Bush: Don’t expect price breaks from oil companies

The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — President Bush defended the huge profits of Exxon Mobil Corp. Wednesday, saying they are simply the result of the marketplace and that consumers socked with soaring energy costs should not expect price breaks.
Early this week, Exxon reported record profits of $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year — the largest of any U.S. company. While some politicians raised furious objections, Bush had a different reaction.

“There is a marketplace in American society,” he said.
Bush was the first U.S. president to espouse a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel. Those prospects have dimmed with the triumph of Hamas in Palestinian parliamentary elections last week.

“I made the position of this government very clear,” Bush said. “Hamas must renounce its desire to destroy Israel; it must recognize Israel’s right to exist and it must get rid of the armed wing of its party.”

“In order for there to be democracy and in order for there to be two states living side by side with peace, you can’t have the party of one state intending to destroy the other state,” he said.
comment: (Why exactly is it that Hamas must disarm, and Israel isn't required the same? Israel isn't trying to destroy Hamas?)
On other subjects:
— The president appeared untroubled by the outbursts and chaos surrounding the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
“Saddam Hussein was the person who made a mockery of justice,” Bush said. “He never gave his victims any chance for trial. This fledgling democracy is working through the issues of its Justice Department.”

— Bush dismissed the idea of increasing fuel efficiency standards for cars, trucks and SUVs as a way of curbing foreign oil dependence. “My plan is to diversify away from oil. ... You’re asking questions about how you deal with cars running on gasoline made from oil, I’m telling you let’s get some cars running on fuel other than oil.”

— He rejected calls from some Republicans for the White House to disclose all its contacts with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Bush said there was an investigation of Abramoff’s activities and “to the extent they ask for information, they’ll get it.”

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Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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