The in-laws have a superstition that whatever you do on New Year’s Day establishes a pattern for the year ahead — thus, it’s a good day for doing things you want to do all year and avoid things you don’t want (like work). I’m not sure if it’s a southern belief, or specific to the in-laws — but I figured holding back on this FAR Future post for one day might be just the thing I need to establish a pattern I want in the year ahead. By this time next year, I hope to be posting Episode 60 or thereabouts.
Happy New Year, everyone, and don’t forget to go easy on the fossil fuels!
Friday, February 8, 2013
The whole secession thing died back for a while — it turned out a lot of the people who were willing to pander to the lowest common denominator weren’t quite willing to cut the cords. Planet Georgia, as I said back in December, huffed and puffed about “respecting our values and concerns” after the people turned out to be seriously conflicted about the whole matter. Other states mostly followed suit, although Wyoming and Utah look a little shaky these days. After this week, though, it might start making more noise again. Or not.
The new Congressional leadership agreed to “hear and seriously consider the proposals of the minority,” which is even smaller than before. I don’t know how they managed to say “seriously” with a straight face; the goplets, which great enthusiasm, took the opportunity to really show their butts to the entire nation. They crafted a big ol’ grab-bag of their pet legislation: drill ANWR (nobody believes it will make a difference anymore, but that didn’t stop them), abolish the NFRB (rationing), eliminate heating fuel subsidies for low-income families, big tax cuts for their patrons, eliminate pollution controls (in the name of “energy efficiency” of course)… basically, attempting to re-do all the damage that Bush-league did and we’ve all worked so hard to undo.
I think at the highest levels, their plan was to introduce the legislation, let it die in committee or via filibuster, and tell the base that the government wasn’t interested in their wants. Instead, the committees let each bill go through, with no amendments and no serious opposition — the last few rational goplets started trying to kill the bills themselves when they saw what was happening, but to no avail. C-SPAN then got to show the supporters doing some incredible verbal contortions. Naturally, when it came time for a vote, each bill went down in flames. “Hear and seriously consider” has nothing to do with “support,” thankfully.
Boy, did Shotgun Sam get an earful though! A bunch of callers were complaining “what were our guys thinking, wanting to kill heating assistance, me and my family would be freezing to death without it!” and “whose brilliant idea was it to try repealing rationing, it’s the only way I can get enough gas to get to work.” Once again, he was having a hard time steering the mood of the listeners. Indeed, repealing heating assistance went down 427-6 or something like that — the only goplets with the stomach to deal with their voters on that one were in Florida or some of the high-income districts. Or both. I guess it goes to show that not even the most rabid right-wing voter has more sense than their candidates, who seem willing to hurt himself for “the cause” — in the end, the goplets ensured that a few more of their own voters will sit the next election out, and maybe lose a couple more seats.
Well… we’ve gotten past the worst of the winter, unless we get a late freeze. In a few months, we’ll be wishing it was cold again. We’ll be “looking forward” to blackouts all summer long, I’m sure. I’ve got as much wind & solar generation at FAR Manor as I could afford, and it should be enough to run my computers for work and keep a fridge or two (mostly) going. I’m actually looking forward to some warmer weather; going to the creek to cool off is tons easier than chopping food & feeding a stove.