Monday, July 6, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: The Power Behind the Saudi Throne

The figurehead is sick, so.... 

"Saudi prince’s growing power has some on alert; King moves son, 29, to position of great authority" by David D. Kirkpatrick New York Times  June 07, 2015

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Until about four months ago, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 29, was just another Saudi royal who dabbled in stocks and real estate.

He grew up overshadowed by three older half brothers who were among the most accomplished princes in the kingdom — the first Arab astronaut; an Oxford-educated political scientist who was once a research fellow at Georgetown and also founded a major investment company; and a highly regarded deputy oil minister.

But that was before their father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, 79, ascended to the throne. Now Prince Mohammed, the eldest son of the king’s third and most recent wife, is the rising star.

He has swiftly accumulated more power than any prince has ever held, upending a longstanding system of distributing positions around the royal family to help preserve its unity, and he has used his growing influence to take a leading role in Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen and newly assertive stance toward the region.

In the four months since his coronation, King Salman has put Prince Mohammed in charge of the state oil monopoly, the public investment company, domestic and economic policy, and the ministry of defense.

He is the most visible leader of Saudi Arabia’s two-month-old air war in Yemen, and his father has installed him as deputy crown prince, passing over dozens of older princes to put him second in line to the throne.

Now we know who to charge for the slaughter.

Stunning the kingdom, King Salman removed his younger brother, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, 69, as crown prince and replaced him with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, the popular interior minister. Prince Mohammed bin Nayef has no male heirs, and Prince Mohammed bin Salman is now next in line.

The sweeping changes have thrust the young prince into power at a time when Saudi Arabia is locked in a series of escalating wars as it tries to defend its vision of the region. 

It's the USraeli vision for the region.

“The king has put his son on an incredibly steep learning curve, clearly,” said Ford M. Fraker, president of the Middle East Policy Council and a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia. “The king is obviously convinced he is up to the challenge.”

But some Western diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the prince and the king, say they are worried about the growing influence of the prince, with one even calling him “rash” and “impulsive.”

Well, he is a young man.

And in interviews, at least two other princes in the main line of the royal family made clear that some older members of the clan have doubts as well.

I hope he has a trusted security detail.

King Salman, of course, has ultimate authority, and some diplomats who have met with both princes in recent months said the crown prince appeared avuncular toward his younger cousin.

He's demented and ill.

Several said Prince Mohamed bin Nayef appeared to be working hard to guide and train Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

I just told you why.

But others said Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a major role in instigating the Yemen air campaign.

In other words, he did what the U.S. has wanted.

After meeting with both princes at a Persian Gulf summit at Camp David last month, President Obama said the younger Prince Mohammed “struck us as extremely knowledgeable, very smart.”

Each paragraph confirms my analysis.

Echoing commentary in the state news media, many Saudi subjects interviewed on the streets of Riyadh in recent days praised Prince Mohammed as a representative of the nearly 70 percent of the population that is under 30.

We are told the same of our king.

But although Saudis are usually reluctant to voice dissent, several said they worried about his rise.

I reluctantly offer it every day, and wish the ma$$ media would give me no need. Until then....

“This is a large family that are competing to be rulers, and having a young guy in control of the government is going to create a lot of problems,” said one middle-aged man at an outdoor cafe who gave his name only as Abu Salah.

For who?



"Saudis want Israeli peace, poll says" Associated Press  June 05, 2015

HERZLIYA, Israel — An Israeli college has quietly conducted an opinion poll in Saudi Arabia, concluding that the Saudi public is far more concerned about the threats of Iran and the Islamic State than Israel and that the vast majority of Saudis support a decade-old peace offer to the Jewish state.

After that smart crack by the Saudi king. If they are concerned about ISIS they can stop creating them.

The survey conducted by the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya provides Israelis with a rare glimpse inside Saudi Arabia and may change Israeli perceptions about the desert kingdom. The two countries are longtime foes with no diplomatic relations.

That doesn't mean they don't work closely together.

The poll found that 53 percent of Saudis named Iran as their main adversary, while 22 percent said it is the Islamic State, and 18 percent said Israel. The poll, conducted in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, surveyed 506 Saudis over the phone and had a margin of error of 5 percentage points. It was carried out over the past two weeks.

The poll also showed that a majority of Saudis think their country should seek nuclear weapons if Iran acquires an atomic bomb.

Good thing the Iranians are not building one.

Eighty-five percent also support the Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for peace with Israel in return for a full Israeli withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders.

That last proposal going nowhere, and the two-state negotiations have fallen off the map.

The results indicate significant common ground between Saudi Arabia and Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been outspoken in his criticism of an emerging nuclear deal between Iran and global powers.

I thought that was an important admission, yes.



--source-- with h/t

And I have to admit, the admission frightens me a bit:

"Saudi court upholds 1,000-lash penalty against blogger" Bloomberg News  June 08, 2015

NEW YORK — A Saudi court upheld a ruling to jail and flog a blogger for insulting Islam even after the case drew international condemnation and strained ties between the kingdom and some European countries.

All show.

The ruling against Raif Badawi, 31, includes 1,000 lashes and 10 years of imprisonment and is now final, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported. Badawi already received 50 lashes in January.

“The court decision is yet another blow to human rights in Saudi Arabia,” Abdou Abdelaziz, a researcher at the Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, said by phone.

What human rights?

The initial verdict drew criticism from the United Nations, the European Union, and others.

Not the United States?

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economy and energy minister, said the sentence could hurt ties between his country and the world’s top oil exporter.

No they won't; need that oil!

In March, Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstroem, was blocked from making a planned speech at the Arab League in Cairo after she called the flogging of Badawi “close to medieval.”

Where does that fit in with the Free Speech "debate" regarding flags, and speaking of offensive flags....

At the time, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said it rejected interference in its internal affairs.



At least they didn't cut his head off like.... oh, yeah, yeah.

Those Saudis are good guys, though:

"Saudi prince plans to give away $32b fortune" The Washington Post News Service  July 02, 2015

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal revealed a plan Wednesday to give away his entire fortune in the coming years.

‘‘With this pledge, I am honoring my life-long commitment to what matters most — helping to build a more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world for generations to come,’’ Alwaleed told reporters in Riyadh.

Alwaleed is thought to be the 20th-richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg, with a fortune of $30.5 billion. The Saudi prince has pledged to give away more than that — $32 billion (what accounts for the discrepancy is unclear) — though no time frame was set.

Alwaleed, a member of the Saudi royal family and nephew to the late King Abdullah, has gained an international reputation for his business ventures and unusually open public comments.

He founded Kingdom Holding, a Riyadh-based investment holding company, in 1980. It became well known in the United States for investments in technology companies such as Twitter and Apple. He has also made personal investments in Islamic study centers around the world, including one at Georgetown University.

His decision to give away his fortune is inspired by a similar pledge by American billionaire Bill Gates. His charity group, Alwaleed Philanthropies, has worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carter Center, founded by former US president Jimmy Carter.

In other words, he is also part of the New World Order cla$$.


Now for the propaganda:

"Islamic State claims first Saudi attack; Suicide bombing at mosque leaves 21 people dead" by David D. Kirkpatrick New York Times   May 23, 2015

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility Friday for a suicide bombing during midday prayer at a Shi’ite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Health Ministry said at least 21 people had been killed and more than 120 others injured.

The bombing occurred in the village of Al Qudaih in the eastern Qatif region. It appeared to be the first official claim of an attack inside the kingdom by the Islamic State, which has seized control of much of Syria and Iraq.

Who knows if it is even real. Could be another staged and scripted psyop or outright fiction. Does advance the narrative and agenda, though. 

The group attributed the attack to a new unit, the Najd Province, named for the central region of Saudi Arabia around Riyadh. But it was unclear whether the attack was planned by Islamic State leaders, initiated independently by a Saudi sympathizer, or merely claimed opportunistically after the fact.


You go believe your war-promoting propaganda pre$$!

The attack was a sign that Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the sectarian conflict in Yemen may be escalating tensions at home. Members of the Shi’ite minority in Saudi Arabia, who make up about 15 percent of the population and live mainly in the Eastern province, have long complained of insults and discrimination by Saudi Arabia’s Sunni majority and its clerical establishment.

So what are they saying, it was Shi'ites and not ISIS™?

During Saudi Arabia’s two-month air campaign against the Houthi movement in Yemen, which practices a form of Shi’ite Islam and gets help from Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, Iran, imams at Sunni mosques and commentators in Saudi Arabia frequently rallied the public around the war, in part by repeatedly denouncing Shi’ites as dangerous infidels.

Wherever you go, public always has to be lied to, 'er, rallied to war.

The Saudi Arabian news media has portrayed the Houthis as proxies of Shi’ite-led Iran and characterized the Yemen campaign as a vital defense against an Iranian incursion.

This is such war-pushing garbage, and then I looked at the source: NYT!

At the same time, Saudi Arabia’s participation in the US-led military campaign in Iraq and Syria against the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State has raised fears of a backlash from its sympathizers at home.

Thousands of Saudis have traveled to join the Islamic State, which follows a fundamentalist version of Islam that scholars say is similar to that of Saudi Arabia, although Saudi Arabia’s rulers and clerics dispute that.

Saudi Interior Ministry officials said in interviews this week that they had seen an increase in violence by Sunni extremists, including three separate attacks near the capital, Riyadh, that killed a total of three police officers and injured two others.

Just wait.

Sectarian conflict and violence have been a longstanding issue in the Eastern province, which has much of the nation’s oil but lags behind other areas in economic development.

The last major outburst came six months ago, when gunmen killed eight people in the Shi’ite village of Dalwa, in the Al Ahsa region of the Eastern province, at the end of the Shi’ite holiday of Ashura. Saudi officials said the Islamic State was to blame for that attack.

The Qatif area has been the site of sectarian tensions and of calls for democratic reform in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolts four years ago, including sporadic, Shi’ite-dominated street protests.

The whole mixed me$$age thing is nuts.

Saudi Arabia, in response, has jailed at least two key Shi’ite clerics who have called for political overhauls such as adopting a constitutional monarchy. Last year, one firebrand cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, was sentenced to death for his role in leading street protests in Qatif, and his sentence set off new protests across the region.

Jafar al-Shayeb, head of the Qatif Municipal Council and a Shi’ite community leader, blamed Friday’s attack on the “sectarian discourse” that has spread through Saudi Arabia since the start of the air campaign in Yemen.

Who would want to do that? 

Besides, it's all an internal affair, right?


"Saudi king vows to punish those behind terror attack" by Abdullah Al-Shihri Associated Press  May 25, 2015

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s king on Sunday vowed to punish those responsible for a rare suicide bombing that killed 21 people at a Shi’ite mosque in the country’s east, calling it a ‘‘heinous terrorist attack’’ that runs against Islamic and human values.


King Salman made the pledge hours after the Interior Ministry confirmed that Friday’s attack in the village of al-Qudeeh in the eastern Qatif region was the work of an Islamic State militant, backing up an earlier claim of responsibility by the group.

And because my Jewish War Media says so, it must be true.

‘‘Every participant, planner, supporter, collaborator, or sympathizer with this heinous crime will be held accountable, tried, and punished,’’ King Salman said in a message addressed to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is deputy premier and minister of interior.

The Interior Ministry identified the bomber as Saudi citizen Saleh bin Abdulrahman al-Qashaami in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency late Saturday.

Qashaami was wanted for being an active member of an Islamic State-linked terrorist cell, the ministry said. Lab tests showed that the explosive used in the bombing was a military-grade compound known as RDX.

(Blog editor grinds teeth. It's a false flag! They don't just hand that stuff out! It's under heavy guard by militaries around the world!)

The attack was the deadliest assault by militants in the kingdom since a 2004 Al Qaeda attack on foreign worker compounds.

You know who started Al-CIA-Duh and who has bin Laden it around all these years, right?

Unlike that attack more than a decade ago, Friday’s strike targeted members of Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ite minority, a sect that both the Islamic State group and ultraconservatives in Saudi Arabia regularly denounce as heretics.

The Islamic State’s activities are primarily focused on Iraq and Syria. Its claim of responsibility for Friday’s strike and the official Saudi confirmation bolster concerns it has established a toehold inside the oil-rich kingdom, as it has done in Libya and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. 

I'm getting the feeling that they might need.... U.S. military bases on soil.

A statement from the Islamic State’s al-Bayan radio station posted to militant websites Saturday said a new branch of the group was behind the attack, which it said was carried out by a Saudi going by the nom de guerre Abu Amer al-Najdi. 

Further confirmation of a false flag! Don't even have to investigate; I've seen this script!

It has warned of more ‘‘black days’’ for Shi’ites in Saudi Arabia, a member of the US-led coalition targeting the group. 

Got them coming up.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said the group also was responsible for the shooting death of a police officer in Riyadh earlier this month. 

Did they also fart in a crowded elevator and blame it on a sheik?

It said five members of an Islamic State cell killed Private Majed Ayedh al-Ghamdi and burned his body. Authorities recovered guns, ammunition, explosives and other items from a farm linked to the militants, it said. 

Farms in the desert?


"Islamic State claims responsibility for attack at Saudi mosque" by Abdullah Al-Shihri Associated Press  May 30, 2015

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A suicide bomber disguised as a woman blew himself up in the parking lot of a Shi’ite mosque during Friday prayers, killing four people in the second such attack in as many weeks claimed by the Islamic State.


The latest attack, at the port city of Dammam, and another suicide bombing at a Shi’ite mosque that killed 21 people last Friday appeared aimed at fanning sectarianism and destabilizing the kingdom.

Don't let them do it. Don't fall for it. It's a trap.

Both attacks took place in the oil-producing east, which has a sizable Shi’ite community that has long cited discrimination against it. The Islamic State views Shi’ites as apostates deserving of death and also seeks the overthrow of the Saudi monarchy, which it considers corrupt and illegitimate.

Then they are an ally against.... Iran?

Saudi Arabia had vowed to crack down on the extremists after last week’s bombing, and authorities appeared keen to claim credit for preventing the bomber from entering the Imam Hussein mosque, the only Shi’ite mosque in Dammam.

Oh, this is a public relations gig.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency said security guards halted a car in the parking lot and that the bomber detonated his explosives as they approached.

However, witnesses said that worshipers had taken their own security measures, including setting up checkpoints, and that young men had detected the bomber and chased him down, leading him to set off the explosion. It was unclear whether the bomber was among the four dead.

(Blog editor shakes head. So what, Saudi government lying about attack they were going to allow? Missing security?)

A security official said the attacker had disguised himself in the black all-encompassing garments worn by women in Saudi Arabia and blew himself up after being stopped by security guards. He insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

This will give cause for searching beneath your robes. The Saudi version of the TSA, if you will.

Mohammed Idris, a worshiper who witnessed the attack, said by telephone that the suicide bomber attempted to enter the mosque but was chased by young men, who had set up checkpoints at the entrance.

‘‘They chased the suicide bomber when he tried to enter the women’s section of the mosque,’’ he said.

Another witness, who did not want to be named because of security concerns, said security had been tightened at mosques after last week’s attack and that women were told to stay home because there were not enough female guards to check them.

The explosion set four cars ablaze and sent black smoke into the air, said Mohammed al-Saeedi, who arrived a half-hour after the blast. He called on police to do a better job of sharing information with the local Shi’ite community.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out by its ‘‘Najd Province,’’ referring to a region in the central Arabian Peninsula. Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has repeatedly called for attacks on the Saudi kingdom.

Ah, Baghdadi!

A statement posted on a Facebook page used by the extremist group said a ‘‘soldier of the caliphate,’’ identified as Abu Jandal al-Jazrawi, blew himself up among ‘‘an evil gathering of those filth in front of one of their shrines in Dammam.’’ The name Jazrawi suggests that the bomber is a Saudi national.


It is time to Facebook the FRAUD of "terror."

It called on Sunnis to ‘‘purify the land of the two shrines from the atheist rafida,’’ a derogatory term for Shi’ites.

Last Friday, an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 21 people in the village of al-Qudeeh, in the oil-rich eastern Qatif region. It was the deadliest militant assault in the kingdom in more than a decade. Saudi Arabia’s newly enthroned King Salman vowed to punish those responsible for the ‘‘heinous terrorist attack.’’

Interior Ministry official Bassam Attiyah said this week that the Islamic State has divided the kingdom into five self-styled provinces. He said on state TV that the group’s short-term plans are to target the security forces and attack Shi’ites to foment sectarian strife. Then they plan to target foreigners, including those working in the OPEC member’s oil industry, he said.

‘‘What we are seeing now is the short-term plans,’’ he said.

Then stay they hell out of Saudi Arabia.


"Bomber of Kuwait mosque identified as Saudi; Seven arrests tied to Kuwait blast that killed 27" by Hussain Al-Qatari Associated Press  June 29, 2015

Seemed like a good time to return to it.

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwaiti authorities on Sunday identified the suicide bomber behind an attack on a Shi’ite mosque that killed 27 people as a Saudi citizen who flew into the nation a few hours before blowing himself up.

Then where did he get the explosives? Didn't bring 'em on the plane, did he?

Police have begun making arrests in connection with Friday’s bombing, which took place at one of Kuwait’s oldest Shi’ite mosques during midday prayers. An affiliate of the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the blast in the normally peaceful oil-rich nation.

Maybe Kuwait needs a U.S. military base on its soil.

The Interior Ministry named the bomber as Fahad Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Gabbaa and said he was born in 1992, making him 22 or 23 years old. The ministry said in a statement carried by the official Kuwait News Agency that he arrived on a flight to Kuwait International Airport at dawn Friday.

Authorities also said they arrested a 25-year-old from Kuwait’s ‘‘bidoon’’ community, identified as Abdulrahman Sabah Eidan Saud, who they say drove the car that brought the bomber to the mosque.

The bidoon community is made up of descendants of desert nomads and others considered stateless by the government. They have long claimed the government deprives them of citizenship and rights.

Then why would they do this? 

As usual, none of this makes sense -- unless you see something else at work behind the obfuscating propaganda.

A Kuwaiti man who housed the driver was also taken into custody. The Interior Ministry described him as a follower of a ‘‘fundamentalist and deviant ideology.’’

The government-linked Al-Jarida newspaper reported that at least seven suspects in all had been detained in connection with the attack, which has drawn condemnation from Sunni groups in Kuwait and leaders from across the Middle East.

Officials say 227 people were wounded in the attack.

A local affiliate of the Islamic State group calling itself the Najd Province has claimed responsibility for the bombing. The Islamic State group considers Shi’ites to be heretics and is fighting Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Syria.


More than a third of Kuwait’s 1.2 million citizens are believed to be Shi’ite. 

Gonna have to crack down on the citizens then.

The bombing has raised concern that sectarian attacks may spread elsewhere in the Gulf Cooperation Council, as conflicts in Iraq and Syria deepen the divide between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

Yeah, well, I linked and commented on that above, and cui bono from the narrative?

The Kuwaiti government said it is considering additional security laws and measures to prevent a repeat of terrorist attacks.

What did I tell you?

Also, Bahrain has said it will consider placing surveillance cameras at places of worship.

Isn't that against Islam?

Kuna, the state-run news agency, said Kuwait’s health ministry has started an online campaign to help parents prevent “ideological perversions and behavioral problems” and learn to recognize the signs that their children may belong to suspicious groups.

Friday’s bombing was one of four major militant attacks in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa on the same day, a year after Islamic State declared a so-called caliphate in areas under its control in Iraq and Syria.

A gunman killed at least 38 people, including foreign tourists, in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse.

I've already unfurled the propaganda surrounding event.

There were also attacks at a gas plant near Lyon in southeastern France, where a person was decapitated, and at a base in Somalia, where Al Shabab militants said they killed about 30 African Union peacekeepers.

I'm sure that's in there somewhere, too.


Here is one "terrorist" set to return:

"Hunger striker set to leave Guantanamo" Associated Press  June 27, 2015

MIAMI — A prisoner who has been on a nine-year hunger strike to protest his confinement at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can now return to his native Saudi Arabia, a government review board said Friday.

The Periodic Review Board, which has been reevaluating dozens of Guantanamo prisoners previously deemed too dangerous to release, said in a statement published on its website that Abdul Rahman Shalabi can be released to take part in a Saudi government rehabilitation program for militants and would be subject to monitoring afterward.

Part of the catch-and-release program that keeps the wars going.

Shalabi, 39, was among the first prisoners taken to Guantanamo in January 2002. He was never charged with a crime but the government said he had been a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden and had links to the external operations chief for Al Qaeda, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is facing trial by military commission at Guantanamo.

The board, created by the Obama administration in 2011 as part of the effort to close the prison at Guantanamo, did not clear Shalabi of wrongdoing and said it “acknowledges the detainee’s past terrorist-related activities.”

Shalabi began a hunger strike in 2005. He and another prisoner, who since has been released, maintained the protest longer than any others held at the base. Court records show Shalabi occasionally consumed food but also dropped to as little as 101 pounds.

Then a photo of him would have made Gitmo look like a.... gulp.... concentration camp survivor.


Let's move on to something important to all:

"OPEC agrees to keep output target at 30 million barrels a day" by George Jahn Associated Press  June 05, 2015

VIENNA — OPEC decided to keep its oil output target on hold Friday and predicted prices would remain low for the foreseeable future — good news for both oil-hungry international industries and consumers at the gas pump.

The cartel said its output level would remain at 30 million barrels a day even though prices were still low compared with a year ago. The organization left it to member states to restrain any overproduction, an acknowledgment of its inability to enforce its own limits while struggling to control world supply and prices.

With nonmember oil-exporting countries ready to ramp up production if prices go much above present levels, OPEC’s secretary general said, the cost of crude will stay relatively low for a while.

‘‘The reality now is that we cannot have” prices topping $100 a barrel, Abdullah al-Badri told reporters....

 Prices are dropping because the world economy is going into the tank and the guys running the planet think it will pull you out and get you to go shopping.

While the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries accounts for more than a third of the world’s oil, its power to determine supply and demand has been steadily eroding as outsiders capture large shares of the market. It gave up imposing quotas on individual members four years ago after its limits were consistently ignored.

Like what I'm going to do with this?

That has led to an overhang in recent months of more than 1 million barrels a day of OPEC production beyond the target, and the likelihood of continued overproduction persists.

OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia is fighting to keep market share against US shale oil, Iran plans to increase production in anticipation of an end to sanctions that have crimped its crude exports, and other countries are trying to compensate for low prices by selling more. 

It is also a way to hurt Iran and Russia. That is what is behind the manipulation of the market. Btw, I've been told in economic reports that the U.S. drilling operations have shut down because of the price drop. Not worth it to drill now. It's a loss. Water still tainted though.

‘‘OPEC realizes . . . that it is now in a highly competitive market, in which its own members will compete against each other and collectively against non-OPEC producers, and in particular shale producers,’’ said John Hall, with Alfa Energy in London.

Related: What the Frack, EPA?

Announcing the decision to keep the present target, an OPEC statement urged members ‘‘to adhere to it.’’ But Badri, the secretary general, acknowledged that, as in the past, the countries had been assigned ‘‘indicators’’ — not quotas — in attempts to hew to the target.

In contrast, Saudi and Iranian comments Friday reflected their determination to control production. 

Is that what is at the bottom of their undeclared war?

Iran’s petroleum minister, Bijar Namdar Zangeneh, advised OPEC to make room for increased output as early as the end of the month. That’s the target date for a deal between Tehran and six world powers envisaging an end to sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. 

I may be heading there next.

Iran hopes to ramp up production by up to 1 million barrels a day within a year once sanctions are gone, and Zangeneh said his country doesn’t ‘‘need any decision from the OPEC side to return to the market, because it’s our right.’’

Arrogant Iranians.... right?


"Gasoline prices poised to fall in Mass.; More drivers on road, buying larger cars" by Jack Newsham Globe Correspondent  July 01, 2015

They are down about nine cents from that time, yeah.

The cost of filling up at the pump is poised to fall after steadily climbing for five months, good news for consumers as the busiest part of the summer driving season gets underway.

Gas prices in Massachusetts hit $2.76 a gallon last week, up 70 cents from a low of $2.06 in February, but slid to $2.74 earlier this week, according to the auto club AAA Northeast.

Prices are expected to retreat further, perhaps as much as 10 cents a gallon, by July 4 as East Coast refineries that experienced outages are coming back into operation, said Jeff Pelton, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, a website that aggregates gas prices from the reports of its users. He expects local prices to drop to around $2.50 per gallon by the end of August, about $1 cheaper than a year earlier.

Holding steady at about $2.62 here, down from $2.71.

Despite increases in recent months, summer gasoline prices are at a five-year low as drivers benefit from a boom in US oil production that has helped push down global crude prices. Oil has traded this week below $60 a barrel in New York commodities markets, down from more than $100 a year ago. Crude closed at $56.85 Wednesday.

Lower prices and plentiful supplies have led to a surge in gasoline consumption as Americans not only drive more, but many buy bigger, less fuel-efficient vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks, analysts said.

Been there, done this, Bush 2007. 

Ernie Boch Jr., a car dealer who sells cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers from multiple companies, said his sales of heavier, gas-guzzling vehicles have increased over the past several months, although he declined to give exact figures. “The second gas prices come down, hybrids slow down,” Boch said.

That guy has been a Globe source for years.

While it’s hard for drivers to complain about gas prices this summer, many have found — or rediscovered — another aggravation: traffic....

I'm starting to feel a rage coming on, so.....


SeeCrude oil falls below $60 a barrel amid glut

Yeah, sorry I missed the up-and-down of the rigged oil market.

"Nearly 42 million Americans will travel for the Fourth of July holiday, according to AAA, motivated by a stronger economy and cheap gas. The auto club’s estimate of the number of people who will travel more than 50 miles this year is the highest since 2007. Of the 41.9 million leisure travelers, the group said 1,077,000 will come from Massachusetts, with 931,000 of them driving. Despite higher air fares than last year, the number of air travelers is expected to rise 1.5 percent, to 3.21 million leisure travelers. About 85 percent of vacationers will drive for the holiday weekend, an increase of 0.7 percent from last year, and the number of people taking cruises, trains, or buses will increase 0.5 percent, to 3.2 million."

Forgive me for trying to catch up, but how can the roads be so rotten when we are driving like crazy?

"Dilapidated roads cost drivers average of $515 in auto costs

The shoddy state of the nation’s roads cost average drivers $515 a year in extra operation and maintenance costs on their cars, according to the latest analysis from TRIP, a national transportation research group.

Meanwhile, the Highway Trust Fund is about to become insolvent, and congressional lawmakers can’t agree on a temporary fix that analysts say is nothing more than a Band-Aid, and an inadequate one at that.

Where has all the goddamn money gone (and I'll explain later)?

The numbers from TRIP show that 28 percent of the nation’s major roadways — interstates, freeways and major arterial roadways in urban areas — are in ‘‘poor’’ condition. This means they have so many major ruts, cracks, and potholes that they can’t simply be resurfaced but must be totally rebuilt.

Those cracks and potholes put a lot of extra wear and tear on cars. They wear tires away faster, and they decrease gas mileage. All of these factors go into that calculation of $515 in extra annual cost, beyond what motorists would pay if the roads were better.  

It contributes to the GDP and makes the economy look good, though!

The printed part came in a brief, readers; thus you receive web additions:

There’s a lot of variation in road conditions and costs at the state level. The worst urban roads in America are in Washington, D.C., where 92 percent of the major roadways are rated as ‘‘poor.’’ Conversely, zero percent of D.C.’s roads received a ‘‘good’’ rating in the Federal Highway Administration data analyzed by TRIP. There is almost not a single good road in Washington. 

You can't make this stuff up.

Among the states, the worst urban roads are in California, where 51 percent of the highways are rated poor. Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Michigan all have ‘‘poor’’ ratings of 40 percent or more.

Florida has the smallest percentage of bad roads in the nation — only 7 percent. Nevada, Missouri, Minnesota, and Arkansas round out the top five. 

Jeb and Rubio should use it.

In Massachusetts, 20 percent of the roads are rated poor.

Weather does not necessarily play a big role in road quality. Some northern states such as Minnesota have great quality scores, while some southern ones, like Texas, don’t.

One main reason the roads are in such bad shape is the nation has not been putting enough money into the Highway Trust Fund to keep up with infrastructure needs. The federal gasoline tax has remained at 1993 levels. 

But we are DRIVING WAY MORE according to the brief above regarding the economy around July 4th. 

Is it possible that could be a lie? Or this? 

So where did all the goddamn money go?

The average driver is paying $97 a year in federal gas taxes, according to the American Road & Transportation Builder’s Association. 

And getting nothing for it! It's all raided for Wall Street, the war machine, well-connected corporations and concerns, lavish political lifestyles, and aid to Israel, isn't it?!!!??

Raising the tax is politically unpopular, but these numbers make it clear that nobody’s getting a free ride. ‘‘Public agencies are the people who build and maintain the highway system,’’ Rocky Moretti, TRIP’s director of policy and research said. ‘‘But when it’s in lousy shape, it becomes a private cost.’’


That paves over this post.


Oil price drops amid economic woes 

I was told that is a good thing for economies. WTF?

“We could soon be looking at a $50-a-barrel ceiling.”