The fuel prices are only the least of your worries if you can still afford them. The shame of the higher prices is that we cannot use any of the money to shake our dependence on foreign oil. It will not be any surprise when oil companies show up with obscene profits once again.
Actually rising fuel costs is not what I want to discuss. I think we have a much more serious issue. I have actually tried to keep politics out of my posts for several months. There is plenty of political commentary around. It is not hard these days to find someone who agrees with you. I am pretty sure that my two cents are just that.
I admit to reading a small subset of newspapers, including the NY Times, Washington Post, Toronto Star, Roanoke Times, Raleigh News and Observer, Daily News from Jacksonville, NC, and The Carteret County Times. Obviously I do not read all of them in any one day, but I am a news junkie so I do lots better than most folks.
That list of papers goes from ones with some of the finest columnists in the country to one where Ann Coulter is featured regularly. The point is that I see a lot of columnists, and there seems to be a growing consensus that our President is out of touch. I guess the column that really nailed it home for me was the one by Richard Cohen in today's Washington Post. The column,"How's Your War?," starts out with a discussion of Senator elect Webb's exchange with President Bush the other day. However, it quickly gets to the point that just maybe Webb's approach wasn't as appalling as most have thought.
Sans manners, nothing would get done. Even with them, precious little is accomplished.
Still, there is accumulating evidence that Bush is talking to mirrors and taking instruction from his dog. He makes no sense, saying he's amenable to change one day and digging in his heels the next. "I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete," he said recently. Yes. Absolutely. But what is the mission? Please, ask the dog. Lives are being wasted.
That, of course, is the whole point. This imbroglio about Webb and manners is, at bottom, about the (very) premature deaths of young people in Iraq -- the sons and daughters of people much like Webb. Their only hope is that Bush is a liar rather than a fool. There is ample evidence for both propositions.
Presidents by nature have huge egos. They are surrounded just like most CEOs by people who are more often interested in currying favor than they are in bringing bad news.
We got in this situation with Congress being a lapdog. We are not going to find solutions if Congress continues to be a lapdog. When some of our best young people are dying in a place that does not want them for a reason that no one can define, it is time to start figuring out how to bring them home as quickly as possible.
The next thing we need to do is make sure that the people responsible for this ill-conceived mess at least understand what they did. Finally we must make sure something like Iraq never happens again.
Paul Krugman had a good piece in the NY Times yesterday. It was called "Two More Years," and is available to Times Select subscribers. The article closed with this.
Well, hereâ€™s a question for those who might be tempted, yet again, to shy away from a confrontation with Mr. Bush over Iraq: How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a bullyâ€™s ego?