With all the bad news (and there's no shortage) here's a ray of good: gas prices are falling, and fast. The price of oil, which neared $80 per barrel earlier this year, fell below $59 today. It's still falling. Gas prices, below two bucks a gallon in many areas, could drop even more from their earlier highs around $3.
There's been a premium on oil prices imposed by sheer nervousness about President Bush's foreign policy: will he expand the war in Iraq? Will he bomb Iran? Will there be a confrontation with Venezuela, whose president called Bush "the devil" at the UN? If prices are falling now, does that mean the world is a little less worried that Bush will do something reckless? Perhaps. Perhaps the world is reacting to the belief that the Dems will win in November. Or, of course, it could be just plain old market forces at work. The summer is over, people are driving less, and demand is falling.
In any case, the OPEC countries are worried, cutting back production to keep prices up.