Presidents and the Economy

So is the president responsible for the accelerating recovery? No. Can we nonetheless say that we’re doing better than we would be if the other party held the White House? Yes. Do those who were blaming Mr. Obama for all our economic ills now look like knaves and fools? Yes, they do. And that’s because they are.

via Presidents and the Economy – NYTimes.com.

Nice summation of a basic rant re: Obama.  Now that Obama has achieved all of the economic goals of the Republicans in the 2012 election one would think there would be a chastised tone coming from the folks who were so terribly wrong.

However, because our media system does a fantastically horrible job of educating the populace about reality, the GOP has actually gained seats based on the results their constituents *believe* Obama has gotten, which have very little in common with the actual results.

Anyway, it’s a fun dynamic to watch, although a tad bit frustrating from the rational actor viewpoint.

Keystone Pipe Lies

Wow…Keystone XL…50 permanent jobs and nearly $50,000,000 in “property taxes” **over the next decade** for the country. Meanwhile…


“[Keystone XL] would have the capacity to deliver up to 830,000 bpd, of which 730,000 bpd of capacity has been set aside for [tar sands] and the remaining 100,000 bpd of capacity set aside for [Bakken] crude oil,” the report details.

Which at current prices…roughly $75/barrel * that’s $62,250,000…per day…not per decade (and nearly $22,721,250,000/year…so a few hundred million for lobbying is barely material).

Anyway, the main reason this is a big deal is because Koch Industries has a big piece of the tar sands oil, but has to pay more to send it anywhere for refining. The problem with the pipeline for most is that it increased risk (i.e. after the Koch Bros assholes die in the next few years and their heirs are even bigger dicks and stop maintaining the pipeline and it pops) for the people where it exists with no actual benefit to those people.

It is a perfect example of the “publicize the risk and privatize the profit” type project that NEARLY EVERYONE claims to hate in reality. While it is true, yes, some Dems have also been bought by the Kochs and support the project, there is NO QUESTION that one the main reasons guys who hate politics just gave hundreds of millions of dollars to politicians is to get their pipeline built.

And now that it worked, it’s going to be the first bill the lame-duck-prelude-to-the-Jim-Crow-Congress** sends to the President’s desk.

One of the things I’m so happy for is that oil and gas prices have PLUMMETED as they so often do in this boom and bust industry. Investments in explorations and infrastructure (yes, including pipelines) has long term effects on market prices. We’ve had a boom in drilling and exploration and infrastructure (extraction/fracking), and so the prices have plummeted.

Had they *not* plummeted previously, the claim that the transportation of the raw materials part of the price of gasoline was *really going to change* because of Keystone XL, might have actually gained some traction. Had we BUILT the pipeline, and prices plummeted as they have, the Kochs would have looked like the Market Gods they think they are.

Instead we saw prices plummet as the President “dawdles” (i.e. stick to what he’s said all along…he’s going to take his time and not force anything though, if it works at at all) and the Kochs go the raw political brute force route for approval.

This takes the wind out of the “it’ll lower the record high gas prices!!” part of the argument for approval, which was the main force pushing the public at large. Because of this, I don’t think it’s going to be approved while Obama is in office…but we’ll see a lot more b.s. about it.

* oil/gas price dynamics are a billion dollar industry unto themselves, so please excuse my massive paraphrasing.

** Yes, I’m going to call the Congress elected by the lowest voter turnout in 70 years (nearly twice my lifespan) the Jim Crow Congress. While the media elites might tell you voting was down because people don’t care (a self-fulfilling prophecy for the powerful), in reality I know lots of folks who were TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS. Since I don’t know all the folks, I know that a certain percentage of the folks you know, were also TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS. This means that a certain percentage of all folks were TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS.

If you don’t think I think this is a big deal, please re-read the bolded statement again, and again, and again. We should *always* be working to EXPAND voting rights, because it is one of our most fundamental ideals. If you want to worry about our Democracy and “The Future of Our Country” , worry about this, because it’s the fundamental way a democracy functions and a populace communicates with itself.

So…for the next two years (and maybe more), it’s the Jim Crow Congress. The GOP doesn’t get to hide behind a slim Senate minority anymore. Own the assholeness, GOP, you’ve earned it.

Hope and Change vs Gloom and Doom

Most of Obama’s voters — 73 percent — say they are voting “for” him rather than “against” Romney (23 percent). The reverse is true among Romney backers: 54 percent say their support is more “against” Obama rather than “for” Romney (40 percent).

The poll also indicates why Republicans are going after low-information voters.  These are the ones that think approving a pipeline that will ship  oil out of the country will somehow lower prices here.

Update:  This has been flowing around…but recall what was said a mere four years ago…

Update2: The White House put up this page.   The most important graph, which is hidden about halfway down is the “Global Oil Consumption” one.  That’s the pressure on the demand side.  On the supply side, we have the Iranian tough talk campaign applying pressure, as noted here.

I’d also wager, rather safely, that oil company profits, when reported, will once again be approaching record territory.   A populace squeezed at the pump is looking to point a finger, and one particular media company in particular is more than happy to do so with every outlet at their disposal.   They do, falsely claiming the same thing was done four years ago.  I’ve already provided evidence that  it is they who have changed their story.

Now let’s see how many gullible folks they convince that while they were wrong then, they are dead-on right now, and gas prices are  actually singularly controlled by the President.  Probably with a little lever or dial.


Fox News Poll: President Obama Tops Republican Contenders In Matchups | Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/14/fox-news-poll-president-obama-tops-republican-contenders-in-matchups/

All Off the Fail Plane (part deux)

Free Preview – WSJ.com

Skybus Airlines, a low-fare start-up carrier, shut down over the weekend, becoming the third U.S. airline in a week to cease operations in an industry being pummeled by high fuel prices and the weak economy.

Closely held Skybus, based in Columbus, Ohio, has 11 leased Airbus jetliners and operated 74 daily flights to 15 U.S. cities. The company quit flying Saturday with little warning after completing its Friday flights.

Eh, it’s just the abstract, but there ya go.  Things happen in threes….or at least meatsacks think they do because it’s the most common “real” prime number (2 doesn’t count, because it’s even).

All Aboard the Fail Plane

Bankrupt, ATA Cancels All Flights – New York Times

In the latest sign of troubles in the airline business, ATA Airlines shut down on Thursday, canceling all flights after filing for bankruptcy.

The airline said in a statement that it was unable to honor any tickets or reservations and asked other carriers to assist passengers stranded by the abrupt cancellations.

The Indianapolis-based airline operated 29 aircraft, carrying about 10,000 passengers daily on four routes from Chicago’s Midway Airport and several West Coast routes to Hawaii. ATA’s Web site said the company had 2,230 employees and most of them were being notified that their jobs have been eliminated. The Associated Press reported that notices were posted Thursday morning at ticket counters in cities ATA served, telling passengers that the airline had shut down.

Pretty glad this one didn’t strand me on the road.  It looks like a couple others picked up the slack, but it is still a troubling development.  Gas prices are going to continue to rise, BTW, and businesses unprepared will fail.  

All aboard the fail plane.  Err, all off it, I guess.