romney would have definitely used other words to describe Fluke -- like "trollop" (a la Colbert) or "Methodist."
The thing is, said Stewart, Fluke and the Obama administration aren't looking to have the government pay for women to have or not have sex. He noted that it's "about an insurance mandate covering contraceptive medication as part of women’s overall healthcare." And if you're a taxpayer whose taxes are going to things you don't like, Stewart said welcome to the club: He'd like to be reimbursed for the Iraq War and oil subsidies and then "diaphragms are on me."

What do you think about what Colbert and Stewart had to say? Share your thoughts on Facebook.

Bill Maher: Liberals look bad in not accepting Limbaugh's apology

© Fred Prouser / Reuters / REUTERS
Bill Maher thinks liberals should accept Rush Limbaugh's apology to Sandra Fluke.
Support for Rush Limbaugh came from an unexpected place Tuesday when Bill Maher took to Twitter to castigate liberals for their continued criticism of the conservative radio host.
 Maher, who hosts the left-leaning HBO series "Real Time," posted a comment on his Twitter account just after 4 pm, saying, "Hate to defend @RushLimbaugh but he apologized, liberals looking bad not accepting. Also hate intimidation by sponsor pullout." As of press time, 34 sponsors had pulled their advertising from Limbaugh’s show after he drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike for calling Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute." Following the denial of her testimony at a hearing on infringement of religious liberty and contraceptive mandates, Limbaugh spent three days last week suggesting that her case for the availability of birth control via insurance companies was in fact a campaign to "be paid to have sex." Limbaugh apologized Saturday for his choice of words, even as he continued to defend his position.

Following Limbaugh’s apology, Fluke said that his statement was meaningless, particularly in the context of the pressure he was under from advertisers by Saturday. "I don't think that a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," she said. "And especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support."

Meanwhile, conservative pundits have hurried to Limbaugh’s defense, even as they have suggested that commentators like Maher should be similarly excoriated for their statements about conservative politicians like Sarah Palin. But Maher’s statements come as a particular surprise given the significant divide between the two public figures’ political leanings, even as the Real Time host has already received a deluge of angry responses from his followers.

Interfaith minister Reverend Sue Clark tweeted to him late Tuesday afternoon, "you're not much better than Limbaugh if you truly think that was an apology. You're just furthering the @waronwomen. @women."

On Wednesday, former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander offered a lengthy rebuttal to the criticism mounted by Limbaugh’s supporters and other conservatives who have called for boycotts or other punishments of talk show hosts like Maher and David Letterman, who have in the past made disparaging or insulting comments about public figures within the conservative community. He contended that not only is Limbaugh a "little man" for choosing to publicly insult a private citizen after misrepresenting her testimony on his show, but he is more susceptible than Maher or Letterman for these criticisms because "he projects himself as a leading thinker and kingmaker among conservatives and Republicans."
Although Premiere Networks, Clear Channel’s syndication arm, continues to support Limbaugh, the impact of his statements -- including his apology -- will continue to be discussed in terms both immediate and far-reaching. But this recent controversy marks the most significant incident in which the talk show host’s polarizing comments have resulted in tangible negative repercussions, although it remains to be see whether Limbaugh’s long-term career will be adversely affected, or even boosted by the incident.

Layoffs ease, but hiring is still sluggish

Amy Sancetta / AP
A help-wanted sign displays outside the Mayfield Drive-In movie theater in Chardon, Ohio.
Friday’s jobs data helped confirm that the worst of the recession-related layoffs have eased. Until employers begin shifting back to a solid pace of new hiring, though, most Americans will still have a hard time finding a new job.
The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, while the unemployment rate held steady at a three-year low of 8.3 percent as more people, hopeful they would find work, returned to the labor force.
The report marks the first time since early 2011 that payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for three months in a row. And those months were even better than previously reported, after the government revised the December and January numbers to show an additional 61,000 jobs were created.
Much of the improvement is coming as an historic wave of layoffs - one that lingered well after the recession ended in 2009 - appears to have finally abated.
"All the good numbers that we're getting are largely because of a reduction in the number of layoffs," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "We really have not yet seen a significant pick-up in hiring; the level of hiring is still very, very low. As soon as businesses starts to engage in hiring in a more normal way, I really think we can start getting monthly job numbers of 300,000 or 350,000."
The pace of layoffs has eased from both public and private employers. From a peak of 326,000 in February 2009, so-called "mass layoffs" by private employers tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics fell to 129,000 in January, according to a separate  report. That's a level not seen since shortly after the recession began at the end of 2007.
Layoffs of government workers - especially at the state and local level - have also slowed. But that may be only temporary, according to Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.
"We're not done," she said. "It's shifting from the state and local sector, which aside from a few states, have already put their fiscal houses in order and made a lot of the cuts already. That's going to be abating. On the other side of it, though, we've got federal cuts coming. So we're in a bit of a sweet spot here with government (employment)."
Private employers, meanwhile are adding jobs only where they have to. Much of that is in the form of converting temporary workers to full-time hires. Even those hires are very selective, according to Jeff Joerres, CEO of Manpower, a national employment placement firm.
"Companies are saying 'I'm going to hire but I'm going get this person as productive as possible,'" he said. "There's much more precision in hiring. We're not sure that's going to go away until we get really robust demand. And we don't see that any time soon."
Most economists see overall growth in the economy slowing during the first half of this year. A recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics, a group of private economists, predicted gross domestic product would drop from its 3.0 percent pace in the fourth quarter of last year to 2.0 percent in the first quarter of 2012, gradually picking up to 2.4 percent in the second quarter.
That slowdown could bring another soft patch to the job market.
"Maybe we're starting a new trend, but I've seen this movie before," said Alan Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price. "Just a year ago we had some strong employment gains at the turn of the year, then a pullback in the spring. It's tempting to lean toward the notion we're ramping up to faster job growth and staying there. But again, just look at a chart of job growth in the second half of 2010 and into the early months of last year, and then see how we dropped off very sharply in the spring."
Recession hangover
Until the pace of hiring sees a sustained pickup, the labor market will continue to suffer from one of the worse recession hangovers in decades. Few economists expect the unemployment rate to fall below 8 percent this year. A broader measure of overall health in the job market - the percentage of the total population with a job - is stuck at lowest level in nearly 30 years. Just 58.5 percent of Americans over the age of 16 were employed in February, in part because so many discouraged workers, adult students and early retirees have left the pool of people counted in the official workforce.
Many of those without a job have been out of work far longer than in past recessions. The average length of unemployment remained stuck at 40 weeks February, by far the highest level since the government began tracking the duration of unemployment in 1948. That's nearly twice as long as peak levels seen after the last three recessions.
The health of the job market is also very uneven. In 65 of the 373 metropolitan labor markets tracked by the government, the jobless rate is 20 percent or higher. Widespread job losses in the construction and real estate industries will take years to make up.
"In a normal recovery, about a quarter or a third of it is coming from construction and housing," said University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee. "We've still got five million vacant homes, so that's probably still going to remain relatively weak."
The U.S. economy also remains vulnerable to outside shocks - from a further surges in oil prices to a deeper recession in Europe or a slowdown in China. If those disruptions are relatively minor, most economists expect the pace of job growth to continue a slow, steady course.
"If there's a bigger disruption, companies are always ready to be agile," said Manpower's Joerres. "It's very different than previous times. They can hit that index finger and turn hiring off in 36 hours. We wouldn't have seen that in 2008 and wouldn't have seen that prior to that as well."

Related stories:
Here's where the gap is widest between rich, poor
Why employment picture may be too good to be true

Ron Christie, Christie Strategies, and Marc Morial, National Urban League, discuss whether the February non-farm payrolls data will help President Obama win approval with voters and ultimately the 2012 election.

Total of 60 votes

Yes, and we can't fill open jobs fast enough
6 votes
Yes, but only very selectively
17 votes
No, we're making do with existing staff
20 votes
No, we're still laying off people
17 votes

Employment grows solidly for third straight month

 U.S. employment showed sturdy growth for the third straight month in February, demonstrating that the recovery continues to chug along at a modest pace.
The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added a larger-than-expected 227,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent. Economists had expected the economy created 210,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey
It marked the first time since early 2011 that payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for three months in a row.
The economy created 61,000 more jobs in December and January than previously thought, and the jobless rate held steady even as more people returned to the labor force.
Although the job market is gaining some muscle, the pace of improvement remains too slow to do much to absorb the 23.5 million Americans who are either out of work or underemployed.
Fed Chairman Bernanke last week described the labor market as "far from normal" and said continued improvement would require stronger demand for U.S. goods and services.
Still, he suggested the outlook would have to deteriorate for the U.S. central bank to launch another round of bond buying to drive interest rates lower. Officials said in January they expected growth this year to be no higher than 2.7 percent.
The jobs report, which sets the tone for financial markets worldwide, added to the list of data highlighting the U.S. economy's underlying strength.
It also provided a hopeful sign for the global recovery at a time that growth is slowing in China and the euro zone appears to be sliding into recession. The jobless rate in the 17-nation euro zone area rose to 10.7 percent in January, the highest since the euro started circulating in 2000.
In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped 0.8 percentage point since August, providing some relief to President Barack Obama, who faces an election battle in which the economy has been center stage.
Economists predict the jobless rate could fall below 8 percent by November, even if the recent firming in the jobs market lures Americans who have given up the search for work back into the labor force.
The labor force participation rate - the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one - rose to 63.9 percent from 63.7 percent in January.
Did you opt not to go to college? We want to hear from you!
The separate survey of households that is used to measure the jobless rate showed even brisker hiring in February.
While some parts of the jobs market have benefited from unseasonably warm winter weather, economists say a genuine improvement is under way, even though they expect a slight pull back in March.
Private companies again accounted for all the job gains in February, adding 233,000 positions. Government employment fell a modest 6,000, declining for a sixth straight month.
Manufacturing, which in January recorded the largest gain in a year, dominated job creation in February, hiring 31,000 new workers. The sturdy job gains reflect stepped up auto production.
Most auto companies are taking on new workers and adding shifts and overtime to meet pent-up demand after production was disrupted early last year following the tsunami and earthquake in Japan.
Average hourly earnings increased three cents in February. Average hourly wages have increased 1.9 percent in the 12 months through February.
The overall workweek held steady at 34.5 hours - holding at the highest level since August 2008.
Earnings are being closely watched for signs of wage inflation after unit labor costs grew much more strongly than initially thought in the third and fourth quarters of 2011.
Outside manufacturing, construction payrolls fell 13,000, the first decline in four months.
Although hiring has quickened, the economy faces persistent long-term unemployment. In February, about 43 percent of the 12.8 million unemployed Americans had been out of work for more than six months.
Reuters contributed to this report.

The unemployment rate remains at 8.3 percent after the February unemployment report showed US employers added 227,000 jobs for the month. A CNBC panel discusses the data.

Terry McAuliffe of Greentech Automotive and The Last Word's Lawrence share their thoughts on the latest jobs report. O'Donnell predicts that President Barack Obama will get re-elected if they unemployment rate drops to 8 percent.

If Anonymous shuts down Internet, this is how they could do it

Anonymous logo
If Anonymous is able to blackout the Web on March 31, as the buzz goes, then one likely way they'll do it is to disable the Internet's "phone book" -- its Domain Name System, which converts domain names into IP addresses.
Ars Technica describes, in great detail, how the loosely organized, international group of hacktivists responsible for denial of service attacks big and small could use a technique called DNS amplification to take us back to 1992.

Recently, Anonymous has had a streak of hits, including a revenge attack on Panda Security, which members of the hacking group falsely believed helped authorities rein in six LulzSec members, and a recent attack on the Vatican's website. Previous targets included the CIA, an FBI cybersecurity partner and several law enforcement sites around the country.  This Technolog report goes in-depth about the very real possibility of a power grid shutdown, quoting from the NSA chief.

Anonymous' usual MO is to overload websites with access requests, so a DNS amplification could be seen as a mega-version of that approach, as described by Ars Technica:
DNS amplification hijacks an integral part of the Internet’s global address book, turning a relatively small stream of requests from attacking machines into a torrent of data sent to the target machines, potentially delivering network traffic of tens or hundreds of gigabytes per second without revealing the source of the attack. It does so by using a vulnerability in the DNS service that's been known since at least 2002.
Using these two things—recursive lookups that return large amounts of data to small queries, and spoofed source addresses—attacks can be made. The attacker first finds a server that is configured to enable recursive lookups. He then sends a large number of requests to the server, spoofing the source address so that the server thinks that the victim machine is making the request. Each of these requests is chosen so that it generates a large response, much larger than the queries themselves. The server will then send these large responses to the victim machine, inundating it with traffic. The disparity between the request size and the response is why these attacks are known as "amplification" attacks.
Whatever comes next, it doesn't look like Anonymous is going to let up anytime soon. Consider this March 8 tweet, from @YourAnonNews: "War is our imperative. And if right now victory seems like an impossibility, then we have something else to reach for: revenge, payback."

Check out Technolog on Facebook, and on Twitter, follow Athima Chansanchai, who is also trying to keep her head above water in the Google+ stream.

Exxon's CEO Tillerson: I don't see gas prices topping $5

By staff

Despite rising crude oil prices and threats to stability in the Middle East, the price of gas is unlikely to reach a national average as high as $5 per gallon in the near term, ExxonMobil’s Chief Executive Rex Tillerson told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Friday.

“As I look at just the supply and demand fundamentals, I would not expect prices to reach that level,” Tillerson told TODAY.

“Again, the unknown in here is the market’s view of the political risk; if the rhetoric gets more heated, if a problem flares up anywhere else in the world, then certainly it could drive these prices up further,” he said.

With the busy summer driving period approaching, many observers are fearful that the price for a gallon of gas, which AAA says is now $3.76 on average across the U.S., could move up to the dreaded $5 mark and derail the economic recovery.

Ongoing conflict in Syria, political tensions between Iran and the West and rising demand for oil from emerging economies such as China are also threatening to push up gas prices.

One source of tension in the Middle East has been concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel sees as a threat to its existence. If Israel were to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities the impact on gas prices would be “fairly immediate and highly volatile,” Tillerson said.

“It would be largely driven too by what the response was, and whether that resulted in an actual physical disruption of oil to the market.”

Faced with trade embargoes and the possibility of an attack, Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz -- a strategic shipping channel through which a majority of the Middle East’s oil-producing countries supply the world’s economies with crude oil.


Magic number for gas prices? Try $5.30 a gallon

Jump to discussion page: 1 2 3 ... 8

The sooner it hits $5 a gallon, the sooner we have a new President. Thank goodness for my Chevy Volt.
  • 12 votes
#1 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 9:41 AM EST

Thank goodness for my bicycle :D
But in all seriousness. We need to stop the speculation on the global oil market. Producing more here at home won't help, as it is a proverbial 'drop in the bucket' and will not significantly affect the global price of oil. A POTUS really isn't responsible (whether it be Bush or Obama) for the price on the global market.
Or we could take this opportunity to begin transitioning off of fossil fuels.
  • 40 votes
#1.1 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 9:51 AM EST

Speculation is a part of the rise in oil prices. Also contributing is greater demand and flat to declining production.
I also heard someone say we are exporting a lot of refined gasoline due in part to a weaker dollar.
  • 6 votes
#1.2 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:00 AM EST

Oil price has NOTHING to do with supply and demand, it is all about speculation. The world needs about 80 million barrels per day right now and oil trades about 10 times that every day in the market, along the way every trader want's to make money on it. If we stop all margin trading on commodities and make sure that a trader must take possession first before selling back into the market than we can see prices go down by half within the first day, otherwise we are stuck here with higher prices regardless of supply and demand.
  • 51 votes
#1.3 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:01 AM EST

the president as nothing to do with gas prices the price of barrel of oil is international set price, what happens in the middle east, europe, ect... effects the price of gas here and what happens here effects the price of gas over there, we can open all oil wells here but it will take at least a decade before its online even after that the price of gas will drop around 3 cents
  • 16 votes
#1.4 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:09 AM EST

I also heard someone say we are exporting a lot of refined gasoline due in part to a weaker dollar.
not sure in part to a weaker dollar but we are excporting more refinded products... demand is down in America and production is up... .. the increase in cost and sale of oil products is mostly due to speculation I have read as much as 30 to 60%, increased war mongering with Iran also plays a big role.. and of course greed...
speculation is also a huge factor in the rapid increase in food prices.... once the houseing market was plundered and crashed the speculators move onto the next target... food... water is probably not far down the road...
  • 15 votes
#1.5 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:12 AM EST

The President is mostly a figure head. Govt is run by our "Reps" who are run by Big Business and foreign bankers.
Yeah... It won't go to $5.00, but it will hit $4.999. What a B-Tard.
  • 24 votes
#1.6 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:15 AM EST
I also heard someone say we are exporting a lot of refined gasoline due in part to a weaker dollar.
I've heard many people say the same thing Alan, I just don't know if there's truth to this or not.
  • 1 vote
#1.7 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:31 AM EST
And an oil company subsidized president would have allowed the Volt to roll out?
Why would MSNBC have an oil company executive in their studio? Those are absolutely the most evil men on the planet. They ruin entire oceans and countries, lie on availability to gouge. They're not businessmen, they're satanicmen.
  • 3 votes
#1.8 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:33 AM EST

i would like to know why gas buddy for the last 6 years show gas prices were at a all time high of $4.12 in July of 2008. In a period of 5 months gas price dropped to 1.61 of December 2008. I think we are getting hustled, what happen during those 5 months that made the price so low?
  • 15 votes
#1.9 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:38 AM EST

Obama being responsible for the price of gas is like Obama being responsible for the G3 magnetic storm we are currently under.
Of course Exxon doesn't want it going to $5/gallon, that means Americans will turn more towards green energy which what they don't want. Besides the Saudi's have already stepped up production to bring the prices down.
  • 13 votes
#1.10 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:41 AM EST
Eric-913730........ he is!
  • 4 votes
#1.11 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:45 AM EST

Viet Vet. I agree with your statement about needing a new president but also want to let you know that I am waiting for 1 1/2 years for the new batteries being developed for electric cars. The lithium battery industry is predicting prices to drop 50% for new electric vehicles and travel up to 300 miles on an electric charge. This is why Chevy stopped production on the Volt.
  • 6 votes
#1.12 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:47 AM EST

Well We got to blame someone that is the American way did, you not hear about that one, the other countries Laugh Their Azz Off on how Americans seem to whine about every little thing, I have to admit there is a lot of truth to that one .... When Obama pushed GREEN energy everyone thought he was stupid but guess what He was RIGHT.
  • 9 votes
#1.13 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:50 AM EST

This country has no infrastructure to support electric cars, and until it does, electric cars like the Volt won't solve the problem, unless you live 10 miles or less from your office.
  • 6 votes
#1.14 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:52 AM EST
In a period of 5 months gas price dropped to 1.61 of December 2008. I think we are getting hustled, what happen during those 5 months that made the price so low?
the stock market crashed... oil is a commodity traded on the market... it's subject to the same fluctuations as all stocks..
  • 3 votes
#1.15 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:53 AM EST

This country has no infrastructure to support electric cars, and until it does, electric cars like the Volt won't solve the problem, unless you live 10 miles or less from your office.
Volts have a gas tank that kicks in when the batteries are exhausted.
  • 7 votes
#1.16 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 10:59 AM EST

Comment author avatarabout thatExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community

i guess he doesnt watch the news, its already $6 is florida, is florida not part of the US anymore?
I cant believe how civil this comment has been.
I firmly believe the president has no control over gas prices.
But obama didnt believe that, and neither did pelosi, when he was running for president.
So now its his turn to take the blame!
the other thing is how much money into green energy this dork has lost us.
he wants us to be green so fast, it starts to look like he is encouraging the gas prices to rise.
the green president and the oil companies working together to raise gas prices in order to force green?
what the dork in the white house doesnt realise, or doesent want to realise, is green takes alot of green.
i aint got $40k+ for that stupid chevy exploder, aka volt.
its easy to push a $40k car when i am paying all your transportation cost, isnt it president?
  • 7 votes
#1.18 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:03 AM EST
FYI, Ever hear of supply and demand, that controls pricing and until there are more people buying those Electric Vehicles the prices will be very high ... And if there are more companies producing electric vehicles the price of gas will have to come down, does that make any sense to you people ..
  • 2 votes
#1.19 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:08 AM EST

appears there is some gouging going on in fla.. gasbuddy has the average for florida as 3.727... the lows are 3.59 in many places... the highs are looking like 4.09 to 4.529 with two stations gouging it's customers with 5.89 one being in lake buena vista and the other in orlando... both should be reported to the states attny general...
  • 5 votes
#1.20 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:13 AM EST
OMGreally.. I live in Florida and paid 3.62 yesterday. You must buy gas at the airport from the rental companies.
  • 4 votes
#1.21 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:14 AM EST
I opine that the President of the United States can to some degree effect the price of a gallon of gas both directly and indirectly.
Here are a few examples. Let's say that Rick becomes president and his inordinate fear of Iran causes him to take the actions against that nation that he has already said he would. There you go...$8.00 a gallon gas.
Or let's say the current President decides to use the power available to him; i.e. the FBI or the IRS taking a real close look at oil companies and oil company CEO activities. There you go....$2.95 a gallon gas.
Parenthetically, President Obama negotiated Twenty Billion Dollars for Gulf State families and business affected by the last oil spill.
This is a capitalistic country so the president cannot dictate to the oil firms their prices, but he has some leeway over gas taxes. He also directs energy policy.
Finally, the president has an enormous amount of influence over the mood or sentiment of the country. An upbeat president does encourage an optimistic outlook for the future, that drives the economy, thereby altering the price of gas.
  • 3 votes
#1.22 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:14 AM EST
OMG, where in FL is it $6. gal. I can't seem to locate that and there's nothing on the news about it.
  • 1 vote
#1.23 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:15 AM EST
In a period of 5 months gas price dropped to 1.61 of December 2008. I think we are getting hustled, what happen during those 5 months that made the price so low?
the stock market crashed... oil is a commodity traded on the market... it's subject to the same fluctuations as all stocks..
Also a hotly contested Presidential election with a well connected oil man as POTUS.
  • 1 vote
#1.24 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:17 AM EST
Ron Paul wants the dollar back on the gold standard it might be better to go on the oil standard instead. Then gas prices would never go up. Oil is the worlds most important commodity.Gold is so 19th century.
  • 1 vote
#1.25 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:37 AM EST
I agree, there are multiple causes to the rise in the cost of gasoline. Speculation, China, war, what have ya.
Something to ponder:
Notice the time frame from around 1990-2000. Then look at the Bush years(2001-2008). Coincidence?
  • 1 vote
#1.26 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:44 AM EST
Agent 57
In a period of 5 months gas price dropped to 1.61 of December 2008. I think we are getting hustled, what happen during those 5 months that made the price so low?
the stock market crashed... oil is a commodity traded on the market... it's subject to the same fluctuations as all stocks..
That's not a plausible theory as the market has crashed on many occasions and not affected gas prices.
#1.27 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:50 AM EST
Something to ponder:
Notice the time frame from around 1990-2000. Then look at the Bush years(2001-2008). Coincidence?
part of that comes from phil gramms legislation The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000... once that door opened.. the market was flooded with speculators... prior about 15% of the traders was speculators and 85% endusers... not it's about 85% speculation and 15% users...
  • 3 votes
#1.28 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:51 AM EST
I agree, there are multiple causes to the rise in the cost of gasoline. Speculation, China, war, what have ya.
Something to ponder:
Notice the time frame from around 1990-2000. Then look at the Bush years(2001-2008). Coincidence?
Are those really the cause of gas rising or are those diversions for what actually affects the oil market.
#1.29 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:52 AM EST
It is about supply and demand. Let me give an example.
If I was to find 10,000 tons of gold and put it on the market, what would happen to gold prices? They would crash.
Gas prices went down under Bush because he opened lands for drilling, the stock market had nothing to do with it, gold prices never went down during that time.
#1.30 - Fri Mar 9, 2012 11:54 AM EST