Nothing simultaneously amuses and infuriates me more than when W. or someone from his circle describes someone or something else as "irresponsible." This from a guy who's presided over an unprecedented growth of the U.S. government, run up record deficits (as part of an also unprecedented transfer of wealth to the upper 1% of the country), led us into one unnecessary war while largely neglecting another potentially purposeful conflict (Afghanistan-Bin Laden), and basically put us back to pre-WWII status in terms of our standing on the world stage through sheer incompetence.
With this as the backdrop it is interesting to note that overall US payrolls fell for the first time since 2003 at the same time that ExxonMobil once again posted record profits. Just look at that money moving!
The increasing trend toward nationalizing global oil and gas resources is also interesting. As the rest of the world has gone along doing business with each other, arranging hydrocarbon supply deals, we've done nothing. What's more, even large net exporters like Nigeria and Canada are realizing that before too long, they're going to need most of what they're producing.
It's musical chairs, and the game was going before W. came along, but he sure has helped accelerate the pace. Where are we going to get our oil and gas once China, just to name one likely party, is willing and able to simply pay more than us (using our dollars by the way). 30 years or more of neglect make Latin America an unlikely option. While we've been treating them like lessers since at least the beginning of the first Reagan Administration, they've been actively engaged in building trade arrangements not just with each other, but with the whole rest of the world. Africa. The Middle East. Asia.
And yet W. can do naught but cry when Venezuela acts up. Don't get me wrong, Chavez really should be dealt with as a loon and a menace. His actions, and their effect on Venezuela and the continent as a whole, might be the only ones that take longer to recover from than W.'s own.
But what are he and the rest of the world supposed to do? Just wait around while we get our shit together? No. They've done exactly what they're supposed to do, start figuring out ways to get along without us.
Maybe we can engage in some good sabre-rattling in the race to claim Arctic resources. Recent studies suggest up to 25% of current reserves lie up there under the (melting) ice. Even our good, seemingly passive neighbors the Canadians have announced plans to build a floating military installation up there to protect their interests.
Man, it sure does suck to not have any money. Or much influence. Or...what's that other thing. Oh, yeah. Credibilty.
Enjoy everything while it's still shiny, motherfuckers.