For Tano and Others…

…who thought my “joke” post about Bush influencing the 2003/2005 elections via gasoline prices was a strawman. Conspiracy Theories Abound as Oil Prices Fluctuate, Washington Post. Further, we have these posts by Professor James Hamilton, a rather well respected expert in econometrics and time series in specific. Here are some of the blogs that think there is something to one or more of these conspiracies,

  • Bush Out — This one appears to be supporting the Big Oil theory, that big oil want to keep their bought-and-paid-for pol in office so they are dropping gasoline prices below the market clearing price to achieve this goal.
  • — This one is pushing the Goldman Sachs theory debunked by Prof. Hamilton.
  • — This one appears to support the Big Oil Theory.
  • Daily Kos — This is a big oil conspiracy with some dopey economics thrown in.
  • Daily Kos — This diarist just seems to adhere to the general notion that there is a conspiracy, he doesn’t seem to care about data/evidence, he knows Bush has things rigged.
  • Daily Kos yet again — This one also doesn’t adhere to one conspiracy, but seems to think that Bush’s control is so accurate that he can control gasoline prices between gas stations.

Seems to me, that is more than enough evidence against the hypothesis that my conpiracy “joke” post was a strawman argument. There seems to be plenty of people who believe in these conspiracy theories. That the evidence tends to contradict the theories, who cares, these people know the truth dammit!

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Campaign 2006, Economics and Business, Humor, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Michael says:

    Wow, looks like Kos is all about Oil Conspiracies.

    Oh wait….

    None of those were actually written by Kos, they’re all diaries. Did any of those diaries even make it to the main page? If not then you can’t blame Kos anymore than you can blame Blogspot for the views posted there. Not that I think that’ll actually stop people commenting about that crazy Kos, but still.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    I didn’t say the Kos wrote them, but they are clearly hosted on his site. I agree that doesn’t mean Markos Moulitsas Zuniga shares these views, but that wasn’t my point. My point is that there seem to be lots of people who think there is a conpiracy afoot.

  3. ken says:

    The Enron scandal and related manipulation of the energy markets is enough to convince the public that Republicans are not to be trusted. So when trying to find a reason for the radical swings in gasoline prices it is understandable that many would look for the same dirty dealing on the part of repugs again. I don’t know if any of it is true or not but I am willing to keep an open mind about it. Too bad you cannot be objective.

  4. Steve, you can lead a donkey to reason, but you can’t make him think.

    The responses to your post really are quite stunning.

  5. RJN says:

    I don’t think these lefties are educated; they are conditioned. Sad stuff.

  6. Tano says:

    OK Steve, So I guess those theories were more widespread than I thought. I guess I should listen to talk radio more often, or read the diaries at Kos.

    Or maybe not. I guess I just dont consider ideas or theories to be engaged until the get a bit more traction than that.

  7. Steve Verdon says:

    OK Steve, So I guess those theories were more widespread than I thought. I guess I should listen to talk radio more often, or read the diaries at Kos.

    Or maybe not. I guess I just dont consider ideas or theories to be engaged until the get a bit more traction than that.


    Well there is the WaPo article. Looks like it is getting more traction that you thought.

  8. Eneils Bailey says:

    “That the evidence tends to contradict the theories, who cares, these people know the truth dammit!”

    OK, so the truth is, these people are idiots.

    Went to the grocery store this morning, the price of fruit is way up. Maybe I should contact Bush, Rove and Company to get the prices down. That would surely sew up the fruit lover vote in this country. You know Bush walks around with “Big Fruit’s” balls in his pocket, just like “Big Oil.

  9. The TRUTH is that Steve’s data just proves that it is Santa Claus who is controlling the price of gas. Every year of data he posted shows that the price of gas starts drifting down in September/October just in time for Christmas. And it starts drifting back up after Christmas when Santa Claus is no longer using his powers to lower the price of gasoline. And of course, the Santa Claus theory also covers why this happens in non-election years. Yep, no holes in the Santa Claus theory…except maybe the existence of Santa. But the MSM has assured Virginia and myself that Santa exists, so that should close the books on any dissent.

    But “You can’t handle the truth!!”.

  10. Enlightenment says:

    One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying “We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]”. Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I’ve ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four “pilots” among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake “pilot” of the bunch. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports. These “hijackers” somehow managed to board all four airliners with their tickets, yet not even ONE got his name on any of the flight manifests. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn’t work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn’t work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won’t let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you “aren’t supposed to think about”. Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name, more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn’t respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn’t happen, not even close. Somehow these “hijackers” must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn’t have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were “supposed to see”. Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these “hijackers” wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn’t even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying “We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down” attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers’ magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be “Muslim hijackers” the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don’t laugh) one of their passports was “found” a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously “surviving” the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also “survived” the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be “indestructable” like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn’t bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastical far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the “nineteen hijackers” is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.