Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bourbon with Beer Chaser

Apparently, the Bourbon Summit didn't go so well, or maybe this will come later, after both sides have had a chance to calm down a little.  I like a good Bourbon as much as the next guy, but it is hard for me to see anything coming out of these meetings.  Nothing good came from Obama's Beer Summit back in the Summer of 2009.

Being a good sport, Obama tried to keep to issues that both sides could agree on, notably emergency funding to combat Ebola and appropriations for the ongoing war against the "Islamic State," but now that the election is over I don't think these will be high priorities on the Republican agenda.  They got the mileage they wanted out of these issues during the campaign, expect to hear little more about the "great plague" or ISIS warriors slithering in through our porous borders.

I'm not sure what "jobs bill" Boehner is promoting, other than yet another effort to push the Keystone XL pipeline through Congress, which would benefit the Koch Brothers, who underwrote the Republican "perfect shit storm."  They've been after this approval since 2010 when the Republicans retook the House.  They've long promised us "jobs" out of this multi-billion project, but it is nothing more than an environmentally disastrous way to bring Canadian crude oil to the refineries of Texas.  You can buy a lot of oil tank trucks for that price, but of course Obama is being blamed for the increase in cost due to his delays.

Throughout the campaign, we heard little in the way of concrete ideas from the Republicans.  They have little to point to that actually worked.  Austerity measures in states like Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida didn't result in the great economic booms these state governors were imagining.  What did help was the infusion of federal money via the Stimulus Bill, which none of them liked to talk about.  Even still, these states continue to struggle, while others, which took a more pro-active approach to the economy, have succeeded.  New oil discoveries and fracking have also boosted state economies like North Dakota and Oklahoma, but then so too has the rise of solar and wind electricity generating plants in states like California and Nevada.

Unfortunately, the Republicans tend to be very one-dimensional when it comes to economic stimulus ideas.  They still work from the badly dated Reagan playbook that was a resounding failure in Kansas these past four years.  The GOP doesn't seem to realize that the economy is constantly evolving and needs new ideas to keep it moving into the future.  Not that the Democrats have been particularly enlightening in this regard, but if you look at the business sector the fresh ideas are coming from the more liberal-minded left, not the conservative-minded right, which still seems to think that tax cuts are the answer for everything.

Obama tried to soften things at the end of the luncheon with his White House Ale, but I don't think that is going to win over the new Republican-led Congress.  Basically, they are going to try to pressure him into decisions he doesn't want to make, now that they believe they have the "voice" of the people on their side.  Stand tall, Barry!  Don't let these guys push you around the next two years.

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