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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Why would a free people celebrate an absurd holiday “President’s Day”?

U.S. Presidents Aren't Worth Celebrating

Every year, there are conservatives who complain about a “War on Christmas.” If there's ever a War on Presidents Day, sign us up.

Gene Healy | February 18, 2014 

Real patriots spend the third Monday in February thinking about the presidency. In fact, I spent the day reading Thinking About the Presidency, a new book by the distinguished University of Chicago political scientist William G. Howell. And now I think we're screwed.
The book’s subtitle is “the Primacy of Power,” reflecting Howell’s view that “power is the president’s North Star. … The need to acquire, protect, and expand power is built into the office of the presidency itself, and it quickly takes hold of whoever temporarily bears the title of chief executive.”
The demands Americans place on the presidency are virtually boundless: They “invest in the president their highest aspirations not just for the federal government, but for the general polity, for their communities and families, and for their own private lives.” Responding to the incentives that confront them, presidents naturally seek power to meet the insatiable public demands for presidential salvation.
Thus, Howell writes, “from nearly the moment he assumes office, the most self-effacing presidential candidate will quickly be transformed into a great apologist for presidential power.”
You wouldn't exactly call President Obama “self-effacing.” But his background as a former constitutional law professor and liberal state senator, and his campaign speeches denouncing “unchecked presidential power,” led some liberals to believe he'd be “our first civil libertarian president.”
And yet, since assuming office, Obama has broken more campaign-trail promises on executive power than you could fit into a Buzzfeed listicle. A sample:
  1. “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack [absent] an actual or imminent threat.” But “kinetic military action” against Libya is a different story entirely.
  2. “No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient." Still, taking care that Obamacare's firm legislative deadlines are faithfully adhered to would be really inconvenient before the midterms.
  3. “We're not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress.” Unless Congress gets out of line and defunds my czars.
  4. “No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.” Actually, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the president has “continued to block reform and has even sought to expand NSL powers.”
Obama didn't set out to forge a legacy as the Surveillance State's greatest champion, any more than President George W. Bush had an ideological precommitment to vastly expanding presidential power over the economy. But as Howell notes, “presidents can ill afford to repudiate any power that might enable them to address the onslaught of expectations put before them.”
As law professor Garrett Epps has noted, the Framers did something new under the sun with the creation of the presidency. But “it wasn't their best work.” The Framers thought they'd made separation of powers largely self-executing: Ambition would counteract ambition, so that, in Madison's words, “the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights.”
But the mechanism doesn’t work as planned: The private interests of individual congressmen lead them to cede power to the executive branch and focus on reelection. Congress rarely guards its institutional turf—yet every president ends up leaving the presidency stronger than he found it.
The results are nothing to celebrate. Every year, there are conservatives who complain about a “War on Christmas.” If there's ever a War on Presidents Day, sign me up.

This column previously appeared in the Washington Examiner

131 comments:

  1. I suppose “George Washington”s Birthday” seemed appropriate. Celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was always a farce as is celebrating Bill Clinton, George Bush, Andrew Jackson and Jimmy Carter. Celebrating the birthday of a political leader with a state holiday is worthy of a Cuba or a North Korea. It is childish nonsense and should be antithetical to any definition of a free people.

    ReplyDelete
  2. May as well call it Horseshit Day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The very concept is as repugnant to me as is the nonsense of US presidents building their own pyramids and calling them Presidential Libraries. As if anyone is going to give a shit about the tomb of George Bush.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I totally agree with the article: it’s absurd to be celebrating an entity which is at best a necessary evil but if I must celebrate then let it be to honor William Henry Harrison who died only 32 days into office. He successfully finished his run as president without inflicting any harm on the country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you studied that closely?

      I can't believe Any President went 32 days without "harming the country" to Some extent.

      :)

      Delete
  5. A Syrian girl has been stoned to death for
    opening a Facebook account, it has been
    claimed. The girl, named in media reports as
    Fatoum Al-Jassem, was sentenced to death by
    a Sharia court in Al-Reqqa after it ruled
    having a Facebook account was immoral behaviour.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Go RT.com. Holy hell is breaking out in Kiev. Live on the blog!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What time is it over there? About 5:00 in the morning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any minute now, Pootie is going to rip his shirt off, jump on his steed, and set this shit right. :)

      Delete
    2. This "One Man, One Vote, One Time" stuff might not work as well as was advertised.

      Delete
    3. I'm beginning to think that those people really have had just about as much of Russia as they care for.

      Delete
    4. .

      And let's remember a few things.

      First the demonstrators are protesting against a democratically elected government. Second, the 'pro-West' parties involved might not be the type of guys you would want your kids marrying.

      At the center of the protests are far-right nationalists and fascists. One of the groups is far-right and anti-Semitic and claims the Ukraine is currently run by a Russian/Jewish mafia. John McCain shared the platform with the leader of this group a month or so ago. (Deja Vu all over again.)

      Another opposition party, held a march earlier last month in memory of the Ukrainian fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose forces fought with the Nazis in the second world war and took part in the massacres of Jews.

      Also, though there have been talks the EU has not offered the Ukraine membership yet and chances are they won't, at least not full membership.

      What will happen? Well, the US is upset but Russia controls the oil and gas.

      .

      Delete
    5. .

      You have the current president and the oligarchs on one side and the nationalists and fascists on the other.

      Another reason (if any is needed) for the US to stay out.

      .

      Delete
    6. The same sort of demonstrations going on in Ukraine are forbidden in the rest of Europe and in the US. The problem is not where the US should be involved.

      It is best politically for Ukraine to form a customs union with Russia. Russia has offered generous concessions to the multiple billions owed it by Ukraine.

      Delete
  8. Heck of a deal, the water cannons, answered by Molotov cocktails and bottle rockets.

    The smoke alternates between white and black, as the the water cannons advance, then pull back when answered by flame.
    The tires at the base of the flaming barricades are not extinguished by the water.

    In Venezuela, the face of the protests there, Leopoldo Lopez , surrendered to the government authorities.

    In Mexico the LA Times reports
    autodefensa groups are now active in more than half of the 81 municipalities in Guerrero, a state of 3.5 million people, according to Mexico's human rights commission. Guerrero is perhaps best known outside the country as home to the now-faded beach resort city of Acapulco, but it has suffered as much as Michoacan, if not more, from enduring poverty, weak or corrupt local governments and the deeply embedded presence of feuding cartels.

    In the last few weeks, concern over the state's stability has increased with the arrival of the armed vigilantes on the outskirts of the troubled capital, and their open deliberations over whether to proceed to the center of government power. ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gee, back when I was a kid, the folks and their friends would vacation in Acapulco.

      Guy that filled in for dad when they were gone would take his 1950 Nash, which conveniently converted into a bed.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  9. .

    A couple thousand people surrounded by government troops.

    Defiant. But what happens when the fires burn out?

    Just me but I'm more worried about Ukraine's bombs than I am about Iran's.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were taken to Russia, in 1996.

      If you care to believe the published reports.

      If not, there could be some of those Ukrainian warheads in Iran. Likely as not.
      Nuclear proliferation, that genie is already out of the bottle.

      If you want to worry about it, go ahead.

      The Turks, with 50 to 90 B61 warheads at the Incirlik Air Base are more worrisome than the Ukrainians or the Iranians.


      Delete
    2. .

      Yea, forgot. It's late.

      However, it brings to mind another reason Russia will fight any move Ukraine makes towards the West. NATO had a big push on during the 90's to get Ukraine to join. Russia was upset about missiles in Poland. You can imagine how they would feel about having NATO next door.

      .

      Delete
    3. Why stretch our imaginations?

      Let's just let the Rooskies set up a missile base on Cuba.

      Delete
    4. 20% of the people in the Ukraine are ethnic Russians. Polls show the country divided 50-50, with the Eastern and Southern parts pro-Russian and the Western part is pro-West and wants in the EU. It is similar to the ethnic problems in the Baltic states and Moldova but on a huge scale.

      Delete
  10. .

    Conspiracy theories? You want conspiracy theories?

    I have especially enjoyed the national angst being expressed by the Canadian press and public over coming in second to the Russians in team figure skating and to the Americans in ice dancing. To hear them tell it, the fix was in. Hilarious.

    The only thing funnier would be if they happened to lose out on hockey gold. People would be jumping out of windows, Don Cherry would blow a gasket, and 2014 would be declared a year of national mourning.

    I love it.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do have to feel sympathy for the Canadian guy:

      While our guy was throwing a Deer around, the Canuck was hefting a horse.

      Delete
    2. Carolla figures her bun needs a bit of unwinding so she could blink, or sleep with her eyes closed.

      Does appreciate the Clear Face Mask, tho.

      Delete

  11. GOP flocks to bill curbing Obama's power.


    My favorite was Our Leader Unilaterally Waiving Clinton Era Welfare Reform that reduced Welfare 32 percent and reduced poverty.

    Sign of the Devil to Obammie and Rufus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "In an interview with The Hill, Rice explained the STOP resolution is aimed at reversing Obama's delay of the employer mandate, enactment of the Dream Act, extension of "substandard" health insurance plans and ending work requirements for welfare."

      ---

      Nice having a Power Mad Narcissistic Dictator in office.

      Delete
  12. update: BBC

    In a statement, the health ministry said on Wednesday the number of dead on both sides had risen to 25. It is feared the death toll could rise further.

    Nine of those killed were police, the interior ministry says. Two were traffic police officers

    At least 14 protesters were among the dead: many were killed in the streets around the parliament

    A journalist working for Russian-language newspaper Vesti, Vyacheslav Veremyi, was pulled from a taxi by masked men and shot
    Several hundred people have been treated for injuries

    As police gained ground in the Maidan, stones and petrol bombs were met with tear gas.

    The protesters tried to hold their defense lines, burning tyres on the barricades and more anti-government activists were said to be on their way to join the camp.



    --------
    Previously: Opposition leaders Vitaly Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk met President Viktor Yanukovych for late night talks but failed to come to an agreement.

    ReplyDelete
  13. France 24:

    US Vice President Joe Biden called Yanukovich to express “grave concern” about the assault.

    The White House says Biden urged the president to pull back government forces and exercise maximum restraint, saying that while violence should not be tolerated on either side, the government bears ``special responsibility to de-escalate the situation”.

    A protester on the square told FRANCE 24 that despite the crackdown the crowds were determined to stand their ground. “A lot of people feel that there is no way back,” Ihor Koval said by telephone. “If we give up now then Ukraine will become an uncivilised country, so we will stay to the end.

    “We're prepared for the worst but we hope for the best,” he added.

    Protesters and police 'traumatised'

    The death toll from the violence climbed on Wednesday, with the Health Ministry announcing that 25 people had been killed in the clashes.

    “This is the most violent day in the 23-year history of Ukraine as an independent nation,” said FRANCE 24's Gulliver Cragg, reporting from Kiev.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It all depends on which side the security forces break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why assume that the 'Securiyy Forces' will act 'en bloc' and not fragment along ethnic and political lines, like the rest of the country?

      Delete
    2. Virginia revolted, Robert E Lee turned down command of the Federal Army and went home.

      Delete
  15. Poll results, which appear in the National Science Foundation (NSF) survey of 2,200 Americans, will form part of a report set to be presented to Barack Obama and lawmakers in congress, and are likely to once again raise the issue of educational standards in the United States.

    Other startling results from the survey included that only 39 per cent of Americans believe “the universe began with a huge explosion”. And fewer than half of the people surveyed (48 per cent) agreed that "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals".

    Meanwhile, 51 per cent of Americans knew that antibiotics don't kill viruses.

    The study also demonstrated that a total of 42 per cent of Americans thought astrology was either "very scientific" or "sort of scientific".

    The survey, as reported by Agence France-Presse, is carried out every couple of years in order to analyse whether America is making educational progress.

    Despite the somewhat negative findings of the study there is a significant glimmer of hope.

    The survey revealed that nearly 90 per cent of Americans believed the benefits of science outweigh any dangers. Thirty per cent believe science deserves more funding from government, and around 90 per cent expressed an interest in learning about medical discoveries.

    ReplyDelete
  16. MOSCOW, February 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Mikhail Margelov believes that militants’ actions on Kiev streets on February 18-19 are not spontaneous, but staged.

    Fatalities reach 25 in Kiev riots
    The senator noted the common delusion that the so-called Maidan and its battle squad is not stage-managed, it is Cossak outlaws and “national power”. “The very events at Grushevsky Street disproved it: the militants dealt with law enforcers’ attacks too skillfully, refilled armory of shields, casks and clubs, and added cocktail bombs to convert it into napalm. The course of street riots February 18-19 showed that the militants fight in the so-called “Halych format” — it came to gunfire, and there are fatalities on both sides. There is evident organized nature behind the fighting,” Margelov believes.
    In addition, he said that “after a fragile truce, the Maidan gains momentum in provinces: in Lvov, Ternopol, Ivano-Frankovsk”. “They not only occupy state offices there, but storm police wards and dismantle Berkut officers,” the Russian senator stated.
    Margelov expressed confidence that “debacles and shooting that John Kerry dubbed “fight of the Ukrainian majority for Europe’s democratic future” are fairly staged and managed by experienced specialists in street fighting”. “Klitschko and Yatsenyuk hardly possess such military talents,” he assumed, adding that the job of these politicians is “to compose joint plans with the West to make up an oppositionist government and carry out a constitutional reform, which ought to be followed by western financial aid”.
    Chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee says it’s early to make any forecasts yet. “It would be a great achievement to stop the street mayhem and start a responsible political dialogue. Still, even this may not consolidate the Ukrainian society. It’s split: I cannot remember a single Ukrainian parliament that hadn’t fistfights,” the senator concluded.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Mikhail Margelov believes that militants’ actions on Kiev streets on February 18-19 are not spontaneous, but staged."

      Well, duh.

      As if Putin would try to pull off his Olympic Grand Finale without a feasibility run.

      Delete
  17. The number one Solar Utility in the country is in

    IOWA??

    ReplyDelete
  18. Welll, lookee here,

    Nat Gas is at 322% of the Rufus Low of $1.92.

    It's a TRIPLE ! ! !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pure Genius.

      From record recent lows to higher as your hero outlaws coal, and the East suffers through an epic winter.

      Now still well below the average price since year 2000.

      Delete
    2. Record lows will increase demand, which in turn will cause prices to rise ....

      Now, what else is new?

      To blame Obama for the epic winter ...
      heh, heh, heh, right on the theme of the thread, no doubt about that!

      Delete
    3. He did promise to shut down coal before he was elected.

      ...so far he's on course.

      Delivering on his promises.

      ...for a change.

      Delete
    4. For the Retarded:

      Epic winter in The East raises prices.

      Obama's policies raise prices.

      Delete
    5. For those that are economically challenged - low prices will bring about an increase in consumption, which will increase price.

      In 2007, coal consumption was the highest it has ever been, with coal mostly being used to generate electricity.

      Natural gas, which is cleaner-burning and more easily transportable, has replaced coal as the preferred source of heating in homes, businesses and industrial furnaces.
      ...
      U.S, Primary Energy Consumption by Source and Sector in 2008 is tabled as following:
      Natural Gas = 23.8% -
      3% Transportation
      34% Industrial
      34% Residential and Commercial
      29% Electric Power

      Coal = 22.5%
      8% Industrial
      <1% Residential and Commercial
      91% Electric Power

      Electrical Production in the United States for 2012
      % of annual production
      Coal = 36.97%
      Nat Gas = 30.23%


      According to new figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal made up 36 percent of U.S. electricity in the first quarter of 2012 — down from 44.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

      That stunning drop, which represented almost a 20 percent decline in coal generation over the last year, was primarily due to low natural gas prices. As EIA explains, natural gas generation will climb steadily this year, while coal will see a double-digit drop by the end of 2012:

      Natural‐gas‐fired generation continues to expand its share of total generation at the expense of coal‐fired generation. During the first quarter of 2012, natural gas accounted for 28.7 percent of total generation compared with 20.7 percent during the same quarter last year. In contrast, coal’s share of total generation declined from 44.6 percent to 36.0 percent over the same period.

      Prices for natural gas delivered to the electric power industry fell by 7.5 percent in 2011, which contributed to a significant increase in the share of natural‐gas‐fired generation.

      EIA expects this trend to continue in 2012, with electric power sector coal consumption falling by 14 percent.

      Natural gas in the electric power sector grows by almost 21 percent in 2012, primarily driven by the increasing relative cost advantages of natural gas over coal for power generation in some regions.


      So the facts are clear, the increase in electrical production from Natural Gas during Obama's tenure ...
      Was due to the economics of cheap natural gas.

      Delete
  19. BANGKOK — A civil court Wednesday upheld the Thai government’s emergency decree, which allowed authorities to detain protestors and hold them for a month without charges. But the judges warned the government against using the state of emergency as a pretext to use force against anti-government demonstrators.

    The government declared a 60-day emergency period from January 21 amid continuing protests against it.

    It is not immediately clear what impact the court’s ruling will have on arrest warrants issued for protest leaders accused of violating the state of emergency.

    Protests against Thai government continue

    Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, at the helm since her Peau Thai Party won a landslide election in 2011, has been struggling to hold onto power since opponents in November began street protests to oust her.

    Thitinan Pongsudhirak, an associate professor of political science at Chulalongkorn University, said the court ruling will further tighten the noose, put the squeeze on the Yingluck government because the government is facing protests that demand Yingluck’s resignation.

    "If the government is unable to resort to some kind of imposition of the law and order then they will look weaker and weaker," he said. "And it will be in a straightjacket like a sitting duck and something else will come along to either depose it or see Yingluck’s resignation.”

    ReplyDelete
  20. The fires are out, the people are still in the square.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Warmup to Bring Flood, Roof Collapse Risk Midwest, East..."

    Why would snowmelt water weigh more than the original snowload?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. ""In addition to the warmup bringing a break from winter this week, rain and rising temperatures will also bring the potential for flooding and roof collapses."

      ---

      The Warmup does not open up the gutters soon enough to offload the new load???

      Quirk no doubt knows the answer.

      Cali-Hawaii Doug, not a chance."

      Delete
    3. .

      Got me. I've never thought about it.

      The only thing I could think of is that what snow is there would to some extend absorb the rain that is falling causing what is left to be a lot heavier before it melts and runs off.

      [Of course, were I to put my mind to it and, more importantly was inclined to do so, I'm sure I could come up with the scientific explanation for the phenomena or if applicable disprove the statement altogether. It's just the way I roll. :)]

      .

      .

      Delete
  22. JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey was expected to receive a critical supply of rock salt that was held up by the Department of Homeland Security because it was being carried on a foreign ship.
    On Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Cory Booker told WCBS 880′s Steve Scott that he and Sen. Robert Menendez were able to work with federal authorities to release the much-needed rock salt to the Garden State.
    “Right now, with the critical crisis we have with storm after storm after storm hitting our state, with cities and our state depleting their supplies of rock salt, this is an urgent matter,” Booker said. “The state’s going to be able to get the salt that it needs.”

    Booker: NJ Will 'Be Able To Get The Salt That It Needs'WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reports.
    00:00

    State officials say a shipment of 40,000 tons of salt had been halted in Maine because a foreign-flagged vessel was carrying the salt. According to the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports must be carried on U.S.- flagged ships.

    Booker said officials were able to find a smaller U.S.-flagged ship, so while it won’t be able to bring the full load at once, a shipment of road salt will likely arrive ahead of the next winter storm.

    ReplyDelete
  23. " According to the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports must be carried on U.S.- flagged ships."

    Hawaii's suffered from this since Statehood, before that for all I know. (too late to look it up)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In America it is early. Not even 07:30hrs in California.

      You should leave Polynesia and move to America.

      Delete
    2. San Carlos is a beachfront subdivision within the port city of Guaymas, in the northern state of Sonora in Mexico. It is noted for the exceptional clarity and warmth of the ocean water in its shallow bays. It lies on the body of water known as the Gulf of California or Sea of Cortez. Given the size of the city, with nearly 7,000 inhabitants, there is a remarkable number of RV parks, resorts and stores. There is also a very large and active diving community.

      There are also many Americans and Canadians that live in San Carlos during the winter as the summer months are very hot and humid. There are many opportunities to fish, scuba dive, and relax on the beach.

      Delete

  24. China Sold Second-Largest Amount Ever Of US Treasurys In December- And Guess Who
    Comes To The Rescue

    ""Treasuries bought by Belgium. Bank of Belgium receives money from ECB. ECB receives money from Fed via dollar swap lines. Fed creates more Treasuries.

    Headlines read - Fed not monetizing their own debt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kleine Brogel weapons base in northeastern Belgium near the city of Meeuwen housed 20 nuclear weapons

      We gave 'em 20 nukes, B61s, why wouldn't they front for the Federal Reserve?
      Belgium is an ally, by treaty, form and function.

      Delete
    2. Now you are objecting o the 'New World Order', too?

      You would rather we prosecute Europeon and US banks for money laundering, and crash the global financial system?

      Delete
    3. I prefer real economics over smoke and mirrors.

      Delete
    4. .

      You would rather we prosecute Europeon and US banks for money laundering, and crash the global financial system?

      You bet.

      .

      Delete
    5. The US Government does not even AUDIT the Federal Reserve.

      Let alone prosecute obvious criminal malfeasance by the bankers.

      The facts speak for themselves.

      Who are you going to elect, to 'crack down', an investment banker like Mitt Romney?
      heh, heh, heh ...

      Get real.

      There is no political constituency for your wishes.
      No one that is in a position of authority wants another depression, for the sake of 'honesty' or 'truthfulness' in accounting.

      There are serious structural discrepancies, in the financial markets, but ...
      ... the remedies are not popular.

      Deflation, lower incomes, higher unemployment, those remedies just don't play in Peoria.


      Delete
    6. .

      Don't be obtuse, rat. Reread my post.

      I didn't say it would happen. I was merely answering your question:

      You would rather we prosecute Europeon and US banks for money laundering, and crash the global financial system?

      My answer:

      You bet.

      .

      Delete
    7. There was doug's response, about his preference for 'real' accounting.
      Rather than 'smoke and mirrors'

      Your ... 'You bet', did not warrant a response, you're right. It didn't get one.

      Delete
  25. Night is falling in Kiev, the fires have been ignited.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I remember that when nat gas was $1.92 the experts were coming on CNBC, and allowing as how "the miracle of fracking" was soon going to be producing so much nat gas that the companies would have to give it away to make room in the pipelines.

    That's when I decided that we'd arrived in "crazy-town," (and crazy-town ain't no place to be.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never fear, Rufus, our reserves of natural gas are infinite:

      "So the facts are clear, the increase in electrical production from Natural Gas during Obama's tenure ...
      Was due to the economics of cheap natural gas."

      Professor Rat has spoken.

      (and he once again avoided addressing Obama's pledge on coal)

      Delete
    2. We should increase our consumption of a precious resource, while decreasing our consumption of a less-precious resource as we work on shifting to "renewable" energy.

      Precious is infinite in Ratville.

      Delete
    3. .

      Right, that's when the 2012 "Rufus Low" call also suggested that by February 2013 the price could reach $20.

      Crazy Town?

      :)

      It may reach that price sometime but not in the near future.

      The price was over $13 in 2008 when the bottom dropped out of the economy and prices dropped with it until the recovery started in August 2009. Then the prices went from below $3 up to around $6 again by 2010. However, that's when the steady drop started that ended in the 2012 low. It was all tied to the initial jump in supply from the fracking boom in 2010.

      At the 2012 low, gas storage facilities were busting at the seams, there was no place to the store the gas, and pipelines and facilities were not available to facilitate shipment of the gas overseas where, as in Europe, gas prices were around $17. The gas was 'trapped' in the US. New leases were going unused and dry gas wells were closed as companies concentrated mainly on wet gas wells.

      With gas prices being at historic lows and no producers making any profits, it doesn't take a genius to know that when there are shortages around the world that the commodity's prices would be going up.

      The recent price jump (it went up almost 10% in a week) is tied to the weather and short supplies. However, it is likely prices will continue going up (albeit with short-term volatility) over the long term. When inventories rose due to fracking here, the producers started investing in facilities to allow export of the gas to countries overseas. You can't put in pipelines and other facilities overnight, it takes time and plenty of money; however, it will eventually get here and the bargain prices we have enjoyed due to the trapped nature of our supply will likely disappear.

      (Just as those pipelines everyone are screaming for will likely drive up the price of our domestic oil to closer to the world price.)

      .

      Delete
    4. What 'pledge', let's get a quote and reference, doug.

      Let's see what he REALLY said, not what doug interpreted his comments to mean.

      When you do that, there will be a basis for further discussion.
      Until you do that, you are just barking in the wind ...

      arf, arf, arf.

      Delete
  27. Rioters seize over 1,500 guns in Ukraine mayhem - security services

    The recent events in Ukraine have shown
    "the escalation of violence and a massive use of firearms by the extremist groups. In many parts of the country, public authorities, military installations and depots with munitions are being seized. Court buildings are burning, the vandals are destroying private property and killing peaceful civilians,” the Ukrainian Security Service head, Aleksandr Yakimenko, said in a statement.

    According to Yakimenko,
    “over the last day more than 1,500 firearms and 100,000 rounds of ammunition have come into the hands of criminals.”


    http://rt.com/news/weapons-protesters-kiev-police-745/

    ReplyDelete
  28. Zambada-Niebla also alleged that Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals.

    (If true, that re-raises the issue regarding what Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the gun-running arrangements.)

    A Mexican foreign service officer told Stratfor in April 2010 that the U.S. seemed to have sided with the Sinaloa cartel in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico.

    El Universal reported that the coordination between the U.S. and Sinaloa, as well as other cartels, peaked between 2006 and 2012, which is when drug traffickers consolidated their grip on Mexico. The paper concluded by saying that it is unclear whether the arrangements continue.

    The DEA and other U.S. agencies declined to comment to El Universal.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-government-and-the-sinaloa-cartel-2014-1#ixzz2tnDUK9if

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When the US speaks of 'War' it means 'Peace' - paraphrasing GW Bush.

      When there is an 'attempt to limit the violence' that means we allowed one side to 'arm up'

      Delete
  29. The unknown was the number of gas wells, drilled, but not fracked. It turns out that the backlog was gigantic (a couple of years worth.)

    I still wouldn't be surprised to see $20.00 gas in the near future (although, that is getting up there pretty good.) :)

    And, no, the call isn't contingent on "exporting LNG."

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hold the phone; Drudge is full of shit!

    California reports February signup rate Higher than January's.

    ACA Signups

    ReplyDelete
  31. Gohmert launches conservative PAC to fight establishment GOP

    “There’s a war against the tea party. There’s a war against conservatives, we’re told. If somebody declares war on me I’m not just going to lie down and take it. I’m going to fight,” Gohmert told TheDC. ”You’ve got to have money to fight opposition. The leaders in the party raise money so that [makes congressmen] feel they have to stay close to them. If we raise money on our own we can take a stand.”

    Rat and Rufus should contribute to the GOP, they despise conservatives with the same fervor as you two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have yet to meet a 'Conservative', there are none in the GOP.
      They nominated an Investment Banker, last time they fielded a 'National' candidate.

      A man that praised 'Socialized Medicine' abroad and force the people of Massachusetts into buying 'approved' health insurance.

      Before that the leader of their Party, President GW Bush made a mockery of himself. Pledging to support 'Small Government' but delivering Medicare Part D and a decade of 'War' paid for on a credit card.

      Show me a Republican, a Tea Partier in any elected office and I'll show you self serving politician. Just like any Democrat.

      Delete

  32. The Shrinking Imperialist President


    Substantively, however, the imperial presidency continues to metastasize. The presidency, the Cato Institute’s Gene Healy has written, “keeps shrinking, but — with an executive branch of some 2.1 million civilian employees and counting — it never gets any smaller.” As a branch of government, it has grown under Republicans and Democrats alike. Some curbs were put on the office under Richard Nixon because of Watergate, and because Democrats don’t like it when Republican presidents behave like Democratic ones.

    “Those who tried to warn us back at the beginning of the New Deal of the dangers of one-man rule that lay ahead on the path we were taking toward strong, centralized government may not have been so wrong,” Democratic Senator Alan Cranston of California remarked in 1973 during Watergate.

    That’s a lesson Democrats would do well to ponder, because they are rhetorically giving Obama license to do whatever he likes. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D.,Texas) recently declared that the priority for her and her comrades should be to draft executive orders — not laws — for Obama to sign. Representative Xavier Becerra (D., Calif.) suggested on Fox News Sunday that the president could rewrite Obamacare at whim because the Constitution gives him the power to act during a national security threat. And of course, Senator Harry Reid (D., Nev.) blew up the filibuster rules for appointees.

    They shouldn’t be surprised if the next Republican president takes advantage of that license.

    ---

    Good luck on that: The MSM and good soldiers like Rat and Rufus won't let that happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D.,Texas) recently declared that the priority for her and her comrades should be to draft executive orders — not laws — for Obama to sign"

      ---

      Leader of the Rat, Rufus, and Lee Brain Trust

      Delete
    2. No, dougo, he is the President of the United States.

      Doesn't lead me anywhere.
      Maybe he leads you to water, but the decision to drink, that's yours and yours alone.

      Delete
    3. dougo still has not posted a link or a even a quote of President Obama's 'Pledge'.

      Delete
    4. You probably won't rectify your ignorance on your own, but I'll give you a clue or two, just in case:

      There is a "Search Engine" called "Google"

      Select the text below, "copy it," and "paste it" into the little box provided by "Google"

      If you can read above Kindergarten level, you might become slightly enlightened wrt your Hero, Our Great Leader.


      COPY THIS:
      "san francisco obama says new coal powerplants will go bankrupt"

      Delete
    5. Warning:

      Right Wing Wacko sites like "The San Francisco Chronicle" are displayed high on the list.
      They probly paid off their close neighbors, "Google"

      Scroll on down and try to find something more balanced like "The Nation"

      You can share their deep insight with Comrade Rufus.

      Delete
    6. I did not reference Obama's 'Promise' dougo, you did.

      I would like to see it, you claimed only the 'retarded' need proof

      DougWed Feb 19, 09:24:00 AM EST

      He did promise to shut down coal before he was elected.

      ...so far he's on course.

      Delivering on his promises.

      ...for a change.


      DougWed Feb 19, 09:27:00 AM EST

      For the Retarded:

      Epic winter in The East raises prices.

      Obama's policies raise prices.


      Where is the link to the promise?
      You brought it up, now you are running a way from it.

      I reject the assertion that I should find it, for you.
      I reject that Obama's policies have caused energy prices, Electricity in particular to rise.

      You have made two claims that you refuse to defend.
      Typical.

      Delete
  33. President Obama ordered his administration to issue new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks by March 2016, following through on a State of the Union pledge to address the economy and climate change using his executive authority.

    ...

    Truck manufacturers largely supported Obama's announcement though they cautioned that the compliance period for the first phase of the greenhouse gas standards has only just gone into effect.

    ...

    The Heavy Duty Fuel Efficiency Leadership Group, a trucking industry group formed to provide input into the prior fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards, also praised Obama's announcement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As he has done in the Financial Sectors, the Kenyan has again rewarded his big buck supporters, and punished Independent Truckers, many of whom are being forced out of business.

      Too big to fail: YES!

      Too small to survive: YES!

      Delete
    2. We're in dire need of one of your top of the line jokes, Sam.

      Delete
  34. "QuirkWed Feb 19, 04:05:00 PM EST
    .

    Don't be obtuse, rat. Reread my post.

    I didn't say it would happen. I was merely answering your question:

    You would rather we prosecute Europeon and US banks for money laundering, and crash the global financial system?

    My answer:

    You bet.

    ."

    Obtuse is 'Rat's only method of "argumentation"

    Avoids bothersome reliance on, or searching for facts, and provides a useful forum for creative deception.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where is Obama's 'Pledge', dougo?

      Where is the quote, where is link?

      Delete
    2. Ohio coal industry says Obama promised to bankrupt coal-fired ...
      www.politifact.com/...coal.../ohio-coal-industry-says-obam...‎
      PolitiFact.com
      Mar 14, 2011 - Says that President Obama said in 2008 that his proposed ... videotaped interview with the San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board that ... to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they ...

      Delete
    3. If Google is beyond your ken, I give up.

      Delete
    4. "From record recent lows to higher as your hero outlaws coal,"

      Of course in Rat World, bankruptcy is not identical to outlawing,

      to which I say:

      "Fuck Off, loser."

      Delete
    5. Link is dysfunctional, doug.
      It does not work

      No points for failure.

      Delete
    6. Once again the Obtuse loser Rat has brought down the level of useful information on a thread.

      Supplanted (again) with more RatShit.

      Deuce remains silent.

      Delete
  35. Brilliant insight (so far) of the thread:

    In the face of a rapidly industrializing World of 7 Billion people, energy prices are likely to rise.

    Population Clock

    At least that is what my magic crystal eight ball says.

    (I've shaken it to exhaustion, in hopes of satisfying Rufus to the point of pursuing something of interest to adults.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still no quote, still no link
      Typical dougo

      Delete
    2. Audio: Obama Tells SF Chronicle He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry
      By P.J. Gladnick | November 2, 2008 | 07:26

      A A
      (Please read update about the San Francisco Chronicle neglecting to mention Obama's willingness to bankrupt the coal industry at bottom of this blog.)
      Imagine if John McCain had whispered somewhere that he was willing to bankrupt a major industry? Would this declaration not immediately be front page news? Well, Barack Obama actually flat out told the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate) that he was willing to see the coal industry go bankrupt in a January 17, 2008 interview. The result? Nothing. This audio interview has been hidden from the public...until now. Here is the transcript of Obama's statement about bankrupting the coal industry (emphasis mine):

      Let me sort of describe my overall policy.

      What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there.

      I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.

      So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

      That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

      The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

      So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

      It's just that it will bankrupt them.
      Amazing that this statement by Obama about bankrupting the coal industry has been kept under wraps until this time.

      UPDATE: NewsBusters' Tom Blumer has found out that the San Francisco Chronicle story published on January 18 based upon this January 17 interview did not include any mention of Obama's willingness to bankrupt the coal industry which you can hear on the audio. You can read the story here when you scroll down to the "In His Own Words" section. Way to cover up for The One, SF Chronicle!

      Delete
    3. No linkee for you, loser.

      Clue: It's the Newsbuster site.

      Delete
    4. With a quote, there is no need for a link.

      Delete
  36. More Ratshit, Deuce, do we really need it?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Gee Willikers, Google/YouTube has terminated Newsbusters account!

    Big Surprise.

    Party on, Comrades Rat and Rufus!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Budget Official Defends Minimum Wage Analysis
    Douglas Elmendorf pushes back against Democratic critics

    By Zeke J Miller @zekejmillerFeb. 19, 201434 Comments
    Under fire from Democrats, the leader of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is defending his agency’s analysis of proposals to raise the federal minimum wage.

    CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said Wednesday that the independent budget office stands by its report released this week, which predicted that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, as proposed by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, would lead to a decrease in total employment.

    “I want to be clear that our analysis on the effects of raising the minimum wage is completely consistent with the latest thinking in the economic profession,” Elmendorf said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast for reporters.

    BEWARE! RIGHT WING WACKO LINK - "TIME MAGAZINE:"

    http://swampland.time.com/2014/02/19/minimum-wage-cbo-congress-douglas-elmendorf/

    ReplyDelete
  39. So, now that dougo has supplied the quote, the obvious answers present themselves.

    Timeline 2008, 91% of coal production is used to generate electrical power.

    Obama policies hae LOWERED energy costs to the US consumer, by moving electrical generation to Natural Gas

    Following the decline of natural gas prices since 2008, real average delivered prices for electricity have dropped consistently,
    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/early_prices.cfm

    Disproving his claim that Obama's policies have caused a price rise, this current winter season on the East Coast.

    Electricity Declines 50% as Shale Spurs Natural Gas Glut: Energy
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/electricity-declines-50-in-u-s-as-shale-brings-natural-gas-glut-energy.html

    Again, Obama was ahead of the curve, moving new electrical generation from Coal to Nat Gas has saved the US consumers millions of dollars, as electrical costs have DROPPED.

    Now,Ii would not have credited Obama, for the market forces at work, but dougo did and does.

    Little wonder he did not want to supply that link or the quote.
    Doing so has proved his claim that Obama policies have raised energy prices to be false.

    ReplyDelete
  40. dougo exemplifying the thrust of the thred, that the people of the US put to much stock in the power and the glory of the Presidency.

    Crediting that office for things it has no jurisdiction over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ratshit.

      You never refuted my quote of Obama vowing to Bankrupt Coal fired Powerplants, shifting the argument to Natural Gas, as if Obama is a champion of lower hydrocarbon prices.

      ...as he continues to outlaw exploration on Federal Lands.

      Quirk says Obtuse, I say Ratshit.

      Either is sufficient.

      Delete
    2. Sleazy and infantile also come to mind.

      Delete
    3. You're nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake. Since taking office, Obama has done TWO things regarding coal.

      He opened up a large section of Wyoming to Mining, and

      through the EPA he required some of the oldest, dirtiest plants to upgrade their pollution controls (and, that requirement has now been "put off" until 2016, or 2017.

      Delete
    4. As for oil exploration, he has not changed one iota of the Bush policies.

      Delete
    5. "...as he continues to outlaw exploration on Federal Lands."

      Can Rufus read?

      Delete
    6. ...and he didn't say what he said, and SF Gate reported.

      Because you two asses say so.

      Delete
  41. Q: When do you kick a midget in the balls?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Is the carbon tax genuinely popular with conservatives and Republicans? For over a year, reports have been cropping up in the media about the supposed growth of conservative and Republican support for a carbon tax. A former congressman, Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), seems to be devoting himself to the project. The Christian Coalition, often identified as part of the “religious right,” and some economists at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank associated with the Republican establishment, have spoken kindly about the idea.

    Other carbon tax supporters with Republican credentials include Douglas Holtz-Eakin, chief economic adviser to John McCain’s 2008 campaign and now president of American Action Forum; Greg Mankiw, economic advisor to President George W. Bush and to Mitt Romney; former Secretary of State George Shultz; Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker; and Arthur Laffer, the guru of supply-side economics.
    ...
    The conservative campaign

    Last February, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, the nation’s premier gathering of conservatives, someone distributed cards promoting “conservatives4carbontaxes.com.” The slogan on the cards: “Join the Winning Team!” The website declares, “Nobody likes taxes, but a sovereign and judicious people will levy them wisely.” It highlights the view of a number of people with Republican backgrounds who support the tax, along with major corporations that have called for a “stable price” for carbon.


    http://capitalresearch.org/2013/08/14583/

    Conservatives ...

    heh, heh, heh.

    ReplyDelete
  43. John McCain, the only GOP Standard Bearer still in politics ...

    Both Republican senator John McCain and Democratic senator Barack Obama have proposed "cap-and-trade" (CAT) plans. While McCain's running mate, Alaska governor Sarah Palin, recently declared she doesn't believe climate change is "man-made", I'll assume that McCain continues to support his plan.

    There are two key differences between the candidates' plans. First, by 2050, Obama would reduce emissions by 80% of 1990 levels. McCain stops at 60%.


    The Republicans and Democrats ...
    Twin sons of different mothers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mrs Palin, she'd not in politics, any more.

      Mitt Romney, whatever his position was, is not in politics, any more.

      Barack Obama and John McCain are.
      McCain is still the talking head for the GOP. ... Last Man Standing.

      Delete
  44. .

    McCain is still the talking head for the GOP. ... Last Man Standing


    As I said, obtuse.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  45. A: When he is standing next to your girlfriend saying her hair smells nice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      :)

      So, where do you get these jokes, Sam. Haven't seen you around much lately. You haven't been spending time in prison have you?

      Delete
    2. I was on vacation in Malaysia and Thailand for 2 1/2 weeks.

      Had and interesting time at the Malay / Thai border. On my way driving from Penang to Koh Samui. Get turned back at the border because I don't have an entry stamp when I flew into Kuala Lumpur. Drive back to Penang (2 1/2 hours) grab my boarding passes and flight information (luckily I saved it). Go to immigration in Penang first thing the next morning. Get re-stamped. Drive to Koh Samui again. First night of Koh Samui hotel booked and paid for, for that evening. 8 hour drive. Driving real fast. 90 mph at times. No speed limit in Thailand. Thank goodness. Got to the ferry teminal at 5:15 pm. I was the #13 car from the last when they closed the ferry terminal for the day.

      Close one.

      Delete
    3. .

      :)

      I don't care for that type of excitement when I'm on my vacation.

      I take it you were far enough south you weren't affected by any of the political unrest in Thailand.

      .

      Delete
    4. Yeah, I was watching all that stuff going on in Bangkok before I left.

      You're right, far enough south that you wouldn't have known it was going on at all. But then southern Thailand has it's own unique share of problems. Islamist separatist movement in the south. Mostly contained just north of the Malay border. You have the odd bombing here and there on occasion. Recently, one bombing last December and 5 bombings last January.

      Makes it a little more exciting for sure.

      Delete
    5. .

      I'm past enjoying that kind of excitement any more.

      My wife and I had planned a trip to Egypt 6 or 7 years ago but as we got closer to the date and were watching the headlines and State Department reports, we decided Sedona might be nice.

      .

      Delete
  46. .

    And speaking of obtuse, I saw Obama speaking down in Mexico today regarding the Keystone pipeline.

    I've mentioned, I am not a big proponent of the Keystone pipeline. I don't see it creating the jobs its proponents claim. I think it will increase pump prices in the US by allowing more exports (although that will likely happen anyway since the southern part of the pipeline is already being built), and finally because whether the Canadian oil ends up being shipped through the US Gulf Coast or though the Canadian West Coast it is still going to find its way onto the world market.

    However, that being said, I find Obama's political manipulation of the pipeline issue to be disgusting. In blatant political move, he stated today that the reason the pipeline is being held up is because of global warming considerations because of the added carbon that will be added to the atmosphere from the Canadian fields this despite the EPA's findings that there would be no environmental impact to the deal and as I mentioned above that the Canadians will find a way to ship their oil whether through the US or through Canada.

    Obtuse or just a liar. I would opt for the latter. First, it is indicative of Obama's character. Every time he opens his mouth he lies. Second, it is an obvious ploy to shore up support of the wacko environmentalists in his base.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  47. .

    Truce declared in Ukraine. Other details not available.

    Political and diplomatic maneuvering has continued, with both Moscow and the West eager to gain influence over this former Soviet republic. Three EU foreign ministers — from Germany, France and Poland — were heading to Kiev on Thursday to speak with both sides before an emergency EU meeting back in Brussels to consider sanctions against those responsible for the recent violence in Ukraine.

    President Barack Obama also stepped in to condemn the violence in Kiev, warning Wednesday “there will be consequences” for Ukraine if it continues. The U.S. has raised the prospect of joining with the EU to impose sanctions against Ukraine.

    On a visit to Mexico, Obama said the Ukrainian military should not step into a situation that civilians should resolve and added that the U.S. holds Ukraine’s government primarily responsible for dealing with peaceful protesters appropriately.

    In Kiev, Ukraine’s top security agency accused protesters Wednesday of seizing hundreds of firearms from its offices and announced a nationwide anti-terrorist operation to restore order.



    "...the citizens should resolve the matter..."

    How can anyone take this dummy seriously. Can you imagine what would happen if 2000 protesters here took to the streets armed with rocks, slingshots, guns, and Molotov coctails?

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140219/NATION/302190036#ixzz2tpurzXXc

    .

    ReplyDelete
  48. .

    The cosmologist Carl Sagan popularized the notion that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Yet when it comes to Iran, it appears the rules of evidentiary common sense are out the window.

    Exhibit A (via Larison) is a recent speech by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in which he claimed that: "If given the opportunity, Iran's leaders would make good on their call to wipe Israel off the map, and armed with nuclear weapons would be a threat to all within range of their missiles, which someday soon may include our own shores."


    Lordy, where have we heard Cantor's bull before?

    http://www.realclearworld.com/blog/2014/02/on_iran_extraordinary_claims_require_extraordinary_evidence_110306.html

    .

    ReplyDelete