Bloomberg reported today that OPEC's crude oil production is down, prices are up, and demand is rising. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has cut production this month by 800,000 b/d (barrels per day), and they plan to in time raise that number to one million b/d. Coincidentally, Bloomberg also reported that the White House has been openly criticizing the governments of Iran and Venezuela. On the Jan. 20 broadcast of the "Don Imus Show," vice president Dick Cheney said that, "[Iran is] at the top of the list." Cheney warns that Iran's nuclear program and support for terrorist groups may work to destabilize the Middle East. During her nomination hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 18, incoming U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice openly criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and declared him "a democratically elected leader who governs in an illiberal way.'' Iran and Venezuela just so happen to be OPEC's second and third biggest oil producers. Coincidence? I think not.