August 22, 2005

Duct Tape and Tire Inflation

Washington's answer to chemical and biological attacks was to advise Americans to use duct tape on our windows. Now, the answer from Washington regarding what we can do about high oil prices is to inflate our tires properly.

In a silly, thin piece entitled Politicians Have Little to Offer To Ease Anguish of Gas Prices, we are informed that no one in Washington really has any answers to our oil supply and price problems, and that we should travel less, inflate our tires properly, and carpool. Is this really news? Does anyone in the United States believe anymore that Washington is really interested, much less capable, of solving our energy problems?

Does the Washington Post actually think it's going to get any reasonable or creative answer from the usual suspects like the Heritage Foundation, or a Republican Congresswoman from Kentucky who is whining that it's costing her too much to fill up her SUV? What about Senator John Kerry's suggestion that George Bush take a harder line with Saudi Arabia? Right, like that is really going to happen. Maybe next time he and the new King hold hands, Bush can whisper in his ear something about taking it easy on us.

Republican of New York, Vito Fottella, wants to make sure there is no price gauging going on, despite the fact that the oil companies profits are bloated, and despite the fact that no previous investigations have ever found any price gouging. Surprise, surprise. I suppose it all depends on what one views as profit gouging. How much is too much? It's only our money anyway. And besides, Bush and Cheney don't have to pay for gas, or home heating oil, or propane, or diesel, or kerosene. When Vito is told, nope, no price gouging, that will end his quest for an answer on behalf of us citizens. he will have done his job.

In response to one proposal to roll back the gasoline tax (a mere 18.4 cents per gallon), someone from AAA points out that there is no guarantee the oil companies would pass even that small savings on to the consumer. No kidding?

And finally we have another Republican, Rep. Bob Beauprez from Colorado, who offers this lie: "I wish I could say there is a quick fix, but there is not...everybody is feeling the pinch."

Telegram to Bob -- NOT everyone is feeling the pinch. This kind of "pinch" is felt mostly by the millions of low-wage families who live on the edge of financial ruin on a daily basis. For them, it's not a pinch, but a whack in the head. Bob and his friends who drive Lexus and Cadillac SUVs, and who pay $100,000 a year dues to belong to country clubs, don't feel the pinch.

The Washington Post gives short shrift to the one group it talked to that might have offered more insight to its readers than their rogues gallery of Republicans did. Brendan Bell, an energy analyst for that group, the Sierra Club, is quoted as saying: "The big problem is we did not make the right decisions 10 years ago."

How much you want to bet that Brendan Bell actually spelled out what those bad decisions were, but that somehow the Post ran out of room to list them?

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