Friday, January 31, 2020

Notes From All Over, Part 6 -- Politics -- Nothing About The Bakken -- January 31, 2020

If the impeachment of President Trump has done nothing else for the American public, it has taught the American public how Washington, DC, works, to include:
  • the Deep State; and, 
  • the Swamp.
And with that I'm away from the keyboard for awhile. Maybe more on this later.

From Power Line:
  • “What do the Super Bowl and the Democratic presidential field have in common? No Patriots!”
Also from Power Line:
  • UPDATE: As expected, the Senate voted against calling witnesses, 51-49. Legislation has been introduced in Utah to permit recall of a sitting senator. 
Power Line is always good. The stories posted January 31, 2020, regarding the impeachment trial were particularly good.

I still think of this as the most painful part of the impeachment trial: Chief Justice Roberts reduced to reading questions submitted on 4 x 6 index cards. Sophia, age 5.5 years old, is beginning to read. She could have done almost as well. But the top jurist of the land reading (often) inane questions submitted on 4 x 6 cards. This reminds me of my days as a physician resident in training doing rectal exams at 3:00 in the morning -- and thinking this is the culmination of twelve years of public school; four years of college; four years of medical school; and two years as a post-doc. What is that? Twenty-two years of educations. Twenty-three if one includes kindergarten at First Lutheran Church, Williston, ND. [I wrote that on January 31, 2020; the next day I saw the picture below on Power Line. Power Line obviously had the same thoughts I did. LOL.]

One can really see the difference between US House representatives and US senators. I think that's what bothers me most: guys like Schumer calling people like Murkowski as entirely wrong on this whole thing. Schumer comes off looking like a petty politician. Which he is. I doubt I can ever really warm up to Murkowski but at least she seems to "grow into" the office.


This well has been added to the list of other wells of interest.

See this post for background.

A well of interest:
  • 31458, 6,311, Bruin, FB James 150-94-3A-10-6B, Spotted Horn, t11/19; 98K over 25 days; extrapolates to 118,184 bbls crude oil over 30 days; 
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
Movie Night

Great movie: The Apartment, 1960. 33rd Academy Awards: nominated for ten awards; won five.

Bruin's FB James Wells, Spotted Horn

Note: these wells are not representative of all wells in the Bakken.

Disclaimer: in a long note like this, there will be content and typographical errors.

Note: I may expand on this elsewhere, but Bruin is turning out to be quite the oil operator in the Bakken. Anecdotally:
For newbies, spend some time on these wells. I will provide graphics later, and may update some of the data.

Comment: remember all those stories about "daughter" wells causing problems for parent wells; and the decreased production in parent wells due to infill / development wells. Those stories are no doubt coming out of the Permian. I'm not seeing that in the Bakken. Just saying.

  • at least two wells have gone over 500K bbls crude oil cumulative;
  • #31458: 98K over 25 days extrapolates to almost 120K over 30 days;
These three Bruin FB James wells have just been completed, and reported:
  • 35964, 5,029, Bruin, FB James 150-94-3A-10-9B, Spotted Horn, t11/19; cum 43K over 15 days; cum 263K 8/21;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 35963, 4,103, Bruin, FB James 150-94-3A-10-8T2, 54 stages; 9 million lbs; Three Forks second bench; Spotted Horn, t11/19; cum 33K over 17 days; cum 136K 8/21;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 35962, 4,471, Bruin, FB James 150-94-3A-10-7T, Spotted Horn, t11/19; cum 36K over 17 days; cum 170K 8/21;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Other FB James wells and other wells in this drilling unit:
  • 23639, 1,482, WPX, Patricia Kelly 2-1HB, Spotted Horn, runs west to east; t3/13; cum 367K 11/19; off line 10/19; back on line 11/19; cum 411K 8/21; recent production:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 37230, conf, WPX, Patricia Kelly 2-1HS, Sanish-Antelope,
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 37231, conf, WPX, Patricia Kelly 2-1HX, Sanish-Antelope:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 37232, conf, WPX, Patricia Kelly 2-1HA, Sanish-Antelope:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 37324, conf, WPX, Patricia Kelly 2-1HU, Sanish-Antelope: cum 119K 8/21;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

    • 31457, 4,406, Bruin, FB James 150-94-3B-10-13B, Spotted Horn, t10/19; 70K over 33 days; cum 420K 8/21;
    • 31456, 4,617, Bruin, FB James 150-94-3B-10-12T, Spotted Horn, t10/19; 74K over 34 days; cum 195K 8/21;
    • 31455, 5,346, Bruin, FB James 150-94-3B-10-11B, Spotted Horn, t10/19; 79K over 29 days, production: cum 300K 8/21;
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    • 31454, 5,603, Bruin, FB James 150-94-3A-10-10T, Spotted Horn, t11/19; 85K over 28 days; cum 242K 8/21;
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    • 35964, see above,
    • 35963, see above,
    • 35962, see above,
    • 31458, 6,311, FB James 150-94-3A-10-6B, Spotted Horn, t11/19; 98K over 25 days; extrapolates to 118,184 bbls crude oil over 30 days;  cum 585K 8/21;
      PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    • 20916, 2,361, Bruin, Fort Berthold 151-94-34C-27-2H, Antelope-Sanish, t1/14; cum 345K 9/19; off line 9/19; remains off line 11/19;
    • 20915, AB/3,363, Bruin, Fort Berthold 150-94-3B-10-2H, Spotted Horn, t8/13; cum 276K 12/16;
    • 20088, 1,390, Bruin, Fort Berthold 151-94-34C-27-1H, Antelope-Sanish, t1/12; cum 560K 11/19;
    • 20086, 1,266, Bruin, Fort Berthold 150-94-3B-10-1H, Spotted Horn, t1/12; cum 507K 7/19; remains off line 11/19;

    The End Of The Line -- January 31, 2020

    This President Simply Never Stops -- January 31, 2020

    The end of the line:
    Hardly seems like a disorganized, chaotic White House. Remember those mainstream media stories that the White House was disorganized? Whatever.

    I wonder if he briefed Congress ahead of the attack?

    End of the Line, The Traveling Wilburys

    WTI Down To $51.56 As US Declares Coronavirus Public Health Crisis -- January 31, 2020

    Active rigs: 

    Active Rigs5465594045

    Only one new permit, #37359:
    • Operator: Whiting
    • Field: Pronghorn
    • Comments:
      • Whiting has a permit for another Helling well in Pronghorn oil field, section 19-150-101; doesn't show up in today's daily activity report, but it shows up as a new permit among the scout tickets;
    No permits canceled.

    Seven SWD permits renewed, rare to see this many SWD permits in one report:
    • Oasis (3): two SWD wells in Williams County; one in McKenzie County
    • Petro Harvester: two SWD wells in Burke County
    • Lime Rock: one SWD well in Burke County
    • EOG: one SWD in Mountrail County
    No producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed.

    Abrupt Reversal Of Shale Oil's Fortunes Points To A Radical Reset Of Oil Prices -- SeekingAlpha -- January 31, 2020

    Most interesting thing about this SeekingAlpha article: 268 omments, so far. Archived; will very likely "disappear" in a few days.

    Most SeekingAlpha articles I read get five or six comments. Some of the comments are actually pretty good.

    A reader sent me this article. I don't follow anyone over at SeekingAlpha any more now that a few of my favorite contributors have left that site.
    I would take this article with a pinch of salt, as they say.

    Writer's summary;
    • the Reuters’ 2013 poll predicted $100 Brent. It went to $50. The 2020 poll predicts $65. If history is a guide, it will go to 2 x $65 = $130.
    • the second shale oil boom was due to 500 frac spreads paid for in the first; now only 300 are left, and 200 were sold for scrap. No one is buying new.
    • the prediction of a 900,000 bbl/day surge in production in 2020 is physically impossible; when the market finds that out, there will be a reset in oil prices.
    • from replacement cost, assuming plentiful supplies of cheap shale oil, back to the traditional pricing dictated by parasite economics.
    • Schlumberger and Halliburton have given up on fracking; they are headed offshore. That's where the action will be in 2020.
    My quick first thoughts shared with the reader, not ready for prime time:
    • I'm always leery of SeekingAlpha articles
    • writer doesn't mention why the sudden fall in prices, 2014 - 2017 (Saudi surge)
    • as you noted, the writer bounces around all over
    • his thoughts that oil could go to $120, pure guesswork (ask 10 analysts and one will get 10 different guesses)
    • analyst is looking at what I think is important: frack spreads
    • analyst is correct: offshore will be the "new" fad in 2020
    • agree that shale production isn't going to jump that much in 2020
    But I do like these kinds of articles. A lot of free association. One can take different points and explore further.

    The news keeps getting worse for Boeing.

    Now: the company is taking a $148 million charge linked to higher costs on the KC-46 military refueling tanker.

    Link here.

    The original "whisper" number was $5 billion. Then it was widely reported, $10 billion.

    Now? $12 billion and it could be more.
    Boeing has lined up at least $12 billion in bank loans and may tap the commercial paper market to counter the cash drain from the 737 MAX crisis.
    The aerospace giant said in a regulatory filing that it expects to close a two-year loan in February after securing bank commitments, and has the option to increase the facility if it is oversubscribed.
    The planned loan would help fund compensation for buyers of the grounded jet and support Boeing suppliers after the company halted production of the MAX. The added funds would also pay for Boeing’s stock dividend, which it opted to keep at existing levels this year.
    The aircraft maker ended 2019 with $10 billion in cash, a level of liquidity that Boeing has maintained in recent years, tapping the bond market twice last year and doubling the size of its revolving loan facility.
    “We believe our ability to access external capital resources should be sufficient to satisfy existing short-term and long-term commitments and plans,” the company said in the filing.
    Boeing’s planning assumes it will secure regulatory approval for the MAX to re-enter commercial service by midyear, with assembly of the planes resuming about two months prior.

    Random Update Of A BR Mathistad Well That Has Produced Over 500K Bbls Crude Oil In Less Than Two Years -- January 31, 2020

    Warning: this well is not representative of the Bakken wells.

    The Mathistad wells are tracked here

    This page will not be updated.

    The well:
    • 33152, 414, BR, Mathistad 6-8-35 MBH, Croff, 29 stages; 10 million lbs large, t11/17; cum 535K 9/19;
    Full production:
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

    Enerplus' National Parks Pad


    November 19, 2020:

    • 35966, drl/A-->487, Enerplus, Yellowstone 148-95-02B-11H, Eagle Nest, t487; cum 124K 9/20; a 27K month; cum 232K 5/21;
    • 22574, drl/A-->410, Enerplus, Glacier 148-95-02A-11H TF, Eagle Nest, t--; cum 117K 9/20; a 27K month; cum 225K 5/21;
    • 35967, drl/A-->267, Enerplus, Everglades 148-95-02A-11H-TF, Eagle Nest, t--; cum 105K 9/20; a 30K month; cum 196K 5/21;

    October 19, 2020: the Enerplus "National Parks" pad are unique to date -- moderate-size fracks (6 million gallons of water) and only 65% water by mass compared to usual 84% to 94% water by mass used in typical Bakken frack;

    October 11, 2020; three "National Parks" wells coming off confidential well list this next week. Note the small amount of water used, as a percent of total amount of proppant, and that's on top of relatively moderate-size fracks. 

    September 5, 2020: these wells have been completed; data is updated here; all wells are now back on line.

    July 19, 2020: these wells have been completed; data is updated here.

    Original Post
    Production Data Updated

    The wells on this 8-well pad:
    • 335966, see above, Enerplus, Yellowstone 148-95-02B-11H, Eagle Nest, t--; cum 124K 9/20; a 27K month;
    • 35967, see above, Enerplus, Everglades 148-95-02A-11H-TF, Eagle Nest, t--; cum 105K 9/20; a 30K month;
    • 22574, see above, Enerplus, Glacier 148-95-02A-11H TF, Eagle Nest, t--; cum 117K 9/20; a 27K month;
    • 35968, drl-->drl/NC-->365, Enerplus, Shiloh 148-95-02A-11H, Eagle Nest, a 34K month; t4/20; cum 103K 9/20; cum 200K 5/21;
    • 35969, drl/NC-->443, Enerplus, Yosemite 148-95-02A-11H, Three Forks B1, Eagle Nest, t4/20; cum 85K 9/20; fracked 3/23/20 - 4/5/20; 6.43 million gallons of water (moderate-sized frac); 65% water by mass; a 26K month; cum 176K 5/21;
    • 20917, 490, Enerplus, Likes Eagle 2-31H, Eagle Nest, t4/12; cum 273K 9/20; off line 9/19; remains off line 2/20; back on line 5/20; see this post; huge jump in production; t4/12; cum 294K 5/21;
    • 22575, drl-->drl/NC-->690, Enerplus, Acadia 148-95-02A-11H-TF, Eagle Nest, came off confidential list January 31, 2020; t4/20; cum 94K 9/20; a 30K month; cum 162K 5/21;
    • 35970, drl-->conf-->drl/NC-->617, Enerplus, Isle Royal 148-95-02A-11H-TF-LL, Eagle Nest, a 34K month; t--; cum 123K 920; cum 242K 5/21;

    Fast And Furious -- Notes From All Over, Part 5 -- January 31, 2020

    Regarding exports; see comments --
    Net imports of crude and products were down to -771,000 bpd. In other words, net exports over a half a million bpd.

    Caveat: "and products" means that NGL exports are included. Crude and condensate is still ~2.5 MM bopd imports.

    Still: this is way better than the peak oilers expected. 
    Comment, from a reader:
    Shale critics all thought we were lining up to hit 12.5 million  at year end, after some summer slowness. Now, it is clear we are going to be ~13.0 million at year-end. In other words, the EIA was right. This is almost an identical dynamic to the criticisms in 2017 which were also proved wrong. Even some of the same naysayers like Hamm and Papa (hoping to pump price up). 
    Original Post

    Graphics only for now. Comments and links, maybe later.


    Runaway, Traveling Wilburys

    Notes From All Over, Part 4 -- All Politics -- Nothing About The Bakken -- January 31, 2020


    Later, 6:22 p.m. CT: Hillary supporters run the DNC (see below). Now we learn that DNC members are discussing rules change to stop Sanders at the convention. I haven't read the article: one possible change:
    • allowing super-delegates to vote in the first round: this would guarantee that Sanders would be stopped; this has Hillary's fingerprints all over it;
    So, let's read what the movers and shakers have in mind. Aha! I'm correct. From the linked article:
    In conversations on the sidelines of a DNC executive committee meeting and in telephone calls and texts in recent days, about a half-dozen members have discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention. Such a move would increase the influence of DNC members, members of Congress and other top party officials, who now must wait until the second ballot to have their say if the convention is contested.
    Original Post

    From the NY Times archives, from the 1968 DNC convention, by Tom Wicker:
    While a pitched battle between the police and thousands of young antiwar demonstrators raged in the streets of Chicago, the Democratic National Convention nominated Hubert H. Humphrey for President last night, on a platform reflecting his and President Johnson's views on the war in Vietnam.
    Mr. Humphrey, after a day of bandwagon shifts to his candidacy, and a night of turmoil in the convention hall, won nomination on the first ballot over challenges by Senator Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota and George S. McGovern of South Dakota.
    Much, much more to the story:
    Even the roll-call of the states that nominated Mr. Humphrey could begin only over the protests of New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Mr. Conyers, all of who moved for a recess or adjournment because of the surrounding violence and the pandemonium in the hall.
    Representative Carl Albert of Oklahoma, the chairman, ignored all the motions and ordered the roll-call to begin amid a huge chorus of boos.
    When Illinois's turn came to vote, the huge old amphitheater rocked with the sounds of books (sic) and jeers, and the recording secretary had to ask for a restatement of its vote -- 172 votes for Mr. Humphrey.
    But this is huge:
    Humphrey did not compete in the primaries, leaving that job to favorite sons who were his surrogates, notably United States Senator George A. Smathers from Florida, United States Senator Stephen M. Young from Ohio, and Governor Roger D. Branigin of Indiana.
    Instead, Humphrey concentrated on winning the delegates in non-primary states, where party leaders such as Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley controlled the delegate votes in their states. Kennedy defeated Branigin and McCarthy in the Indiana primary, and then defeated McCarthy in the Nebraska primary. However, McCarthy upset Kennedy in the Oregon primary. 
    As I've said many, many times, Biden is a placeholder for Hillary, although he does not know it.

    Mike Bloomberg is taking a page from Humphrey's playbook, though the rules have changed.

    Hillary? Re-calcuating, re-calculating, re-calculating.


    By The Way ....

    Within the past 24 hours, more and more stories on Biden slipping. More and more stories coming out how Biden is "losing it." Literally and figuratively. It will be interesting if Rush Limbaugh picks up on this: not that it is happening but that the mainstream media is starting to report it. The stories have Hillary's fingerprints all over them; a need to keep a front-runner in the polls from becoming a front-runner with delegates.

    Pocahontas can't get back on the campaign trail fast enough. It will be interesting to see if she votes for witnesses. If enough Republicans vote for witnesses to affect the outcome, one can bet that Sanders and Pocahontas will join Mitch McConnell in voting against prolonging the impeachment trial. As it is, it may be too late for Pocahontas.

    Later, 11:45 a.m. CT: this is why Pocahontas knows it will be a disaster for her if she can't get back to campaigning ... Klobuchar, a legend in her own mind, surges in Iowa, now polling ahead of Pocahontas, though statistically tied, 16% vs 15%. Biden, no better; tied with them at 17%. Sanders at 23%. If the caucuses hold true to the polling, no clear winner going into New Hampshire. Drudge headline says Romeny will vote for witnesses; can't wait to see if Senator Warren wants this charade to go longer. LOL. Bolton, by the way, is "all over the place" on his comments; he won't be the star witness the Dems had hoped.

    Top Story Of The Month -- Hands Down -- Top Story -- January 31, 2020

    Okay, I don't care what you are doing. Set it down, put it aside, turn it off, this is a must-read.

    I completely missed it and I subscribe to The WSJ. This was sent to me by a very, very alert reader. Huge thanks.

    The story is behind a paywall, of course, so we will do a screenshot to prove I did not make any of this up. LOL.

    The headline: Microsft strives for a carbon-free future. A setback in Fargo (North Dakota) shows the hard reality. The software giant ran diesel generators to power its North Dakota campus due to forces it couldn't control on the day of it bold climate pledge.

    The story begins:
    Hours after Microsoft Corp. MSFT -1.54% pledged to eliminate its carbon emissions within a decade earlier this month, the company was forced to fire up fossil fuel generators to power its corporate campus in Fargo, N.D.

    The software giant ran the diesel-burning machines for about five hours to keep the lights and heat on for 1,600 employees. It is one of about 100 big companies in the Fargo region ordered to do so by the local electric cooperative, which faced high demand for power.
    Microsoft receives a significant discount on its electricity rates in exchange for using backup power a few times a year.

    The discharges were tiny relative to Microsoft’s ambitious climate goals, which include switching to 100% renewable energy in five years and eliminating by 2050 all the greenhouse-gas emissions it has produced since its founding in 1975. But they demonstrate a larger point: Corporations face a monumental challenge in living up to their climate pledges if they are reliant on other companies for energy.

    Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s chief environmental officer, said he is confident the company can meet its goals but understands it will be difficult. He expects stumbles along the way.
    And more:
    “It isn’t a lack of willingness. It is just super-complex,” said Mathias Lelievre, Engie Impact’s chief executive. “You need to go very deep. It is not an easy journey,” he added.

    Microsoft has met earlier climate commitments to reduce business travel and incorporate a carbon price for internal strategic plans. Its strategy for reaching its new goals is more comprehensive than at many other companies, requiring it to take more carbon out of the air than what it generates in its global operations and supply chain. It pledged to spend $1 billion over the next four years to develop carbon-removal technology that can be deployed on a large scale. 
    And more:
    Microsoft has had a presence in Fargo since it acquired Great Plains Software Inc. in 2001, and it has substantially expanded over the years. Its campus south of downtown is served by Cass County Electric Cooperative, which in turn gets its electricity from Minnkota Power Cooperative.

    Based in Grand Forks, Minnkota generates two-thirds of its electricity from two large coal-burning plants. It is considering a $1 billion investment to capture carbon emissions at its largest coal plant and inject them underground, an idea made more financially feasible as a result of a new federal tax credit. Ben Fladhammer, a Minnkota spokesman, said it asks companies to deploy diesel generators on cold days, when power demand for heating rises sharply. The program is the “most economic, reliable and environmentally responsible way to manage peak load conditions,” he said.
    Much more at the link, but you get the idea. LOL. 

    On days like that one just has to call on St Greta to give Microsoft employees a motivational speech. To keep her journey carbon free, she can row over on an old Viking ship from Sweden and then Johnny-Appleseed-walk to Fargo, maybe picking up Paul Bunyan and Babe, the blue ox, on the way through Minnesota.

    Notes From All Over, Part 3 -- January 31, 2020


    Later, 11:04 a.m. CT: the answer to my question regarding Norway and ethane, see comments.
    If you follow the Marcellus, you'd have heard the (very cool) stories.

    Basically INEOS has crackers in Norway that use ethane (and it seems like they sort of prefer that to naphtha). They actually did a very cool "hail Mary" type of play where they built special ships to transport ethane (it's like methane/LNG more than like propane/butane...have to have special chilled carriers for it, not just pressurized tanks.).
    And even invested in more ethane capacity in Europe. This actually made huge sense when oil was at $100 pre-2015 (thus naphtha expensive) and ethane had already crashed in North America from the shale gas miracle. But even now with oil at $50, it's a decent play. More and more ethane getting exported to overseas crackers.

    INEOS even called their ships "dragons." Very ballsy move. Basically these guys saw the shale gas miracle and believed in it and invested accordingly (to be the customers/midstream of shale gas, but in an innovative way).
    Paging Art Berman!
    Original Post

    US ethane exports, by destination:

    Why does Norway need all that ethane? That's what intrigues me. And look how small the Chinese market is for US ethane.

    Mermaids: Where Do THEY Pee?

    This morning on the way to Tutor Time, Sophia holding her mermaid doll, asked me if mermaids peed?

    I said all animals pee, so yes, her mermaid -- from "The Little Mermaid" -- Ariel (?) pees.

    Sophia, of course, asked where and I told her in the ocean. That grossed her out but I told her the ocean was very, very big and it was not a big deal to pee in the ocean (as opposed to plastic straws, said no one ever).

    She then said, and I kid you not, the "Marianna Trench is probably filled with pee and poop."

    I almost drove through the red light. LOL.

    I said she would have to ask her dad about pee and poop in the Marianna Trench since he was a nuclear submariner and had visited the Marianna Trench.

    Sophia, never missing a beat, told me that her dad had never gotten to the Marianna Trench. Only "Nifteens" or something like that had gotten to the trench. I could not understand what she was saying, "Nifteens?" -- so she told me she would show me on YouTube when she comes home tonight.

    I don't know. I'll have to ask her about "the baby shark" song tomorrow. 

    Notes From All Over, The Political Page -- Nothing About The Bakken -- Part 2 -- January 31, 2020


    January 31, 2020: late Friday afternoon, only two GOP senators voted for witnesses: the most hated US senator (reported earlier), Senator Susan Collins from Maine; and, the most scheming, ambitious GOP senator, Mitt Romney from Utah. The final acquittal vote probably won't come until after the State of the Union address and the Iowa caucuses. Television ratings for the state of the union will be through the roof, with an impeached, not yet acquitted president will be giving the speech. Senators Warren, Sanders, and Klobuchar stuck in DC while Iowa caucuses go on.

    January 31, 2020: this will be most agonizing for senators Warren, Klobuchar, and Sanders. It appears the trial is over; now it's all about dotting the 'i's and crossing the 't's. Schumer says he wants to protect the rights of the minority party in the US Senate and therefore wants to go through the whole "amendment" process again, which will add another day to the trial. Meanwhile, closing arguments by the GOP are incredibly important; add another day. Iowa caucuses are Monday night. State of the Union address -- probably will hit all-time viewing records -- Tuesday night. It seems the GOP would like to have the president speak once he's acquitted, not still under trial -- that would be awkward. Watch Mitch McConnell schedule the acquittal vote about the same time that first results are coming out of Iowa, Monday night. LOL. 

    January 31, 2020: it's being reported that the US Senate won't vote for witnesses; will acquit. What happened? How did this happen so quickly? What was the turning point? I think the turning point came:
    • when US Senators, all with big egos, realized that John Bolton was only out to further his ambitions, and sell more books; and,
    • when Chief Justice Roberts showed his true colors by not reading certain questions from GOP senators
    Original Post
    Politics: if the impeachment trial ends "early," these are the reasons:
    • RNC and Trump setting campaign finance contribution records; Dems can't handle any more of these Pyrrhic victories
    • American people don't care; trial not even on their radar scope
    • Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler -- the new "wrecking crew" -- and not in a good way
    • US senators bored; even Romney can see this isn't going as hoped
    • US Supreme Court justice reduced to reading questions submitted on 4 x 6 notecards -- and he's the top jurist in the country -- embarrassing
    • even some Democrat senators suggesting it's time to wrap this thing up
    • Pocahontas will blame her poor Iowa showing on impeachment nightmare; can't afford to lose any more time from the campaign trail
    • Klobuchar, a legend in her own mind, ditto
    • Sanders: probably the biggest beneficiary; gave him mandatory time-out to rest his heart
    • can you imagine the impeachment trial stretching through the Super Bowl and the State of the Union Address? 
    But stranger things have happened. Who knows? This may go on for months if each US Senator can call two witnesses. LOL.

    The Book Page

    The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed For Discovery, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards, c. 2004.

    Perhaps one of the most difficult books I've ever read. The first third is fascinating, and a relatively easy read. The middle third is a real slog; wow, it's tough sledding; and then the final third: incredible. Really puts SETI -- search for extra-terrestrial life -- in perspective.

    Remember that monolith in the opening scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey? What were the geometric proportions of that terrifying black, domino-like monolith? One x four x nine.

    So what?

    One x four x nine: the squares of the first three prime numbers.


    The book is chock (whatever a "chock" might be) full of examples of coincidence, serendipity, whatever you want to call it. One of my favorites, pages 187 - 188. [A reader reminded me to use the hyphen: chock-full.]

    The discovery of that "background radiation" in 1964 by Bell Labs engineers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson has always fascinated me. It was crucial for the Big Bang theory. Absolutely crucial.

    But this I never knew. It was purely coincidental (?) that man was alive when he was (and intelligent enough) to have discovered the cosmic background radiation.

    Today, the universe presents astronomers with about 40 percent of the sources that are in principle observable -- quite a large sample. But as the expansion continues to accelerate, objects in the universe will appear with ever greater redshifts and gradually fade from view.

    The most distant objects will be receding the fastest and will fade first....the effects of the event horizon are not yet visible, since it is beyond the particle horizon, but we are surprisingly close to seeing them, at least on a cosmological timescale.

    If the best estimates are correct, then the even horizon will begin affecting our view of the universe in twenty to thirty billion years. After that, the amount of accessible information in the universe will start to taper off. The first to fade from view will be the most distant parts of the universe, such as the background radiation.

    I'm reminded of that every time that we are told that we are so fortunate that Algore, Occasional-Cortex, and St Greta appeared when they did, to arrive on earth just years before global warming would doom us all.

    Gonzalez and Richards suggest we have only 20 to 30 billion years before accessible information in our universe will start to taper off. No time to waste. Always something to worry about.