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SPECIAL EDITION: I reported on Wednesday that the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) closed a mere 85 points above the record high of the Clinton Administration of 11,722 on January 14, 2000, nearly wiping out all the (paltry) gains of the past eight years (seven of those under Bush). Today/Thursday, the market PLUNGED over 358 points to close at 11,453.42 as oil surged above $140 a barrel for the first time, placing the DOW some 270 points below that record high. The reason: Libya threatened to cut oil production in response to a U.S. law that allows terror victims to seize the assets of foreign governments. Apparently, Libya is concerned that all those terrorists from their country might start costing them money. You may remember that in December of 2003, President Bush and the Republican Congress crowed over the fact Libya had agreed to dismantle its WMD program and allow inspectors back in. “Proof that President Bush’s anti-terrorism strategy was working!” If Libya proved anything today, you don’t need WMD’s to hurt an America dependent on foreign oil.

In addition to this, Democrats in Congress finally took up legislation today to regulate “Commodity Speculators”, mainly oil speculators, that have been driving up the price of oil. So apparently, all those investors decided to “stock up” (pardon the pun) on oil futures before the new legislation cuts off the gravy train (they’re going to have to sell short though, before the law kicks in, if it causes a significant drop in prices, to avoid losing their shirts.)

Whatever the reason, the last time the DOW was this low was January 21, 2000… a full year before George Bush took office. So not only has President Bush managed to wipe out ALL gains in the Market during his Presidency, he is now working on wiping out gains under the Clinton Presidency! (President Clinton’s final day in office, the DJIA closed at 10,587).

(Note: While the DOW fell steeply after the Clinton peak in January to just 9,796 seven weeks later — thanks to Republican campaigners talking down the economy –, it managed to rebound to 11,310 by Sept 6, 2000… which is right about where we are now.) Nothing could keep the Clinton-Bull down, just as nothing appears to be able to stop the Bush-Bear from doing cannonballs to the bottom of the pool.)

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