Saturday, May 3, 2008

Euro vs Dollar

A comparison of the Euro and the cost of a barrel of oil. Problem: As both have been rising,  the Euro was $1.00 when it was introduced in 1999, dropped to $0.8252 relative to the US dollar on 26 October 2000 and rose to $1.60 as of 23 April 2008, US costs for oil have risen faster than Europes' costs have.

Oil went from $35 a barrel in the fall of 2000, which was €42.41, to $118 in 2008. Because the Euro has also risen, Europe is only now paying €73.75. The US is paying a 237% increase but Europe is only paying a 74% increase.

The Iraq War vs the economy - are they two separate issues?

Iraq was originally expected to be the primary issue in the 2008 presidential election. Instead, opinion polls tend to show that it is the second most important issue, after the economy. That second place showing does not justify the decision of corporate television news to deep-six the Iraq story. It is still the number one issue for 25 percent of Americans, which is 75 million people. Moreover, as of last March 71% of Americans thought that the Iraq debacle was part of the reason for the bad economy, so when they name the latter as the most important issue a lot of them are rolling the two issues into one. [emphasis added]

So Iraq is still central to the campaign, and people are fooling themselves if they say otherwise. But it isn't playing out as expected.

Also, in the same post, we see that Obama's campaign is aligning itself with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who both would like to see a "calendar-based" as opposed to a "conditions-based" withdrawal of American troops from that country.


The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has now aligned itself with the Obama campaign.

“U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes”