Putin Wins at the Pump

By Bill Maher

\Rule #34: War is good for business. Rule #35: Peace is good for business.

The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

Ah, the Ferengi. Beloved by sci-fi nerds, these hairless, hair-trigger, sharp-toothed, shifty-eyed, bulldog-like Star Trek villains would do anything for a buck. They were always up to something, and they could beat you so many ways. Here on Earth, we have Vladimir Putin.

If you have oil, and Putin does, civil war in Iraq is good for business. It’s hell, however, for American consumers, and the incumbent politicians they blame when gas goes up to $5 a gallon.  

Here’s something that makes sense, even though it’s from the New York Post:

…until the chaos of the past week, Iraq’s oil production had been an unsung success story… 3.3 million barrels a day, making it OPEC’s second-highest producer after Saudi Arabia… This leaves a huge output vacuum in addition to the one left by turmoil in other OPEC countries from Nigeria, to Venezuela, to Libya — where production is down by nearly 90 percent from 2011... experts say oil prices could spike by as much as $20 a barrel, to 2008 highs. For a US economy that contracted bymore than 1 percent in the first quarter led by a slowdown in consumer spending, such a possibility would be a huge blow to the recovery (and) a boon to Russian President Vladimir Putin as he reigns over Russia’s vast oil reserves. Once again, it looks like the wily spy is winning the geopolitical chess game.”

The price of gas affects everything from airlines to olives, and before November there’s going to be an event called “winter” and pissed-off voters are going to be paying more for heat. Good for Putin, bad for the Democratic senate.