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Now We Know What It’s All About!

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Idaho GOP Sen. Larry Craig stood on the Senate floor last week to utter an amazing statement. He said that "…a premature withdrawal from Iraq could have dire consequences with our economy and energy supply…."

Craig's Democratic challenger Larry LaRocco had something to say about this new-found Republican honesty in an interview with NewWest.net. Craig "has confirmed that [the war in Iraq is] no longer about security, it’s no longer about squashing terrorists-he’s putting the lives of our great men and women at risk for oil…."

So, it all about oil, folks. Meantime, the consumer is about to get screwed at the pump worse than you have ever experienced, due to oil refineries experiencing a record number of fires, power failures, leaks, spills and breakdowns, which results in less gas at higher prices.

It isn't just the refinery problems – real or imaginary-that are going to hit you in the wallet. Crude oil prices hover at near-record levels, and the cost of everything is going up to cover that larger expense. What can do you do about these higher costs? You can eat them!

Groceries haven't risen this much in so short a time since 1990, when they rose 6.5%. It was far worse during the oil crises in 1973 (16.4%) and 1974 (14.9%). But don't worry! Those "experts" who predicted that stealing Saddam's oil would be a cakewalk now predict that these higher oil prices are only temporary.

Meanwhile, a report on future oil prices released by CIBC World Markets suggests that "a growing appetite for oil in the developing world and a seemingly unquenchable thirst for it in most developed countries will push prices to $80 US a barrel this year, and to $100 US by the end of 2008."

Here's a final fact of economic life even neo-confidence Savants can't deny. If consumers don't have enough money to keep buying all those cheaply-made man-child toys arriving daily from Asia, our economy will collapse faster than you can say "Impeach Clinton!" What will happen to your lovely record-level Dow then?

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About pessimist

  • Clavos

    Oil prices keep rising, but we keep buying more and more of the stuff.

    Apparently, prices aren’t high enough yet.

    Do you get your ideas from Paul Ehrlich?

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I’m not sure just how many of us can NOT keep buying petrolium products. First, they are ubiquitous. Petrolium products go far beyond just the fuel and lubricants we use in our autos.

    While a few of the larger cities in the US provide good public transportation, that is not true of a greater number of smaller cities. Many mid-western cities provide only token public transportation, usually in the form of a drastically trimmed down metro bus service. Most mid and far western cities have large suburban or “x-urban areas which are not served by these bus services. Only a few such cities have any commuter train service either. Obviously, there are even fewer options for rural folk.

    The result is that most people in these areas have few options beyond the family sedan to get to and from work, to do the family shopping, getting the kids to soccer practice, making doctor visits, etc. Car pooling is an answer for some, but far from all. I literally could not do my job if I had to depend on public transportation or car pooling in my community.

    Couple that with the general love affair most Americans have for their cars. Few people are willing to even consider other means of transport. Watch most auto ads on the tube. They generally depict people virtually creaming their jeans over their cars. Many people feel as passionately about their cars as NAR members do about their guns. (Maybe that’s why drive by shootings are so popular. They offer the best of both worlds.)

    How high will gas have to go before we stop buying it? Pretty high, I’d say.

    Baritone

  • Clavos

    Baronius,

    All of what you say is true.

    But it doesn’t account for the rapid RISE in demand.

    I agree: the price will have to get considerably higher before we actually cut back, which would indicate to me that we’re not nearly as close to cataclysm (or even hurting) as the author suggests.

    Which is why I made reference to Ehrlich.

  • Clavos

    Damn, Baritone, I did it AGAIN!

    I’m VERY sorry for trying to re-name you.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    So, the article has revealed that ONE representative embodies the beliefs of everyone in government. Wow, he should be like president or something.

    As for the gas price, let’s jack it up even more. I doubt the tiny amount of oil currently coming from Iraq would make much difference, so let’s tack on a nice big federal gas tax.

    Higher gas prices mean more money for small farmers and pressure to expand public transportation and increased sales of alternative fuel vehicles. Sounds great to me.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Hey, Clavos, I would never misspell NRA.

    I’ve got to say that Baritone’s point is valid. I believe that telecommuting and reorganization of communities will diminish oil needs in the long run, but there’s very little wiggle room in the day-to-day oil consumption of a commuter.

    Realist, your last few articles have been disjointed. This one’s better. I still disagree, though.

  • moonraven

    The World Market folks were just quoting Hugo Chavez, who said now 80 bucks a barrel and next year 100 bucks a barrel.

    And he should know–given that he controls OPEC prices. He has also yet to be wrong about any of this stuff.

    Of course there are non-OPEC producers: Mexico (only 8 to 9 years of reserves left due to selling below OPEC prices to the US–and due to lack of maintenance and the milking of PEMEX as a cash cow soon to be out of the game anyway), Norway and Canada spring to mind.

    But Norway is very keen on keeping its crude prices above the prices for OPEC crude.

    Canada is a wild card in the game–and I suspect a lot of its chances of becoming a heavyweight player depend on whether its governments turn around and start heading towards keeping the profits in Canada instead of slushing them off to Big Oil. At the moment, they are hewading in the opposite direction–and one has to wonder just how deeply the reserves of masochism run in that northern neighbor….

    MOST conscious folks have known EVERYTHING was about oil at least since Thoma Hartmann published THe Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight.

    Anyone who has NOT read that book should be boiled in….oil.

  • moonraven

    Thom Hartmann, actually.

    Because the book is so well-done I guess the collective consciousness expressed itself theough my fingers and wanted the writer to be female….

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Would that we were back in the days when the Nederlanders based their economy on tulip bulbs.
    Just owning a “Semper Augustus” or two would make you rich. Not very useful, but easier to keep around and much more attractive than a barrel of oil.

    Baron – er – Baritone

  • Clavos

    “Baron – er – Baritone”

    LOL!

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    Just a note. Coincidentally, I had just recently placed a couple of Hartmann’s books on hold at our local library including The Last Hours…”

    Don’t heat up the oil just yet.

    Baritone

  • moonraven

    Considering you are a minority of ONE who even has intentions of reading it, I think I can safely start heating up the oil.

    If it turns out that folks on this site are a lot more with it than they have shown themselves to be, I will make a HUGE btach of onion rings….

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Mmmmm. Do you make your own breading? Don’t use Vidalia onions. They lose their flavor when cooked. Oh, and use either peanut or maybe safflower oil. Do you have a good deep fryer?

    B-tone

  • Clavos

    “Just owning a “Semper Augustus” or two would make you rich.”

    Until the bubble went the way of all bubbles…

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Ahh, yes. Bubbles always burst, don’t they?

    When do you think the oil bubble will burst? It’s a big, heavy-assed bubble which, when it blows, will leave a huge mess.

    B-tone

  • Clavos

    Oh, yuck. Oil all over everything!…Oh, wait…it already IS…

  • moonraven

    B:

    Rest assured that I learned to cook, recipe by recipe, from Escoffier’s Ma Cuisine. Back in the 1960s. Since then I have added Russian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Hungarian, Italian, Moroccan and Middle Eastern to the repertoire….

    Onion rings are hardly a difficult project.

    Nor is the French onion soup I made yesterday–complete with a stock made from beef bones….

  • Baronius

    See, Moon? There wasn’t a single insult in that whole posting. You *can* do it.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I earned my culinary stripes (literally) as a cook in the U.S. of Army, and later as a manager of a fine seafood establishment named after a famous, though fictional pirate.

    B-tone (I would use just “B” but then you might confuse me with “B” – just ask Clavos.)

  • moonraven

    Baronius:

    I did not write insults until you guys insulted me–and all the other women who have ever tried to post on this site.

    I am a mirror–I reflect back what you do.

    So if you don’t want to be insulted, clean up you act of degrading women.

  • moonraven

    Baritone:

    I spent 11 days in the US Army in Fort McClellan, Alabama (otherwise knows as Deliverance Country).

    It was the most disgusting food I have ever seen–something terrible called grits that was actually library paste, pulverized pork chops, collard greens cooked to the consistence of diarrhea.

    Just one of the reasons I left.

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    Please pardon an unwelcome digression back to the original article, but it’s been reported that Bush recently called Maliki and told him his number one priority is the Iraq Oil Law, which guarantees ultra-low prices to US oil companies. Not peace, not reconciliation, not police training, not army training, not getting the legislature to work through the month of August, not The Surge, none of those, just guarantee low prices to oil companies.

  • moonraven

    That’s last week’s news, Bliffle–but tomorrow’s for the folks on this site who insist that black is white.

    Thanks for reminding us that black is, in fact, black.

  • Baronius

    Moon, when was that exactly? In the past week or so, I’ve probably been shorter-tempered with you than usual, but for a few months now you’ve been yelling at me.

  • moonraven

    Baronius:

    I have no idea what you are asking about?

    When was WHAT?

  • Baronius

    You accused me of insulting you, and denigrating women. When?

  • moonraven

    I am a woman. You insulted and degraded me.

    Is that not sufficient?

    I am not going to quote your unacceptable comments.

    This conversation is over.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    I didn’t say I was good at cooking, or that army chow was anything more than nominally edible. That’s just what I did for about 14 months. Overall, it sucked. I did get pretty damn good at frying eggs, though.

    As for the seafood gig – does LJS ring any bells? At the time some fellow managers and I came up with a slogan: “If it ain’t deep fried, then it’s somethin’ we ain’t tried.” ‘nough said.

    B-tone

  • REMF

    “I spent 11 days in the US Army in Fort McClellan, Alabama (otherwise knows as Deliverance Country).”
    – moonraven

    Hey, that’s 11 days longer than GW Bush spent at Dannelly AFB, Alabama.

  • Baronius

    No, Moon, this conversation isn’t over. You insulted me without backing it up. Back it up or take it back. When did I insult and degrade you?

  • moonraven

    Now the shoe, I am afraid, is on YOUR foot to show where I insulted you.

    It’s not insulting you to say that you have insulted and degraded ME.

    It’s a simple description of what you have done since I first visited this site 21 Sept. 2007.

    And you are not along.

    But since you chose to take the lion’s share of the accusation, obviously YOU believe that you are guilty.

    Logic unravels the problems posed by obfuscation every time.

    And that is IT.

    Find a GUY to argue with for a change.

  • moonraven

    2006.

    I am so avant garde….

  • Baronius

    Moonraven –

    If memory serves, the first time I replied to you was after an exchange that you had with Clavos. He had disagreed with you on a question of public policy. You responded by questioning his masculine proportions.

    Now, I cannot speak to the accuracy of your charge. For all I know, Clavos is woefully ill-equipped, unable to provide himself or a partner even a moment of pleasure. But it’s not my duty to measure the man.

    I commented that you were out of line. I may have made a pun about your name, something along the line of “raving loon”. I have subsequently pointed out, repeatedly, when you break the rule against personal attacks. I have also debated and discussed issues with you. Not many people around here bother to do that. There are a few people here that I don’t bother to read; you’re not one of them (or haven’t been).

    If I’m defensive, it’s because I was raised to treat women with respect. That particular accusation of yours is a personal insult. But just for the record, in the recent discussion on the right to health care, you called me a mean-spirited nitwit who has been jerking off fellow BC commenters for so long that my brain has rotted, and deserves to be slapped silly. I took that as an insult as well.

  • zingzing

    baronius, everything you say is a slap in the face to all women according to moonraven.

    she doesn’t bother to point out where you insulted her because IT’S ALL INSULTING TO HER, being a goddess or whatever.

    she’s always right, you’re always wrong, especially if you are male, at which point you are constantly masturbating, and even if you point out the fact that you are indeed masturbating, you are wrong about that fact (and aren’t masturbating while constantly masturbating). in fact, you don’t even know what a fact is. and then if you are american… oh my. american males are constantly beating up women, jacking off and starving and blowing up the rest of the world (but giving handjobs to all the men). does it even out? oh no! we are the scum upon which moonraven feasts/shits and we are too dumb to recognize it. she is so far above us that she can see us for what we truly are, as she is our mirror, as she likes to say (while “walking the talk”), and any nastiness that comes out of her mouth is just what we are really like behind all of our attempts at discourse, which, of course, are futile because we are too dumb to speak spanish.

  • moonraven

    I think the problem is one the following:

    1. You are one of the overly sensitive “metros” who expect to be treated with kid gloves even though you don’t respect other people.

    2. You have given yourself such airs by thinking of yourself in the royal “we”, that when someone writes YOU, you believe it is always directed at you.

    3. You don’t have anything else to do so are trying to have me on.

    If you care to add to the list so that you have more options to pick from, who am I stop stand in your way?

    You might, in the sake of acceptable rules of written discourse, however, post the sequence in which you first insulted me.

    I am disinclined to go back and read that disgusting display of misogynist drivel again.

    By the way, “raving loon” is an insult and a personal attack–even if a tender little shoot like yourself writes it.

    I have given you several options of things you can do here. You may pick one or more of them and have yourself some fun.

    But this conversation is now REALLY over.

    (It takes two to tango..er, converse, and I am no longer willing. Live with it.)

  • Baronius

    “Live with it.”

    OK.

  • Dr Dreadful

    ‘Idaho GOP Sen. Larry Craig stood on the Senate floor last week to utter an amazing statement. He said that “…a premature withdrawal from Iraq could have dire consequences with our economy and energy supply….”‘

    I can just imagine the GOP whips sitting behind him, wincing and muttering, “Shut up shut up shut up!!!”

  • Deadeye

    Why is that an ama=zing statement? it sounds more like stating the obvious.

  • moonraven

    From outside the cesspool of the US, EVERYTHING is perfectly obvious….

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    From outside the cesspool of the US, EVERYTHING is perfectly obvious…

    It must have sounded so good, you wanted to repeat it eh, Marthe?

    Actually, folks, here I must speak as does Marthe, someone who used to live in the United States and who is glad he no longer does.

    The realities of the world are startlingly clear from outside the United States, and getting you navel-gazers in America to see them is a very difficult task.

    What any person with open eyes can see is that we are all engaged in a war over resources. This baloney over democratizing Iraq or the Middle East is just so much sugar for the custard heads to feel sweet over.

    Just as I will not criticize the American kids who have been sent over there, I will not say anything nice about those who sent them over and keep them over here. American troops should have been withdrawn from Iraq by July, 2003, with a force remaining to insure that the neighboring states did not gobble up the place. That would have been the case if there was even a sniff of nation-building going on there.

    What is going on there is the American military insuring that American controlled multinationals have the hand on the oil spigot – not too different from went on in Nicaragua in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s – when the original Sandinista – Sandino – fought and died. Except that in those days, it was over sugar and bananas.

    A lot of this is about oil. It doesn’t matter what “ism” you want to attach to all of this. The American oil and banking establishment cannot survive without attempting to control the world’s oil supply and keep everybody else addicted to the stuff – very much like a drug dealer in the American slums or the British selling opium in China 150 years ago. And the American oil and banking establishment has worked with the Wahhabi thugdom in Arabia and has winked its eyes at the terrorist actions of many of the groups sponsored by that thugdom.

    But there are others who want control over resources as well – like Russia – and they are willing to use proxy states to build up their power – like Iran, Syria, and possibly Venezuela. Then there are the Chinese and Europeans, competing over Latin America.

    But getting you Americans to open your eyes to see reality – that you are being suckered and sucked dry by the oil and banking establishment that controls your country – seems too much of a disappointing message for you all to swallow…

    A pity.

  • moonraven

    They refuse to see because it could mean changing some of their behaviors.

    Hugo Chavez said last year at the UN–somewhere around the moment when he called George Bush the Devil–that when he went from where they had forced him to land his plane into NYC more than 90% of the cars only had the driver. He indicated that folks in the US must change their oil-addicted behaviors or be left high and…dry.

    Dave Nalle–who tells us he operates an alternative fuel vehicle–immediately called Chavez crazy on this site.

    Chavez said last week that oil was going to reach 100 bucks a barrel next year.

    He will be right again.

    We have a saying in Spanish which translates to “No one is more blind than he who refuses to see”.

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