Cheney under political cloud after Libby trial By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent
Wed Mar 7, 4:57 PM ET
The White House offered support on Wednesday for Vice President Dick Cheney, a powerful proponent of the Iraq war, after the conviction of his top aide dealt a fresh blow to Cheney's political reputation and raised new questions about his influence.
The trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby showed Cheney, often portrayed by critics as the shadowy Darth Vader behind the war in Iraq, was deeply involved in an effort to discredit a critic of the administration's prewar intelligence.
Libby's conviction on perjury and obstruction of justice charges placed Cheney squarely in the center of a new political storm. Democrats said Libby was "the fall guy" for his boss, who was not charged in the case and not called to testify.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said Cheney would remain an influential and trusted adviser to President George W. Bush.
"To the idea that somewhere the vice president has been 'diminished' ... No, not true," Snow told reporters. "The vice president still remains a trusted aide. The vice president is somebody upon whose counsel the president depends."
The administration offered concrete evidence of Cheney's continued role in the last week. As the jury deliberated Libby's case, Cheney completed a trip around the world to make the administration's diplomatic case against Iran's nuclear ambitions and for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On his return, he was greeted as a hero in a speech to a conference of conservative activists who constitute the administration's core group of supporters.
"Publicly he may be scarred, he's a damaged commodity, but the question is whether he still has clout in the administration and the answer has to be yes," said Stephen Hess, a presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution.
CONSTITUENCY OF ONE
"He really has a constituency of one -- President Bush," Hess said. "We really don't know what that relationship is, but there is no evidence that it has been impaired. The president still seems to listen to him."
Cheney's lack of political ambition -- he said from the beginning that he would not seek the presidency after his term as vice president ended -- has helped inoculate him from purely political evaluations.
With neither Bush nor Cheney destined to appear on a political ballot again, the vice president's mounting political liabilities are less crucial, Hess said. Any speculation Bush might replace Cheney is "silly talk," he said.
Snow said no one else could judge the relationship between the president and Cheney, who has been one of the most powerful and influential vice presidents in history.
"What he says is offered in confidence and received in confidence. Anybody who wants readouts on how they interact, they're in the wrong place because neither of them is going to talk about it," Snow said.
Cheney said he was "disappointed" by the conviction of Libby in the probe of the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly challenged the administration's intelligence claims about Iraq.
Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has said there will be no more charges and the investigation is inactive.
With two more years remaining in the administration, Cheney is likely to continue playing his role as fund raiser and voice for the administration before selected audiences.
"He'll continue to give red meat to the true believers, and maybe in larger doses than ever. So he gets beat up by The New York Times -- you get a badge of honor for that in some circles," Hess said.
Copyright � 2007 Reuters Limited.
Hello Jim,.....just came for a short visit to the DVN site to see how you guys where holding on to the fort, I do think that you are correct.
Have a nice week trading.
Current price objective is close to $55, or $110 on the pre-split shares.
Have a nice week trading.
Luis P..... (Mambo)
Like to share this chart, that I'm using.
Note Bollinger Bands coming together on Dec 2003, since then the stock sprang out from its "Coil" formation and traveled from $24 to $40.
Has the trend changed?. "NO",
Have the fundamentals changed. "NO",
Have investors in this stock made money. "YES", Are they willing to part with a winner. "NO".
Jim,...the oscillator shows "Buy" signal is intact, granted there is a gap at 37.50, that may eventually be filled.
As I see it my next target is actually close to $53, rather than $35.
May you have a nice week trading....(smiles).
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - A key OPEC committee recommended Saturday that the oil cartel keep its current output quota unchanged, its president said, signaling that oil producers believe current prices near $50 a barrel are not too high.
Kuwait's oil minister Sheik Ahmad Fahd al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who heads the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said the recommendation to keep the quota at 27 million barrels a day was made by the group's Ministerial Monitoring Committee. That quota was set at the December meeting in Cairo, Egypt.
However, the group currently produces about 29.6 million barrels a day.
``We believe that we (will) continue with the ceiling, but at the same time (need) to comply with the decision we made in Egypt,'' he said, adding that some cuts had already been made.
The 10 members of the group subject to quotas are overproducing by some 500,000 barrels daily, al-Sabah said. Iraq is not subject to the quota.
The full group will meet Sunday to decide whether to adopt the committee's recommendation, something it does not necessarily have to do. The committee's task is to take stock of conditions affecting the oil markets and offer policy recommendations to the full group.
``I think the consensus is that we're not going to decrease,'' Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil said.
The decision could heighten U.S. consumer concern about heating oil prices this winter, although one analyst said prices likely will remain stable for now.
The 11 members did say, though, that cuts could be made at the cartel's next meeting in Iran in March.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said members should focus on improving compliance with the existing output target.
``One idea is that we have oversupply in the market and an increase in the level of stocks,'' which would be an argument for cutting production, he said.
``Another group believes that, at this time, any change in the OPEC ceiling can send a wrong signal to the market and to the consumer.''
He did not identify which members favored each argument.
The issue is crucial because OPEC is seeking to keep buyers - and their consumers - from becoming jittery that prices could resume their climb. Prices hit a record $55.17 per barrel in late October.
If market conditions warranted, the cartel could decide to change crude oil output policy next month via a telephone conference, al-Sabah said.
One analyst said he believed that consumer fears of higher prices for heating oil would not be realized yet.
``I really am not convinced we are in a new paradigm of higher prices yet,'' Robert W. Dudley, president and CEO of Moscow-based oil and gas company TNK-BP Ltd., said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Dudley expects to see ``high energy prices over the next two years and genuine shortages in some places,'' but he added that the shortages could be met with new capacity.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, is expanding its production capacity, confident the global economy and oil demand will continue to grow despite current prices, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said Saturday.
``The world economy has grown so big, a little fluctuation here and there won't hurt it,'' Naimi said. ``You have to keep looking at the inventories, looking at the economy. If all the signs are positive, then it's OK.''
But fellow OPEC member Indonesia said it wanted to see prices drop by as much as 30 percent.
``We're not that comfortable with $50 oil,'' Indonesian oil minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Saturday in Switzerland. ``We prefer levels of around $35.''
Just happen to be using the Aroon oscillator with a 7 day horizon.
Your suggestions are always welcomed.
Have a great week trading.
Aroon supplied a "buy" signal, so I got a few shares....(smiles).
Have a nice week trading.
The Interactive Performance Comparison Chart.
We have re-traced to the 200 day simple MA.
One exhaustion gap is left on the charts.
Will wait for next signal.
Devon Energy View Raised By Restructuring
12.02.04, 9:09 AM ET
Standard & Poor's Equity Research maintained a "strong buy" rating on Devon Energy and raised the target price to $48 from $44.
"Despite the recent lowering in hydrocarbon price expectations, we believe Devon's announced asset divestitures and balance sheet restructuring will meaningfully improve profits and return on capital," S&P Equity Research said.
"In the current environment, we favor domestically focused operators, and Devon's North American production is 87% of total.
" The research firm raised its 2004 and 2005 earnings-per-share estimates to $4.30 and $4.45, from $4.13 and $4.10, respectively.
The new $48 target price represents 10.8 times the research firm's 2005 earnings-per-share forecast.
Tanker Spills Oil in Delaware River
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A tanker spilled 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, Coast Guard officials said Saturday.
Private contractors were called in to skim oil from the surface of the water and place thousands of feet of boom to contain the floating slick.
A stretch of less than 10 miles of the busy river was closed to commercial and recreational traffic while the spill was being cleaned up.
``I would classify any spill in the water as significant,'' said Coast Guard Petty Officer John Edwards. ``We're working very quickly and diligently to expedite the cleanup.''
It wasn't immediately clear what caused the spill, Edwards said. He said the leak had stopped by late Saturday morning.
The tanker, the Athos I, registered in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, was carrying 325,000 barrels of oil from Venezuela when it began leaking Friday night, said Jim Lawrence, a spokesman for the vessel's owner, Greek shipping company Tsakos Shipping and Trading SA. The crew notified the Coast Guard and began transferring oil from the leaking tank to another tank on board, he said.
The nearly 750-foot-long ship, built in 1983, was last out of the water for maintenance in April, Lawrence said. He said it had never before spilled oil.
The tanker was seen listing about 300 yards from its destination, a Citgo refinery in Paulsboro, N.J.
Here is an interactive chart that compares Energy to APC, and based on the last 200 days APN sells at a 17.63% discount, also notice that periodically the two converge..(smiles).
Also a short term chart with a clear "W" pattern for direction.
Have a nice week trading.
An ascending triangle breakout.
With best regards.
Erich,....thank you for your post, I found it most interesting, and full of facts and figures.
At the close of tuesday this week, once again the Aroon Oscillator provides another 'GO FOR IT" signal......(smiles).
However the DVN price Vs the Energy Commodities, in the last 200 days has been reduced to a 7.88% discount.
Periodically these two converge.......(smiles).
why not Jim....we all know the week has 7 days, that usually means was generated at the end of the trading day....(smiles).
A "buy" signal was generated on Nov. 7th. using the oscillator Aroon, two days later this signal was corroborated by the crossing of the 7 and 14 day MAV's.
Also when you compare the Energy Commodities vs Devon stock, in the last 200 days, notice that Devon sells at an 18% discount.
Periodically these two converge....(smiles).
Also Devon's chart pattern resembles a "stair" rises, pauses and consolidates the gains.
Have a nice week trading.