The GOP Takes Over the Jim Crow Congress, Immediately Rewrites History, and some 2015 Predictions

So…if you, like I….were wondering how the Jim Crow Congress was going to acknowledge how the quarter before they took over showed the highest GDP growth in over a decade (despite their constant assertions it was about to end in disaster), here’s your answer…

In a speech announcing the new Senate, which is now controlled by Republicans, [Turtle Man] said, “After so many years of sluggish growth, we’re finally starting to see some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope; the uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama Administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress.”

I haven’t given my year predictions yet, so today is the day.  Have to look up last year, but I was pretty dang close in the economic arena. I’m not sure yet exactly how much the GOP is going to try and screw over the economy any more, now that they can’t hide behind the slim D Senate majority, which makes the prospects really good for nothing happening in Washington.  Growth could push 4%, if we’re lucky and the crazies don’t do their thing.

However, the idiots are likely to try and extort the President for the money they have ordered him to spend (i.e. the “debt ceiling”) and the strategy they take in that arena will have impacts in the 1-1.5% area like they did in 2013.   So that 4% is pretty sloppy until I see some strategy discussion.

Oil is the big thing now. Texas is going to get crushed, as are folks who overspent. From what I’ve read, there’s about 1-2,000,000 extra barrels of oil on the world market. Until people “burn that up” as they say, prices will stay low, which (as noted and noted again) is good for most folks and bad for others.

Prices aren’t going to go up soon, so enjoy. Pleas don’t be stupid and buy a big car though, because a few years down the road, things might change. If we had sane leaders, we’d use the savings from gas/oil and invest even more in the solar/wind arena. Energy is life for an economy, and lower gas prices make for easier to move goods, which is cheaper good in today’s global economy, Buy those airline stocks with that oil stock money.

The U.S. does seem poised to reap continued benefits from China’s pollution and Europe’s…intransigence. Putin is a wild card, as per. Obama’s cool has been great against his (to us) aggression. Cuba is going to be fun to watch. A couple of full tourist seasons and their per capita will triple. How the commies deal with the wealth can be interesting. Trustafarians on a country-wide level.

So let’s get it on, shall we?

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.