“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” --Thomas Jefferson
The Boat Sank: Ignore all the explanations, apologies, rationalizations and muted congratulations. The fact is that things are moving along quite nicely for the Republicans, who are focused solely on saving the rich from taxation and demolishing our remaining social welfare programs. They deliberately create budgetary crises, extract what they can and set up another pointless fiscal showdown. The next round will be the (temporarily suspended) sequestration cuts, over which they will throw another tantrum, screaming for cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Obama says he won't play that game. Stay tuned.
Too Much of a Bad Thing: At least 10% of the large malls in the US are expected to fail within the next ten years. What sort of public use could be made of them?
Comes the dawn: “They [Republicans] say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they’re behaving shows that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.”
Here’s The Thing: We've found, and mostly used up, all the easy-to-find, cheap-to-produce petroleum. As our petroleum becomes harder to find and harder to wrest from the earth, the more expensive it is and the less net energy it provides. Everything that uses that more expensive energy also becomes more expensive. Rinse and repeat.
Quoted: “Forget the fiscal cliff. The real threat to the U.S. economy is not political stalemate in Washington but the Republican party itself.”
Let's Go To The Data: Output from a typical oil-shale well falls 40%-70% after its first year and about 30% per year thereafter. Thus an ever-increasing number of new wells are needed each year to achieve an increase in annual production. But there are a limited number of plausible sites for new wells and an even smaller number of high-yielding 'sweet spots'. A rapid decline from the predicted relatively modest 3 million barrels a day by 2020 peak shale-oil production is inevitable.
Porn O'Graph: Easy does it.
The Parting Shot: