I just can't say enough good things about the writing of MandT over at Adgita Diaries, comenting here on the latest gas spike and Preznit Horse Cranker's last press conference:
There is a dark humor watching Dubya deliver a sincere position. He will be reading along a complicated text and then a section, amoebae-like in simplicity, will light up his face with understanding. His ear will twitch like a moronic Yoda. One of those moments happened when he said he could feel our pain at the gas pumps. He then looked us right in the eye and said that there wasn't much he could do about it except reduce our dependency on foreign oil. If you believe that then you can sell milk to cows.It concludes with a deft, tidy little evisceration of Bobo Brooks. Well worth the read.
Bush, his family, the Sauds, and their operatives in the Carylse Group do feel our pain--they are making billions in profit manulipulating market prices. Anytime Prince Bandar comes over to do a PR, 'Friend of America' stint it's akin to a set piece in a drawingroom comedy. When we get concessions from the Sauds it feels like a gift carpet crawling with fleas.
The last gas spike brought Bandar, bluejeans and all to Crawford to say oil output would be increased. It was. But the truth of the matter included: 1) enormous profits during the manipulated spike, 2) lowered prices--but higher than before so all levels of the oil business prospered. The only ones left out of the deal are local small businessmen and the consumers. We won't even attempt to engineer an explaination of how all this works. But, it works very well--particularly this time around.
Analysis out of U.C. Berkeley shows a graph of supply and demand against the cost at the pumps. The usual ups and downs are evident. The top graph line representing pump prices crawls along, slowly rising in relation to the ups and downs on the line below it. Then, zoom, the pump price soars up, out of relation to the supply and demand line below it. In other words pump cost is soaring even when supply should moderate the price. Its pure and simple market manipulation like that which trashed California by Enron.
The excuse for this piracy run comes up: 1) Increased demand, 2) China and India, 3) too few American oil refineries. Yes, there is a huge increase in demand, especially by India and China. That will certainly account for a major adjustment, long over due. But, using that as an excuse to gouge consumers above and beyond normal adjustment is simple profiteering. Watch Dubya say with a straight face that he wouldn't permit such goughing was stunning. Smirk-smirk.
As for refineries, there has been a tie up on the East and west coasts for a spell, but mid American refineries have even reported surpluses during this rush to $3.00 a gallon at the pump. It would be the height of naivety to think that a trillion dollar industry wouldn't have planned enough refineries to process a supply demand it created. Even before pulling out the Bandar-to-the-rescue set piece to 'splain' 'ta' 'da' 'Merkin' people that all's going to get better the oil industry makes billions in profits. In fact it is true that the past few months have produced the greatest profit margin in the history of the oil industry.
The sheer grandiosity of the swindle part of the spike is Prince Bandar promising billions in aid to the American oil industry by building Saudi owned refineries on former American military bases. When you look at the reality of the sums involved it becomes increasingly clear that an individual who can spend a hundred million dollars on his personal private commercial airplane can certainly afford to buy a president--or a country for that matter.
On a releated note, does anybody want to explain to me the wisdom behind easing up on travel restrictions between the US and Saudi Arabia, considering 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis? And how many Iraqis were there? Let's see. Hmmm. That would be -- zero. (via Shakespeare's Sister)