Thursday, September 4, 2008

SAR #8248

Voters do not want to be told the hard truths;
they don't want to be told any truths at all.

Party Time: When Chinese or Koreans or Arabs own a major financial fixture, say Lehman or WaMu or Citibank, will it still be too big to fail? How many US taxpayers will it take to kiss it and make it better?

Emergency: Oil at $140 a barrel didn't prompt Bush to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; Obama at 50% sure did.

Skill Set: Palin's foreign policy credentials based on living next door to Russia may be just what will be needed in the next administration. Getting along with Russia as the power balance shifts away from the US and towards a resurgent Russia will be the paramount task. No longer can the US dictate to Russia - as was the case with the expansion of NATO, the whole mis-adventure in the Balkans, Iraq, the missile defective shield and the US oil adventures in the 'stans. Living with the growing power of Russia is what US foreign power will be about.

False Advertising: Exxon has been forced to pull a TV ad in the UK that claimed liquefied natural gas is a clean fuel. It's not, of course, but it is noce that someone finally called them on this one. Now if they could do the same for ads with fuel cells and electric cars....

Making the Bed: Britain is claiming extraordinarily broad territorial rights around Ascension Island because "the island's landmass actually reaches much further underwater." On that basis, doesn't Spain extend out to the mid-Atlantic ridge?

Neighborhood Watch: Rather belatedly, the media is discovering that the US is not the only place where housing bubbles are bursting. The UK and Spain you've probably heard about, but Latvia?

Shelf Space: Three immense chunks of ice shelf - 83 square miles all together- have broken away in Canada this summer and remaining shelves are shrinking at a "massive and disturbing" rate. The ice is vanishing at ten times the predicted pace.

Papers, Please: Egypt, which does not have enough natural gas to satisfy all its customers, has chosen to cut off supplies to Israel in favor of continuing to supply its own citizens. Selfish of them; hope the idea doesn't catch on.

Bear Baiting: The US plans on giving Georgia $1 billion in aid.

One Forward, Two Back: Global food security is as poor as any time since WWII. In the last seven years world grain stocks have fallen precipitously, and year after year reserves are depleted as more is consumed than is grown. As droughts intensify with climate change and the world population increases by 50% in the next 40 years, problems may arise.

Dicks Excellent Adventure: Canadian crude oil exports to the US have fallen 26% since 2006. Venezuelan exports to the US have fallen 48% since their peak in May of 2004. Imports from Mexico are down 58% since their peak back in February of 2006. They don't call him Caspian Cheney for nothing.

Two May Toe / Tah Mah Tah: On another front in the US vs. Russia oil struggle, Ukrainian President Yushchenko (a US puppet ally) threatens to call new elections because the pro-Russian opposition introduced laws that would curb his powers.

Porn O'Graph: Net Oil Exports; or why oil is under-priced.

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