We are shocked. Sultan Al Jaber, who runs Abu Dhabi’s national oil company when he is not presiding over COP28, said the phase-out of fossil fuels would require the world to go back to living in caves.

Al Jaber then denied the remark, which was caught on video during a November panel discussion called “She Changes Climate” that featured Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson, who is the Al Gore of the Emerald Isle.

How did Al Jaber wind up as the front man for COP28, which has turned out to be a Woodstock for oil and gas lobbyists?

One might guess that Majid Jafar, who heads the UAE’s Crescent Petroleum, didn’t want the gig.

He said: “Blaming the producers of oil and gas for climate change is like blaming farmers for obesity. It’s our societal consumption that is the issue.”

The handwriting was on the wall for Al Jaber last May. US Senators Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Peter Welch and Jeff Merkley joined more than 100 European politicos who urged United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres to replace Al Jaber as head of the climate conference.

“The decision to name as president of COP28 the chief executive of one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies—a company that has recently announced plans to add 7.6 billion barrels of oil to its production in the coming years, representing the fifth-largest increase in the world—risks undermining the negotiations,” stated the letter.

The letter signers nailed it. COP28 is turning out to be flop.

Sen. Warren and 32 members of the Senate and House signed another letter on Nov. 30 urging president Biden to support negotiations leading to the phaseout of fossil fuels.

Al Jaber would dismiss them as “alarmists,” as he did Robinson when she asked the oil man about tapering down the burning of fossil fuels.

The Union of Concerned Scientists have decried Big Oil’s PR campaign to put the COP28 focus on emissions reductions rather than the phaseout of fossil fuels.

Kathy Mulvey, accountability director at the UoCS’ climate & energy program, says what the world needs is a clear international commitment to a fast, fair and funded phaseout of fossil fuels.

That commitment may come at a future COP, assuming the conference survives Big Oil's hijacking of the mess in the desert.

Blaming poor Old Joe… Democrats are begging the White House to ditch the Bidenomics brand because it is a meaningless term for voters across the country. Its association with the 81-year-old president is another turn-off.

Only 32 percent of people approve of Biden’s management of the economy, despite robust consumer spending, low unemployment, falling inflation and higher wages.

The White House press shop sees the president’s problem as one of poor messaging.

If only they could come up with the magic theme or tagline that would give Biden some love ahead of his rematch against the Orange Mussolini.

Biden faces a bigger problem than lousy messaging.

The People’s Policy Project think tank believes the rollback of the COVID-19 welfare state is the reason people are bummed out about the economy.

That rollback eliminated free school meals, pared the nutrition assistance program, ended the $300 monthly child credit, suspended student loan payments, put evictions on hold, and booted 11M people off Medicaid.

And those 2020 and 2021 stimulus checks sure were popular. The government doled out $800B in stimulus money in what has to be one of the most popular federal programs ever.

That’s all gone and Biden unfairly gets the blame. Once he guided the US out of the recession, he set up his own downfall as the COVID welfare state came to an end.

The People’s Policy Project says inflation-adjusted incomes declined for 58 percent of Americans in 2022. That followed a similar percentage upswing in income for the previous year.

People say they are cranky about the economy but what they are really moaning about is the loss of those sweet federal bailouts.

“No matter the odds, or personal cost, we did the right thing,” wrote ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in his Wall Street Journal piece announcing that he is quitting Congress at the end of the year. Wrong!

Why wait, Kev? You lost any modicum of respect in Congress after shamefully groveling before the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party to win the prize of Speaker of the House.

And how did that turn out? Matt Gaetz and the gang threw you to the curb, after they made your life miserable each day of the nine months that you had the gavel.

New York Times columnist Michelle Cottle credits McCarthy for being a “top-notch schmoozer and formidable fund-raiser,” which helped him climb up the political ladder.

And then she delivered this zinger: “The man’s fundamental hollowness clung to him like poop on a shoe, prompting many of his more ideological compatriots to distrust him.”

McCarthy became a toady for Donald Trump, who mockingly referred to him at “My Kevin.”

After showing a bit of spine in the aftermath of the Trump-inspired Capitol Hill riot, McCarthy then absolved the president of his Jan. 6 sins and slithered to Mar-a-Lago to kiss his ring.

Liz Cheney calls McCarthy “a pathetic figure” who always chose to do the wrong thing when doing the right thing could have made all the difference.

McCarthy is going back to California, where he plans to “recruit our country’s best and brightest to run for elected office.”

The exiting Congressman just doesn’t get how politically toxic he really is. He’d have a much happier life opening up his old sandwich shop and shooting the breeze with customers.

Telling it like it is. Remember back in the early days of the Trump administration when the media were hesitant to call Donald Trump’s lies for what they were, lies.

Well that has certainly has changed as the media are full of stories about Trump’s plan to become a dictator and unleash the Justice Dept. in pursuit of his perceived enemies.

National treasure Dan Rather is cheering the media on. He believes America doesn’t want what Trump is promising.

“The more America understands the possibility of that grim prospect, the less of a chance that we will find ourselves confronting it,” blogged the former CBS newsman. “We should not minimize the threat, but we should also recognize that it can be defeated — and in a convincing way that would strengthen our nation after a dangerous era.”

Rather, 92, writes the “Steady” blog.