Tuesday, April 25, 2006

ADDICTED TO OIL . . . AND BULLS**T

The DIC learns, once again, that as gas prices rise, his poll numbers fall. It's a simple formula at this point, and I'll be anything but suprised to see a sudden injection of oil from the SPR next autumn as the midterm elections approach.

Anyhoo, one thing I find most curious is the now de rigeur warning that "price gauging will not be tolerated." We hear this from Chuck Shumer, we hear it from the DIC, I expect to hear it on FOX News, on CNN, from Mike & The Mad Dog, from my wife during her sleep. No Price Gauging Tolerated. We're Americans.

Say what? Now I'm no Republican, and I hope they lose real bad in November, but I can't help but think that when a party shifts so far from it's ostensible core principles, it can't be good for its short-term future. The rhetoric never matches the act, even going back to Tricky Dick & The Teflon Prez: spenders both, big government meddlers both, foreign policy adventurers both. But under President Pinocchio, the rhetoric doesn't even match the Party Line of his . . . party (hey, no metaphor required). Like it or not, the GOP has talked the talk of Free Markets for a while now. Whether or not they've ever walked it is a debate for another time, but now they hardly even bother with the lip service.

The President of the United States, so worried about his plummeting popularity, has all but warned business owners not to allow supply & demand to affect the rates they charge for gasoline. Pure demogoguery. The Core Principle of the GOP is now, "Stay in Power." That's it.

Though stories of the demise of the Democrats, on the other hand, to paraphrase Mark Twain, have been greatly exaggerated. You see, someone first has to be alive & well before he can die.

* * *

Update, 9:45 AM: Your Federal Tax Dollars at Work! The President calls for an "investigation" into high gas prices.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike:

Top o' the morning for ya, boyo!

The DIC's coming out today at around 10 a.m. EDT to reveal a four point energy program. I wait with baited breath to the sage comments issued by our fearless Decider.

As it happens nowadays, however, there is no longer surprises when new stuff is released. Come to think about it, new stuff is already old stuff when released. Look at the trailers at the movies: all the crucial scenes, all the good lines, all the 'wow' SFX are there. The consumer is sensitized to these images well in advance of the release and moved, hopefully, to see them again and again.

And so it is with the Beltway. The baloons have been out since yesterday, and we know about the four components of the 'plan'. Relies heavily on drilling at ANWAR (we don't need no stinkin' caribous!), hydrogen cars (did anybody ever tell the DIC that hydrogen is a dead end energy sink that requires more energy input than energy produced), some tweaking with CAFE standards, and other alternatives.

Can you hear the sound of the immense silence creeping over the stage? Can you identify what is covered by the DIC's studied silence?

You guessed it; here's your cigar! Conservation. Not an iota about conservation, a proven measure that'd bring down oil prices like a point-blanked quail (provided there's no septuagenarian attorneys and Veep Cheney around, of course). At the stroke of a pen and a well turned malapropism the DIC could tighten conservation rules for the entire federal government and its myriad contractors and suppliers. With the assistance of bi-partisan support in Congress conservation could be mandated everywhere by re-imposing simple things as the 55-mile limit, EnergyStar standards for all public facilities, improved energy standards for residential buildings.

Yet, not a peep about commonsensical measures that would allow some breathing space to our battered citizens by bringing down the price of oil. Not even when stories of desperate Americans pawning valuables, even work tools, to pay for $3 a gallon gas they can no longer afford.

If these prices stick around for a little longer, it's going to be gas vs. prescriptions, gas vs. clothes, gas vs. food.... And a merry Catch-22 it will be, since you need gas to reach the pharmacy, the supermarket, the nearest WalMart.

Things, as Emeril would put it, have been kicked up a notch.

And still the DIC dreams of an America rolling forward on 333-HP hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Makes one wonder what pipe he's sucking from these days....

Cheers,

Jorge (still posting as anonymous cause this thing won't accept my usernames)

9:57 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Jorge-

Sorry about the log-in problem. I only write the damn thing; someone else handles the techie stuff. And thank god for that.

* * *

I'm not with you on the mandated conservation measures, but, yes, it sho' would be nice to hear our fearless & certainly peerless leader say so much as one word about measures to reduce our dependence on 'erl.

But we know he won't do that.

Also, the reasons for avoiding supply & demand discussions re oil prices are many. Including the economic ignorance of most Americans, the press included. But, more importantly, any honest discussion of supply invariably leads to acknowldgements of Peak Oil. And know *that* ain't happening.

10:06 AM  

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