Coincidence or Conspiracy


Normally I like to keep things here on the lighter side of ordinary.  What would be the point of having a downer blog?

However, there has been something weighing on my mind lately.  Now, this contemplation could be entirely the fault of spending too much time in the car, driving from California to Oregon and back again.  Let’s just say there’s lots of free time to let the mind wander during a LONG car trip.

It all started when we pulled into a gas station last week in Shasta, California.  We paid $4.87 per gallon of gasoline, rounding up the 9/10 (just had to throw that in).  

A pretty big increase compared to what we’re used to paying, don’t you think?

I started wondering how families who are already struggling to make ends meet could possibly afford prices like this.

I then thought about the stimulus checks being pumped into the system to supposedly help with the economic downturn.

BUT where are these economic stimulus checks going?  Not to food.  Not to housing.  Not to fun. 

Are they not indirectly going right into the oil interest pockets.  Am I wrong?

Am I imagining oil prices hitting all time highs right when stimulus checks started arriving in the mail?  Creating a smokescreen of sorts of what this money is to be used for. 

The government spent millions of dollars sending out letters informing people they would be eligible for this money.  Many folks then bought things on credit hoping to pay it off when their stimulus check arrived.  However, when the checks came, gas prices were so out of control the money was then used for other basic expenses.  

Hmmmm.

Now this is not meant to be a political debate based on Republican or Democratic affiliation.  I support the President of our country regardless of their political affiliation and mine.  This is how our country remains strong.  I am not interested in hearing how our country would be different or better if someone else were in office.  I know we are irresponsible in our energy use and wasting resources.

I am interested in the potential folly of this government, if there is one.

Just as a President grants clemency to many convicted criminals in his final hours as leader of this country, could the President, in HIS moment of irresponsibility, be paying back the oil industry as some type of returned favor? 

Let’s face it, many more devious things have been done by government besides this blip, but is this the current fate of the day?

Our Vice President, Dick Cheney, has definite ties to the oil industry.  I wouldn’t be surprised if George Bush does too.

And, now that oil companies have been charging this much and know they can get it, why would the prices EVER go down?  It may not be just a supply and demand market.  Maybe the oil interests want more rights to drill in previously forbidden places.  They will lower prices when they get what they want.

So tell me, is this Coincidence or Conspiracy….or have I just been in the car too long?

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43 Comments

  1. melissa 1

    I don’t want to be rude…but that is WHY the bush family is were they are…
    link to rense.com
    take a gander, i realize its a small website and slightly outdated, but the general idea I’m trying to get across is there. I really hope you will do your own research on the subject, because i know the link above says a lot about the bush family, and not much about George Jr, but there is much to learn about it. also, i will leave you with a quote, that i hope you enjoy.

    “to announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public”
    -Theodore Roosevelt

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  2. That’s a no brainer. Definitely a conspiracy. Although I love conspiracy theories, so maybe I’m biased 😉

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  3. melissa 3

    im sorry…i cant sleep until i tell you, that if you are really interested in this subject, you should watch zeitgeist, which you can very easily google and watch online. take from it what you will, im sure that you wont agree with all of it, but it is informative, and worth a watch if this is something that is bugging you, long car ride or not.

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  4. Alan 4

    $4.87 a gallon? Come to the UK and enjoy gas at $12.09 a gallon!

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  5. HoneyB 5

    good question Cathy! I am with you, I really don’t believe the prices are ever going to go down and I don’t know how people (like many where I live) are going to afford to even stay warm in the winter. Most people here have to commute 30 miles (on the average) just to get to work. Prices of everything goes up, while our pay doesn’t budge. Its sad, very sad that many people will be suffering by the time winter gets here this year.

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  6. Lori 6

    I appreciate Alan’s point about the even-higher costs in the UK; while I agree with you that this is surely not accidental in any way, I do also believe that we’ve been so spoiled for so long, and we’ve been wasteful, using resources with abandon as if it’s our god-given right to cheap everything. I HATE for politicians to be making a killing off this, which I’m certain they are (I’ve read those links and seen the videos others have mentioned, very interesting stuff), but at the same time, if this finally forces people to take better care – which it seems to be doing – that’s not a bad thing. Painful getting there, but not a bad thing.

    I know, very easy for me to say, living in Manhattan with such cheap and easy public transportation.

    But just to be clear, in response to the meat of your post: conspiracy. Yeah, baby.

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  7. The prices have been more than twice this in Europe forever. We need to get over our addiction. It’s going to take some work, but we can do it! There are alternatives.

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  8. Nancy 8

    It’s not a conspiracy. Demand is what is driving oil prices up. Many, many people own interest in the oil companies. Their profit margin is huge. They make only 8 cents for every gallon sold and they do all the work. The government makes 40 cents per gallon and they make nothing. Now that’s what I call “windfall profits” and we should be asking Congress what in the world they are doing with all that money. Wait, we already know-wasting it.

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  9. JulenaJo 9

    I can only speak from our personal perspective here in rural Ohio. The increase in oil has led to higher prices at the pump, at the grocery store, and everywhere else, it seems. Our stimulus check went for needed items. Dreams of a big family vacation remain just that, although I know we will still manage to take a couple of smaller, closer to home jaunts. In spite of a so-called good economy (according to gov’t reports in the media, not personal reports of anyone I know) my husband took pay a year-long pay cut that was only recently rescinded. Thank heavens! It would have been impossible here if it had not been.
    That being said, we HAD been enjoying a time of plenty. We live 6 miles from town, and used to think nothing of just driving in to satisfy any whim. It WAS wasteful, but we never even thought of it. Now we bundle our errands and make one trip. It does all seem to just make the rich richer and that includes government officials, who have ridiculous salaries and perks. Therein lies the heart of the problem, I think.

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  10. Molly 10

    Funniest part about those stimulus checks is that we have to pay income tax on them. How much of a gift is that? And while Alan’s point is a good one, we also have to realize that public transportation in all of Europe is everywhere. The US just hasn’t built that infrastructure.

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  11. Erin 11

    I don’t know the answer to your questions. I choose not to blog about political things because I just don’t know.

    But I do know that the extra hours I took “just for the summer” are probably going to become a part of my daily life. Because it’s the only way we’re affording daily life.

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  12. Yes, I think you had too much time to think. Most definitely a conspiracy. Atleast, that is how it seems to me, also. I feel for the people who were scraping to survive before all this. I doubt the prices will go back down. If not, where are we headed? And who exactly is benefiting from the conspiracy? If our own gov’t does not care for the American people, who are we left with? You sure inspired more thinking in me! Maybe, I need a long car ride!

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  13. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Dubya has ties to the oil industry or owes them some favors. I don’t believe this is a conspiracy, though.
    Fact – There is a limited supply of oil.
    Fact – That supply is limited further by not allowing drilling in places where we know there is oil. I’m not necessarily for drilling in those places, but it does limit supply further.
    Fact – We rely on other countries too much for oil and that places us at a definite disadvantage.
    Fact – We have been lazy in relying so much on oil from other countries and not working to find alternative energy and fuel sources. We have been greedy and careless and wasteful in how much oil we use. We have been shortsighted in living in the moment and not planning for when that limited supply would eventually dip low and increase prices and our dependency on foreign oil.
    Fact – We are incredibly egocentric in all of our whining about prices now. As Alan said, look at what European countries have been paying for some time now. Dh and I noticed the high gas prices (measured in liters rather than gallons!) in the U.K. on our honeymoon 18 years ago. We had an inkling then of what would eventually happen here, but like everyone else here we ignored it.
    Fact – As much as I hate to say it, the high prices may be a good thing. They are driving (lol) Americans to think more about their oil consumption and be less wasteful. The prices are forcing us to look at things we should have been looking at all along like public transportation and alternative energy sources and good old fashioned common sense. Hitting Americans in the pocketbook is about the only thing that could cause this change in so many. Sadly, those who can afford it the least are those who feel the most trapped and helpless and who will have a harder time imagining a way out.
    Fact – Have you ever compared the price of a gallon of gas to the price of a gallon of milk? Which do you think is easier and cheaper to get? I don’t know for certain, but I’m guessing it’s the milk. Though, I suppose in several points along the line milk production is dependent on oil. Maybe they are closer in cost and work than I think.
    Fact – Oil prices will continue to increase.
    Fact – There is no freakin’ public transportation to speak of in Kansas or many other states away from the east and west coasts!
    Fact – We’d better adapt quickly. We have become to dependent and whiny in recent generations. It’s time to remember get back some of that resourcefulness and independent spirit this country was once known for.

    As for the stimulus checks, that was an idiotic move. You could just bet that most Americans would go out and spend before they had cash in hand and spend beyond what they would be getting for crap they didn’t need. Of course they put it on credit! Hey, if the govt. is going to give me money, I’ll spend it, and I was glad to be able to pay my property taxes with it. Truly stimulate the economy? I don’t think so!

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  14. Speculation is what is driving oil prices up. While there is a finite amount of oil, there is no shortage right now. Oil companies are pulling in record profits right now and republicans in the senate refuse to limit speculation on oil, so there’s still room for money to be made uf someone chooses to invest. I personally don’t think we should be speculating on a commodity that is vital to our nations economy (drives up the price of getting everything to market for consumers). If the price of oil were allowed to increase based on supply and demand, you wouldn’t have seen this huge leap in prices.
    That said, yes… W has links to his VP and companies like Haliburton that now have HUGE contracts over in Iraq. I don’t think they’ve attemped to hide that.
    And the stimulous checks are a joke. As you stated, many of them are going to be absorbed by higher gas costs and heating costs. Those checks were not enough to stimulate the economy, they were just good PR. And yes, the goverment spent millions on processing these checks and letters, all the while we’re going into this huge debt on the war. I won’t weigh in on that except to say who will pay for it? It’s ridiculous for our government to manage our money this way. Whatever happened to a balanced budget?
    K, I’m done.

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  15. Marcy 15

    I go with conspiracy. Nothing can be that coincidental.
    We are one of those families trying to make it and doing so without a lot of leway.
    We have a 20+yr old van and its fine to get us around in town, but my DH works in downtown Dallas. He rides his bike to the bus stop every morning at 6, to catch the 645 bus.
    He get to downtown station aroudn 745 , then walks the next 2-3 blocks to his job.
    He starts work at 830. Works till around 4 or so and is usually back home aroudn 7. Most of his day outside of work is spent getting to and from work.
    Nicole and I can’t do much in 100+ degree weather so we are AT HOME!!
    We can’t wait for cooler temps, and to keep praying that gas will drop.

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  16. ntsc 16

    The shrub is a failed oilman who was rescued from insolvency in a deal, which when discovered the SEC or Justice refused to investigate.

    My recollection, and it may be faulty, is that the rescue was done by the Saudi Royal family. You may recall that just after 9/11 when US planes were still grounded the bin Laden family was flown out of Washington on a govt. aircraft?

    The veep has strong ties to an oil services company which also is supplying a lot of services to the Army in Iraq. Obviously it is better to pay a KP $1000/day than $500/month (figures made up, but not far off).

    For the oil companies to claim they are only makeing 8 cents a gallon is an outright lie. That may be the profit at the pump but only on oil they buy, but oil that it cost a few dollars a barrel to pump and refine is selling for close to $200 at the pump. There are about 42 gallons in an oil barrel, not 55 that is a different barrel.

    Supposedly there is no tax on this stimulus check, unlike the first one. Ours went for a stove: link to blog.charcuteire.com

    There is a consiperency, but nothing so simple as false prices at the pump. The oil industry, which owns the executive branch, does not want any alternative energy. No new nuclear plants in 20+ years, no plants for turning coal into oil – it costs about $40 barrel, no research in to atomic fusion, that stoped under Papa Bush and is now being done only by the Russians.

    I could go on, but I won’t. We do have a government every bit as legitimate as the one in Zimbawbwe. And a war every bit as legitimate as Hitler’s response to Polish agression in 39.

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  17. Trisha 17

    Wow! That was some deep thought going on during your car trip!

    I do agree – why would the price of gas ever go back down once people actually pay this? I have been thinking about that too!

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  18. It certainly does seem suspicious!! My husband doesn’t think it’s a conspiracy though–he thinks it’s just a coincidence. It’s definitely something to think about!

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  19. I find the gas prices very troubling and I would be highly surprised if they ever went down.

    I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but it does seem like one to me. I understand prices are a lot higher in some other countries, but for most Americans (and at least where I live) public transportation or using anything other than a car is just not possible. We are forced to drive and we are forced to pay prices way beyond our reach.

    I mean…for me (and I don’t care about telling other people my finances) I make $200 a week. It cost $60 just to fill my tank once and I have been hardpressed to make it out of the grocery store will a bill lower than $90 for a weeks worth of food for two. So, people say it could be worse, but it’s hard for me to see how. If the prices of food and gas get any higher I know for me I won’t be able to afford anything else. It’s scary. Prices keep going up, but we certainly aren’t getting paid any higher.

    Sorry to ramble!

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  20. Rayrena 20

    Very interesting points brought up. I don’t have faith that our government has the ability to make changes to the price of oil. I only wish it were expensive because the cost included all the hidden costs of cleaning up it’s pollution, not because it’s lining some executive’s pockets or paying for special projects of the government.

    I’m fortunately that I have some control over how much fuel I use. I honestly don’t remember the last time I fueled up. Now that I’m a stay at home mom, I can choose where I go. What I really need to do is start getting some miles under my belt on the bike. Our neighborhood is quite hilly and I should be taking the baby to the market on my bike. Again, I’m lucky to live where we can bike almost year round.

    I can tell you this though, when we do get around to replacing my car, it won’t be a petro-fueled beast.

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  21. I’ve often thought most things tied to necessary commodities are “regulated” by government.

    We really need to get our collective act together and figure out how to rely on renewable sources of energy. It would also be grand if we could build up our public transportation systems.

    And I also worry about how many families, even many who wouldn’t normally be considered “poor” are going to afford to heat their homes this winter. Here in CT, we generally heat our homes with oil. Think about it – 250 gallons of oil a month to heat your home. And that’s with the thermostat at 65. Home heating oil right now is $4.39. That’s over $1000 a month! Two winters ago oil was $2.59 and we thought THAT was ridiculous!

    Sumpin’s gotta give!

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  22. It isn’t surprising to me at all. Bush’s thinly veiled ties to the oil industry has always troubled me. I think you made a very good point. It’s interesting that gas hitting an all time high happens now and he is unwilling to take any steps to aid the situation.

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  23. Amanda 23

    Our check went to a new pool pump! To deal with gas prices, hubby sold his 4WD, V8 Pick up truck, and now drives an itty-bitty Nissan Versa.

    I love a good conspiracy, but think its a coincidence this time.

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  24. Karly 24

    Conspiracy. For sure. I’m not really one for conspiracy theories, but regarding this? Definitely.

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  25. krysta 25

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

    Mark Twain

    Good Quote!

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  26. Alisa 26

    I fully believe it is “big” business conspiracy. It is amazing how the price for EVERYTHING is increasing simply because of the price of oil. Now, some airlines are charging for each checked bag? Because of the price of fuel? This is one of my hot topics because down here, gas is $4.59 and that’s the lowest it has been all summer, at the little dinky station, when you pay cash.
    If it was just the cost of oil that made gas more expensive, wouldn’t gasoline cost the same pretty much throughout the country? Or even in the same state?
    Sorry…I’ll calm down now…

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  27. Gas price will never come down but continue to skyrock.

    And I wonder why our country never seriously consider producing car using alternative power.

    Look at shell’s project in Iceland for example. link to shell.com

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  28. Let’s let go of the conspiracy theory for a minute and celebrate our right to choose what we drive, what we eat, where we live, how much we consume … or save. We the people have put ourselves right where we are. We choose all the time at the check-out counter, the dealership, and the ballot box. No quick fixes will get us out of this, but maybe personal responsibility and wise choices will help. Reach out to your neighbor if they are in need; accept help from them if they offer and you need it. Let’s work together. We can’t have it all CHEAP. Let’s choose to invest in the “good” things in life and make the choice to let “stuff” go. Come on folks — let’s celebrate what we have instead of griping about what we feel “entitled” to (bet the rest of the world woudln’t agree with us anyway — look at UK’s gas price stated above). I’m not going to begin dining on lotus petals in exchange for a cheap tank of gas. We the people … remember.

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  29. I think it’s a plot but not by us or any of our government. I think it is planned by the Middle East to destroy our economy. We are being plundered because we are to stupid to supply ourselves with our needs and have placed ourselves in a dependent position. Why shouldn’t they take advantage? We haven’t been very smart, but we better smarten up and get a LONG RANGE view on things and soon.

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  30. jean 30

    You nailed it right on the head. It amazes me that more people haven’t caught onto this. Wake up America and smell the gas fumes.

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  31. This subject makes me the think of the movie Mad Max or was it the Road Warrior? Whatever. Wasn’t the fighting and hording all over gas? I do believe we are headed in this direction.

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  32. longhornpete 32

    so, if big oil can just drive up the prices at will to push up their profits, why didn’t they do it ten years ago when gas was $0.97 a gallon?

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  33. wow, just reading through here and was taken back by the “not to be rude (but am basically going to correct you on everything you mention)”. …and I got a little riled, but have deleted my rant. For now, I’ll say good post, great to get us thinking!

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  34. Robert 34

    (quietly)
    Shhhana,
    Juice, you mean the juice.
    (standing completely in your space)Remember, the guys with the refinery wins. Come with us, there is room on the bus. We can teach you to channel your ‘special’ energy to the good, stealing juice. A new world awaits…….

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  35. I DO know that the price if gas affects everything we consume, especially food. I was in the grocery store this afternoon to buy ONLY a gallon of milk and a quart of juice. One month ago, the milk I paid $4.49/gal. for today, was $3.88, and the quart of orange juice then was $2.18, and today was $2.99, all in four weeks. I guess I will be on a forced diet whether I like it or not, on a fixed income.

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  36. Erin 36

    I have to mirror the comment about Ohio and add this: I am all for becoming more reliant on public transportation and driving less IF that were an option! In my town there is one taxi and no bus service. I have walked everywhere that I can safely get to in a town lacking in sidewalks for over 6 months to cut down on fuel consumption. When Ohio had the opportunity to build a light rail system connecting the major cities they opted not to, so we don’t have that option either. Columbus has brought up the discussion of a monorail multiple times and every time it is rejected by either lawmakers or the voters. I am looking for a job right now and am fully expecting a major portion of my salary to go to buying gas to get to work. In order for us to be less reliant on fossil fuels we have to have other transportation options and right now that doesn’t exist for Ohioans. So many people that I know are sacrificing groceries for gas so that they can get to work. I don’t know what the answer is. All I know is that where I live everyone I know, rich or poor, is struggling to makes ends meet now that the gas prices have risen so dramatically.

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  37. Wow. You sure started something . . . people clearly WANT to talk about this. Need to talk about this.

    Me. This is what has me worried: “now that oil companies have been charging this much and know they can get it, why would the prices EVER go down?” My optimistic self is finding it hard to put a happy face on and say, “This too shall pass . . . ”

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  38. Cathy C 38

    I struggle with this every day as for me I am saddened by the impact this is having on our Spirit – so many people seem deflated by the current economic state. I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel with this one and I like LaskiGal am usually very optimistic – But this is a tough one. Maybe partially because living in Mayberry there are no great mass transit options. Most of us moved here to raise a family and get away from “city life” and now most are finding that very thing we cherish most is very much being jeopardized. Conspiracy I am not sure – is there a fix yes – is our Government doing enough to help NOT A CHANCE IN HELL… If they would spend less resources on being the worlds police force, bail out partner or “daily lottery ticket” for non citizens and focus more on their own soil and the Americans who proudly stand on it and support it – I feel things could and should be much different.

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  39. You have been in the car too long, however, I, like many other Americans spent my stimulas check way before it arrived on necessities, not frivolous buying! t does make you wonder. I am with you on supporting our president, too many people fight it…constantly!

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  40. Sassy 40

    I could believe in coincidence if it were`nt for the fact that the oil companies are becoming filthy rich, and i do mean FILTHY. The gas prices are virtually hurting every kind of business there is in the USA, except the big guys like Mobile and Exxon. How can that be?

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  41. Tipper 41

    Everyone I know is feeling the pain at the pump and the pain at the grocery store due to inflated gas prices. And I’m afraid you are right -why would it ever go back down

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  42. giz 42

    Sadly, the government allows this to happen because they can. Not enough people will stand up and be counted. We just end up paying and bitching.

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  43. Liz C. 43

    Okay, the truth of it is that George Jr. DOES HAVE TIES to the oil industry. He lived in Midland for many years & their daughters were born here. George WAS in the oil business before he became governor of Texas. More than 90% of his friends are in the oil business or have some connection to it. When I still worked in the oil business, he did many deals with my boss, so I know this first hand. His father George also has many ties to people in the oil industry and I have no doubts that they always will. Just because you have to liquidate all holdings to enter public office doesn’t mean there’s no back scratching going on. Because you can damn well bet that there is.

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