Both Qatar's oil minister and the head of OPEC say they can see oil hitting $200 a barrel before the end of the year, and one analyst says gas could reach $7 a gallon -- or more -- within the next four years.
Meanwhile, George W. Bush says he wishes he had a magic wand .... which is almost exactly what he said two years ago when he also did nothing about energy costs and energy dependency other than to put more troops into Iraq while giving the "big wink" to oil company profiteering.
What, exactly, did we expect when we elected two oil men to the Oval office?
Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to have almost no energy policy. Solar, wind and ethanol research combined are funded at the rate of $1.15 per person per year. Question: How much is that in fluid ounces of gasoline?
John McCain does not seem too concerned, however. He says it's OK for us to be in Iraq for 100 years -- or longer -- and likens such an occupation to our presence in:
- Japan (after two nuclear bombs and millions dead, including scores of thousands of American soldiers, etc.) or;
- Germany (after a war that left upwards of 10 million dead, including scores of thousands of American soldiers), or;
- Korea (a war that left more than 3 million dead, including scores of thousands of American soldiers).
So yes, we have excellent leadership on both the oil and war fronts.
Is there any good news here? Sure.
The good news is that regular people are selling off their heirlooms on Craig's list and EBay so they can buy gas in order to get to work.
On the downside, America's working poor will not only have to pay more at the pump, they will also have to pay more in taxes due to the rapidly rising war debt. Silly them!
How much will the war cost us? Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, an economist at Harvard's Kennedy School estimate the Iraq war will cost the U.S. in the neighbourhood of $3 trillion — six times the current official figure. Of this $3 trillion figure, nearly two-thirds is due to higher oil prices, and the cost of deficit-financing the war.
And be advised that this is just the economic cost and just for the U.S. -- it does not include the costs in human life, or the cost to Iraq or any other country or people.
Of course, the Republican apology-machine says "don't worry, it's just money."
Which is not quite true, is it? It's also about dead and horribly wounded soldiers. Oops! Forgot about them! Damn Walter Reed Medical Center.
But no matter. You've got to break some eggs to make an omelet. And besides, all those soldiers volunteered.
Besides, wouldn't you rather have a pointless and never-ending war in the Middle East than anything else? I mean what good is health care insurance, better roads, better schools, and a stronger Social Security system? Who needs that?
And just think of how cheap this war is compared to Iraq becoming another Muslim terrorist state. Which apparently is something different from what it is now.
Hmmmm. Who knew?
Never content to let the parade of good news end, George W. Bush and John McCain are now saying we might have to do it all over again ... in IRAN.
You see, the GOP Brain Trust tells us, Iran might have "weapons of mass destruction."
Which is, if you recall, where we all came in.
Pardon me if I do not exit laughing.