Daily Archives: March 3, 2022

How To Hurt The Russians Without Shooting

I’m going to attempt a triple lutz here and try and answer a much asked question these days: how the fuck do we stop buying Russian oil?

Well, I’m afraid the hard answer is to stop our insane hunger for oil itself. We’re talking about a massive restructuring of the energy mix in the United States. Solar. Wind. Maybe a little nuclear. Obviously there is no such thing as eliminating petroleum use, it simply makes too many products that are useful and necessary to modern life. But we could also learn how to travel more responsibly. More mass transit like buses and rail, and perhaps electric cars that are affordable.

Joe Biden and the Democrats tried to begin this restructuring with the Build Back Better Act. It was stomped by Senate Republicans and Joe Manchin. It would be my guess that all of these creeps are on the take from dirty industry, who by the way, are enjoying the Russian/Ukrainian war. You see, uncertainty makes markets do funny things, and war and all the economic sanctions we’ve thrown at Russia have caused volatility in the oil market, causing it to reach heights above $100 a barrel. There’s also renewed demand from a wind-down of the COVID scare, and not a lot of supply out there to meet it. And no one in the oil industry anywhere has any interest in increasing supply because they are enjoying record profits. This includes American oil producers, believe it or not. This shouldn’t be allowed to happen, but our dumbassed free market system allows it.

Now what would happen if we shut Russia out of our market? They are the #2 producer of oil in the world and have plenty of gas for themselves. They are in the export business, and we get about 3 percent of our oil from them because of our thirst for the stuff. Chances are, if we drop Russia as a supplier, we’d see more pronounced pain at the pump, and increased prices due to higher transportation costs. That’s not good. Survivable, but not good. It’s also politically difficult because people have been propagandized to reflexively believe it’s all the president’s fault. But consider the plight of Europe, who is under direct threat from an expanding Russia. They import sixty percent of their oil from Russia. Talk about being fucked. The simple fact is, no one with an advanced economy can kick Russia out of the global market. I suspect they will find other takers for our 3% if they are rebuffed.

No matter how you slice it, the lesson we all must ultimately learn from the Russian/Ukraine war is that we need a global energy revolution. As it is, we’re heating up the planet, but the turn away from fossil fuels has geo-strategic importance. If we can just have some resolve to change the way we live, we don’t have to rely on tyrants for fuel. It could even stop American militaristic adventures for black gold, which means more happy mothers whose sons didn’t die for a lie.

I like the sound of that.

Lawyer Down

If the news about who plotted the January 6th sedition was merely walking, in horse terms it has begun to trot. Yesterday, an Oath Keeper plead guilty to conspiracy and is ready to roll to assist in other prosecutions.

Anyway, John Eastman is now fully in the Select Committee’s crosshairs. You remember John, right? He was Trump’s counsel, and an author of one of possibly several roadmaps drafted that would enable Trump to retain the presidency. They want the rest of his emails, and might well get them-they are not subject to attorney client privilege anymore. To whet the appetite of the district court, the committee released an email Eastman sent to Pence’s lawyer, telling him to have his client violate The Electoral Count Act on the 6th, which in Eastman’s diseased head was unconstitutional.

The committee may be shooting for the moon here-if there’s a whiff of conspiracy, Donald Trump himself may be ensnared for that. He also may be liable for fraud in his effort to portray the election as rigged. I suppose we should not get too far ahead of ourselves here, because even if there is a criminal referral to the DOJ, any prosecution forthcoming from one would need to be airtight as fuck, which seems to be the standard for anything that Garland is working on, unless you’re the sort that believes he’s not working on anything hard, which I very much doubt. I’m no lawyer, but I do understand that there is some complexity to making sure a victory is attained, one that can’t be turned over on appeal.

I look forward to my metaphorical horse speeding up to a canter.

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