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March 23, 2006


I'm with Wolcott here. With due respect, I think you're giving Bush too much credit. He simply doesn't feel, he doesn't think, he doesn't wonder, and he doesn't care.

Cheney is a somewhat different case, and you're right to note the danger of conflating the two. It's probably fair to say that he is being both immoral and opportunistic in seizing upon Bush's particular quirks of (if you will) character, in order to enrich and empower himself and his cronies. But at the same time, I think he is largely sincere in his denial of the the reality of global warming, just as Holocaust deniers are simultaneously conniving, immoral, hateful and yet oddly sincere in their own opinions, which they devoutly maintain against all evidence and, indeed, all elemental human decency.

Cheney is more odious, personally, than Bush. And yet Bush deserves to be blamed first and foremost for the calamities his administration has unleashed upon the Earth.

Bush may be indifferent through inability to grasp a big idea.

I don't buy it with Cheney. The guys at the top of the oil pyramid have had access to the peak oil data for at least a decade - knowing even before the recent backtracking about some country's reserves - and I think they have indeed been planning for inflated prices for some time. They're using some of those obscene profits to become alternative energy producers themselves - once oil becomes to dear to burn the way we've been burning it.

One can argue, I suppose, that Cheney really does believe, but count me unpersuaded. The guy is just a liar, whether it's small stuff or large.

Most recently, he made this ludicrous claim in an interview with Bob Schieffer:

Q: ...I know Secretary Rumsfeld once offered to resign. Have you ever thought of that? Or would you think that would be something that would be helpful to the President?

REPLY: Well, I made sure both in 2000 and 2004 that the President had other options. I didn't ask for this job. I didn't campaign for it. I got drafted, and -- delighted to serve, and it's been the highlight of my career to be part of this administration.

That ain't the way I remember it.

I agree completely with this as far as the opportunistic oligarchs. Including the phrase "neo-feudalism." The model these guys look at isn't even the Gilded Age, it is the ante-bellum South. Plantations and serfs. Cheney is even looking back to Sparta. They all know what they are doing.

Emptywheel and the people at BOPNews are the only ones talking about this is this manner. The only objection I might have is that, besides the evil at the top, I am not sure the middle isn't complicit. No one is forcing people to buy SUV's and 3000 sq ft McMansions in the exurbs.

"The response to both Peak Oil and global warming is obvious. Move away from globalization. Move away from the sprawl culture. Move away from industrial agriculture. Move away from disposable consumer culture. Depend on your neighbors rather than Big Oil."

Which candidate runs for President on that platform?

I'm with you 110%, Emptywheel, I reckon the William Occham (the dead one!) would be, too. It's staring you in the face.
(Woolcot may be right in that George doesn't really know or care, but in focusing on the figureheads, he is missing the main game.)

Besides, if you (and me and others) can see the advantages to the elite in doing this, then they can, too. And there is no question as to whether they would do it.
In short, they have motivation, opportunity and ability to do it.
Game,Set and Match. Thank you linesmen, thank you ballboys.
I think something that people don't appreciate is that behind individuals like George and Dick (and even poor old Ariel) is a generational power that has and does take a long view.

Why do you suddenly remember what you were going to write the moment you press Send?

It's "creative destructon" as Michael Ledeen calls it.
One of the Masonic mottos is "Order out of Chaos" i.e. our order coming out of our imposed chaos.

bob mcmanus

You're right. There's the middle that willingly buys those monstrosities. (Interesting to note that China just slapped a big tax on cars with 2 liter engines. So the mega luxury SUV I saw close last year this time will go for $120,000 rather than $100,000.)

But the middle is going to come screeching to a halt soon, as they use up the last bit of money from their refi. Then they might think about something more efficient. Though, by then, they'll owe too much on their current car to trade in.

I think there were reports that Cheney had actually talked about Peak Oil before or early in the Bush administration. Don't have a reference handy.

I can't help thinking: what would CheneyCo do if they believed that Saudi oil production was going to crash. And they had access to the relevant intelligence even before they were [s]elected (Bush family, Poppy's briefings). Would they try to grab the next swing producer? Take the neocons along for the ride to provide ideological cover and motor on to kick Saddam's ass? Hey maybe the whole "grab Baghdad with meager troops and insanely long supply lines" was a feint that happened to work? If it hadn't, well, some grunts lost but a good reason to bunker down in the oilpatch around Basra...

OK, I'll go check my meds now.

By the time global warming, the bird flu and peak oil all kick in, there will be no one left but Bush & Cheney & the favored few and their families living in tunnels under ground with no one to serve them or do their bidding. I wonder if they have enough food & water stored for the rest of their lives. All the rest of us will be long gone (or in hiding) I suspect. And their power grab will be all for naught.


Would they try to grab the next swing producer?

Don't you mean the next two swing producers?

General John Abizaid (who is known to the Turkish public as "the Crazy Arab") has conceded we are in Iraq to protect oil interests. "Ultimately it comes down to the free flow of goods and resources on which the prosperity of our own nation and everybody else in the world depend," he recently told the House of Representatives. Abizaid refused to rule out permanent U.S. bases in the country.

I no longer understand why there is any debate about why we "really" went to war in Iraq, and why we are now apparently going to war with Iran. Of course it's about the oil. When Rumsfeld (and others) said the war would pay for itself, he was speaking truthfully of his geopolitical ambitions. And now we are all paying for them.


Harumph, harumph, sorry, but I've felt like I was in the wilderness on the active malignity angle literally for years. Of late, there are some spots on the horizon that look suspiciously like converts headed my way. How about both malign and immoral, whatever else?

and btw, he may be addled much of the time, but folks shouldn't overbuy on indifference, at least when it comes to the goals that matter to him. Remember, as his father's enforcer he spent a lot of time looking for soft spots and opportunities to exploit them. I suspect he can do this quite well on a big stage as well, although maybe with some tutoring. What he assuredly cannot or will not do, that keeps him looking so stupid, is master the details that might give even a thorough cynic pause on some of these designs, like the extent to which industry is needed to keep his luxuries going. What profit to a man that he have a doctor of philosophy to wipe his ass, if the ass-wipes are pinecones? The news this week on climate change is beginning to sound as if even large stores of cash, within many of our lifetimes, won't buy what we now think they can. But this is just a detail to our boy, as to his master planners.

Y'all might want to get a little familiar with narcissistic personality disorder. W clearly has it, Cheney seems like a more familiar form of opportunist.

What links George and Dick is that they are of a class, one identified by FDR, viz., "Economic Royalists" and "malefactors of great wealth."

Unfortunately, I'm afraid America will have to actually experience another "Great Depression" type situation before the people will summon the will to do something serious about our latest group of planet rapists.

BTW, for a view of what things might be like 20-odd years in the future, I suggest A Friend of the Earth by T.C. Boyle. Love among the climatological ruins. I do fear for the future happiness of my 6 year-old daughter.

Cheney knows, for sure, and I buy the theory that the Iraq War is his opportunistic way of trying to nail down the Last of the Oil. He is the ultra-opportunist.

Bush? Hard to say. His father knew, but he drank his way through those years, didn't he?

What I am waiting for is the industries that will be hurt by global warming, like Insurance, to weigh in. Toyota is going to eat our lunch.

Doesn't anyone remember? Cheney chose himself to be VP. At the time, he claimed that the only other qualified people turned the job down, forcing him to step up (grudgingly) himself. Humbly, of course.

"In the April 2000, Cheney agreed to chair then-Gov. George W. Bush's vice-presidential selection committee. In May, he assured Halliburton stockholders that he had no intentions of leaving his position for another Bush administration."

On the other hand, maybe we are giving Cheney too much credit for lnowiung what he's doing. Seems he was a pretty bad CEO at Halliburton.

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