Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Political Page, T+159 -- June 28, 2017

Irrelevant. The fact that the Dow 30 surges 150 points in an already over-extended market tells me all I need to know about the relevancy of the US Senate; the stalled health care bill; and, the much-talked-about-seldom-seen tax reform bill: all irrelevant.

Fake News settles: in another win for "truth and honesty," ABC has settled with a South Dakota meat producer over an inflammatory, libelous, and, ultimately, a fake news story. The suit was for $1.9 billion. The terms of the settlement not disclosed but something tells me ABC was not prepared to lose $2 billion. LOL. 

Say what: Just the other day the mainstream press wrote that this year's grain harvest will not be as good as previous years because of global warming. Today. EIA says that ethanol capacity has actually increased year-over-year, apparently not concerned about corn production. One wonders how much grain was taken out of production so farmers could plant grass (corn). Just saying. From the EIA today:
Fuel ethanol production capacity in the United States reached 15.5 billion gallons per year, or 1.01 million barrels per day (b/d), at the beginning of 2017.
Total capacity of operable ethanol plants increased by about 4%—or by more than 600 million gallons per year—between January 2016 and January 2017…Of the top 13 fuel ethanol-producing states, 12 are located in the Midwest. The top three states—Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois—contain more than half of the nation’s total ethanol production capacity. --- EIA
Octane capacity. Based on a story yesterday, ethanol is NOT the concern. Rather, octane is the concern going forward; there could be a shortage sometime in the out years. I hope farmers start planting more octane.

Global warming: Algore brought inconvenient truths about global warming to the American public back in the early 1990s. Inquiring minds want to know when record low temperatures were set in the US by state
  • Alabama, 1996
  • Illinois, 1999
  • Indiana, 1994
  • Iowa, 1996
  • Kentucky, 1994
  • Maine, 2009
  • Minnesota, 1996
  • Wisconsin, 1996
  • all records, I do believe, were set in the post-industrial age.
Record hot temperatures? Almost all records were set before 1994.


Discussions about ObamaCare take place in two different arenas. One arena is the political arena, the argument between states' rights and national health service. The second arena is in the money arena. In the "money" arena, there are three legs to this three-legged stool: a) taxes on medical devices; b) corporate mandate; and, c) the individual mandate. But what does the big round seat that sits on the three legs represent? Medicaid. Right now, my hunch is that the US congress and US Senate could get together on the three legs, but the big obstacle is where one's butt sits -- Medicaid.

From Ballotpedia:
Between fiscal years 2014 and 2015, total government spending in Illinois increased by approximately $10.8 billion—from $58.6 billion in fiscal year 2014 to an estimated $69.4 billion in 2015. This represents a 15.52-percent increase.
  • in Illinois in fiscal year 2014, 51.9 percent of total tax revenues came from income taxes
  • sales taxes and gross receipts accounted for 40.2 percent of total state tax collections.
  • education accounted for 18.7 percent of state expenditures in fiscal year 2015, 
  • Medicaid accounted for a whopping 26%, almost 40% more than that spend on education
Illinois cannot afford a cut in US federal Medicaid support. Period. Dot.

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