Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t

From If President Trump Is Mentally Unstable, Let’s Hope It’s Contagious.

Just look at what this president who supposedly has a diminished capacity has been able to accomplish:

    Led Congress to pass tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealed oppressive Obamacare mandate.

    Fuel economic growth moving GDP above 3 percent.

    Boosted economic confidence, causing the Dow Jones index to grow to record highs and at a record pace.

    Signed an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one, boosting economic growth.

    Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending one-sided environmental regulations.

    Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership which had terms unfavorable to the US.

    Began renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement for the same reason.

    Convinced companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open new plants in the U.S.

    Ended Obama’s job-killing Clean Power Plan.

    Allowed military professionals freedom needed to win the war on terror, as a result, kicking ISIS butts.

    Normalized good relationships with Saudi Arabia that Barack Obama damaged

    Stopped treating Israel like an evil empire, Barack Obama did.

    Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants.

    Significantly reduced the number of illegal aliens slipping through the southern border.

    Appointed and got Senate confirmation for twelve federal appeals court judges an all-time record for a first-year president.

    Nominated and received confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    Went to the Middle East and convinced some Muslim nations to join in fighting terrorism.

    Reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” killed by Obama which blocks foreign aid being used for abortions.

    Pressuring North Korea to end it’s nuclear program, got UN to increase sanctions against the N Korean regime, living rent-free inside Kim Jung Un’s head.

    Pressuring China to help get Kim Jung Un to behave.

    Ordered new sanctions on the despotic dictatorship in Venezuela.

    Pressured NATO partners to increase their military budgets to the negotiated level.

    Ordered the bombing of Syria for using chemical warfare against its own people, enforcing a red line Obama set and ignored.

    Used his personal relationship with China’s president to secure the release of three UCLA students arrested for shoplifting a pair of sunglasses.

    Kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and began the process of moving US embassy to Israel’s capital city.

    Directed the Pentagon to upgrade and modernize America’s nuclear arsenal.

And there’s more to come along the same lines. What I would like to know from his critics is what another president, of either party, might have done that would have been even better?

As for the source of the quote in the heading, having discovered at a trivia quiz the other day that no one else knew where “Now is the winter of our discontent” came from, all products of a university education, let me give you the source if your education has failed you as well.

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46 Responses to Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t

  1. Mike of Marion

    FFS, don’t show Sinclair!

  2. mh

    Anyone following the alternative media – like Infowars/Roger Stone – knew that the next attack on Trump was on his mental health.

    Even anti-Trump moron Dave Letterman is being wheeled out again. He will have some exciting new guests that you have never seen before, such as Barack Obama, Tina Fey of SNL, George Clooney and the politically and physically ugly Jay-Z.

  3. Motelier

    Momty will be along in a couple of minutes to prove this is all the remenants of Obama the Great.

  4. Sparkle Motion

    Quite a bit to be pleased about there but his failure to get the Gorilla Channel set up in the US remains a key sticking point.

    In all the absurdity about Trump and his presidency, this week’s effort by the broader media was spectacular. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/06/business/media/gorilla-channel-tweet-trump.html

  5. OneWorldGovernment

    In Australia the mandatory channel for LNP types is the Dingo Chanel.

  6. Mother Lode

    Each time I give even a moment’s thought to the fact that the lug-eared stammering physically unimposing socialist wimp, Obama, is out of office – if feel again as if a weight has been lifted.

    It wasn’t that long ago he made his studied extempore ‘joke’ about the 80’s calling and wanting their foreign policy back when Romney said the Russians would develop into a threat – but now it is all Wussia Wussia Wussia.

  7. Leo G

    Steve Kate’s list of Trump’s accomplishments as POTUS would alone be sufficient in the minds of any Leftist US psychiatry professor- like Bandy Lee of Yale- to have him court-ordered into isolation as a danger to the public and for radical treatment for a serious mental disorder.

  8. Confused Old Misfit

    I have, at during the course of my life read all of WS’s plays, acted in a few, been a technician in a few more. Some at Canada’s Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ontario Canada. To refresh my somewhat antiquated memories I went the the link you provided.

    Mr.Kates. With the greatest respect: If you ever, ever, ever again lend credence to a so called modern text of William Shakespeare, I will find you. I will find you and I will apply the two brick solution. And may you have much ill fortune finding employment as a male(?) soprano.

  9. In Australia the mandatory channel for LNP types is the Dingo Chanel.

    The ABC is mandatory viewing for all of Parliament, except that Pyne and Sarah Sea-Change keep changing channels, fighting over Play School and Peppa Pig.

  10. armchair spaceman

    Steve if I had been in the staffroom that day I would have given the correct answer.

  11. JohnA

    Richard III? Willy Wobblestick?

    And here’s me thinking it was pinched from an off-season advert for outdoor camping gear!

    Shocked, shocked I am! (with apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan)

  12. Dr Fred Lenin

    His record pales into insignificance compared with our wonderfull career polliemuppets . Malcolm’s great ? Well energiser policy, shortens great performance at the RC , weatherills musk moment ,Danny and the Africans in Victoria . You ain’t seen nuthin yet 2018 will be a great year for polliewankers in Australia ,just see how low they can get,the pits is the limit .

  13. Malcolm Thomas

    Every such list produced to date has so many holes in it as to be laughable.
    I love, for example, how high economic is somehow attributed to Trump – with zer o evidence of causation. A list the other day had as Trump’s first.”achievement” that he held a meeting!
    You guys are so obviously clutching at straws.

  14. Dr Fred Lenin

    You commos should know a bit about clutching at straws comrade ,a commo must have , you of course would support hilarity ,what a bloody disaster that sick crook would have been .maybe even worse than comrade turnbull et crew .The economy is improving because you commos lost power .commos are death to wealth for anyone ,even the workers they profess to represent ,look st the Jobe the union comrades have destroyed ,and the gangrene climateers .

  15. kc

    I would assume from that comment Malcolm you have never actually been in business and have little to no idea who much business confidence plays a part in decision making. It is almost impossible to quantify just how trust and confidence in the future and political/policy settings of a government feed into economic activity, but, being impossible to quantify does not mean it is not real. The improving economic outlook and performance of the USA may just be a fluke, but few things about economics and business are flukes. There is a catalyst and it is Trump. In 2 years time, while the bleeding hearts and never Trumpers are still running around in ever decreasing circles, all he is going to have to do is point to the scoreboard.

  16. Leo G

    The “method” in Hamlet’s “madness” was theatre. The purpose was to allow corruption to expose itself, in the knowledge that “the sun breeds maggots in a dead dog”.
    Trump’s “madness” is informed by the same genius. Shakespeare’s Polonius could be compared to Trump’s opponents in the Mainstream Media. Hamlet disdained Polonius for pimping his own daughter- Trump disdains the MSM for pimping their journalism to service corrupt civil servants.

  17. The “modern text” at the link is about as inspirational as a ad for baby nappies.
    However, that is what appears to be studied at “schools” and “universities” today so welcome to the brave new world.

  18. Leo G

    However, that is what appears to be studied at “schools” and “universities” today so welcome to the brave new world.

    On the other hand, the words and idiom of Shakespeare’s early modern English often has different meaning and connotation for contemporary English listeners. Let’s not be modern Mirandas- too romantically attached to Shakespearean English to appreciate the possibilities in a much wider brave new world.

  19. Entropy

    I am with Leo, that list is probably by there is so much wailing and nashing of teeth by the left.

  20. The Pugilist

    The left LOVE these ‘achievements’:

    Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership which had terms unfavorable to the US.

    In fact, on this issue, Hillary and Donald were a unity ticket.

    Began renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement for the same reason.

    Could anyone explain to me what the ‘unfavourable terms’ are?

  21. Leo G

    Could anyone explain to me what the ‘unfavourable terms’ are?

    US NAFTA negotiarors described their objectives last July
    – reducing the U.S. trade deficit
    – improving market access in Canada and Mexico for U.S. manufacturing, agriculture, and services
    – adding a digital economy chapter
    – incorporating and strengthening labor and environment obligations in NAFTA side agreements.
    – eliminating unfair subsidies, market-distorting practices by state owned enterprises, and burdensome restrictions on intellectual property

  22. Roberto

    It’s not just the source of the words “Now is the winter of our discontent” that’s a mystery to the supposedly well-educated. They’re also unaware that those words are but the start of a longer quotation that has precisely the opposite meaning to the one they’re intending.

  23. The Pugilist

    – reducing the U.S. trade deficit
    – improving market access in Canada and Mexico for U.S. manufacturing, agriculture, and services

    The USTR don’t explain why the first one is desirable nor how the second one will be achieved. The TPP would have improved US market access over and above NAFTA

    – adding a digital economy chapter
    – incorporating and strengthening labor and environment obligations in NAFTA side agreements.

    The TPP would address all of these things with Canada, Mexico and 10 other countries…so why withdraw?

    – eliminating unfair subsidies, market-distorting practices by state owned enterprises, and burdensome restrictions on intellectual property

    These can’t be dealt with in any meaningful way in a bilateral agreement – only through multilateral ones like TPP or multilaterally through the WTO.
    You Trump fanboys have been sold an absolute dog.

  24. Entropy

    Hate to break it to you pugilist, but I have never seen a multilateral agreement that wasn’t compromised up the kyber pass, and toothless. Just another U.N.style wankfest at worst, eg kyoto agreement, where every delegate tries to give their country economic advantage and disadvantage their more agile competitors.

    In theory multilaterals are better than bilaterals, but you can’t always get what you want. But sometimes, if you try real hard, you can get what you need.
    So bilaterals are the best you can hope for.

  25. Rafe

    I would of said Richard III made glorious by this son of York.

  26. Leo G

    I would of said Richard III made glorious by this son of York.

    New York?
    Sent not before time, but so unfashionable that the media dogs bark as he tweets by them.

  27. Rafe

    There is something seriously wrong with so called free trade agreements that run to hundreds of pages. Like the EU thst was only supposed to free trade and movement of people within the community. Look where that went.

  28. OneWorldGovernment

    The Pugilist
    #2604853, posted on January 8, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Hey pugface

    Did you read the TPP?

    It was going to create the equivalent of the useless EU in the Pacific with a monstrous fucking bureaucracy.

    Why can’t one country just deal with another if that is what they want.

  29. OneWorldGovernment

    just jamming a note in here for those that are saddened by the “loss” of the TPP.

    It would have created a larger stinking quagmire than the filth of the Brussels EU.

    How bent is your banana?

    That’s what the scum unellected Brussels EU measure.

  30. Spring is coming

    How does a Government ‘Fuel economic growth moving GDP above 3 percent.’?

    I recall reading cat articles advising Govmint can do no such a thing.

  31. Spring is coming

    I hope Trumps tax cuts really do lift the US economy. This will be where theory meets reality. I want this to succeed and pressure a roll back in Govmint in Australia.

    In my mind this will be the real test of the Trump Administration. It will take some months to show the effects. This is the main game.

  32. OneWorldGovernment

    Trump Crazy? Like a Fox
    By James Lewis

    Hum, ho – the Trump-haters have found a new authority figure to swear that the man is crazy. Rocketing to fame thanks to the objective media today is a woman with the extraordinary name of Bandy X. Lee.

    Dr. Lee, M.D. is now in danger of having her license pulled by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for engaging in ethically prohibited long-distance diagnosis without even interviewing the supposed patient in person. In real psychiatry, not the imaginary kind peddled by the NYT-WaPo Axis of Lies, psychiatric diagnosis is serious business, which normally involves a private interview with the clear, legal consent of the patient, an explicit set of criteria covered in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the APA, and an absolute guarantee of privacy in the patient-doctor relationship. Dr. Lee violated all those rules, and in the real world (not in the media narrative), that means her career is at an end. I’ve seen licenses pulled for much less than that.

    That is presumably why Dr. Lee’s claimed team of fellow psychiatrists have never been named – if they exist. Lee uses the term “we” in claiming that her extremely dubious “diagnosis” (which does not exist in the DSM) is backed by an unspecified group of fellow “experts.” A real licensing board would suspend her for abusing her license to practice for obvious political payoffs, thereby bringing her profession to public ridicule and contempt.

    So what are Trump’s psychiatric symptoms?

    Lee’s Exhibit A is Trump’s response to Kim III (a paranoid who is never criticized by Democrats). Kim III boasted about the “big button” on his desk, to launch ICBMs tipped with nukes at the United States of America, Japan, South Korea, and quite possibly China, all within range of North Korea’s ICBMs. In response to Kim’s threat, Mr. Trump tweeted:

    To Americans who know Trump’s jargon, his Twitter response sounded like “well, mine is bigger than yours!”

    Trump talks and tweets like that, and his main political motivation is to dominate the 24-hour news cycle. Trump’s provocative tweets got him elected by giving him close to full control over the news cycle, rather than getting stomped by the liberal media every day. In politics, Trump’s tweets constitute the only way any Republican has managed to dominate the news since Dwight D. Eisenhower. The newsies are all stacked with Democrat activists who will do anything – including suborning the FBI and IRS – to destroy Republicans. Trump has found the answer, and Lee’s current smear against POTUS is designed to destroy Trump’s favorite weapon, the off-the-cuff Twitter response, including a typo (covfefe). From now on, any tweet from Trump will be another sign of psychiatric disorder, and Lee will put her diagnostic reputation on the line for that.

    In addition, of course, Lee has effectively picked the side of Kim III, a Stalinist murderer who keeps his people in a state of starvation. I would not want to be on Kim III’s side in a public spat – would you? It seems as if Lee has no grasp of politics, either American-style or North Korean. This is possible if she is Chinese by birth and doesn’t understand American political jargon.

    For the last couple of years, Trump’s provocative tweets have provoked the mass media every single time, which is how he won the election and kept his media haters in a foaming rage. Trump does not expect to make friends among his fixed haters, and he’s right. So he treats them like enemies, which is also right.

    Those of us who understand how American men talk in ordinary life are not particularly surprised. What surprises the media is his use of Twitter – but that’s also how he gets their collective goat every 24 hours.

    Now, either Lee does not understand how normal Americans talk informally or she is running a political scam, like so many “authority figures” quoted by our mendacious media. In either case, she is liable to be summoned by her local licensing board to explain her violation of established diagnostic ethics. Normally, the licensing board will send her a cease and desist order, but this is national politics, and the AMA and APA might just be overlooking Dr. Lee’s nationally broadcast remarks. If the FBI, along with Obama’s DOJ, can crumble in the face of Hillary’s email corruption, what’s the AMA going to do? (They are going to kowtow to Obama, like all the other professional forces in American life.)

    When Trump wants to sound serious, he goes like this:

    To the Congress of the United States:

    Consistent with section 108 of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended (50 U.S.C. 3043), I have enclosed the National Security Strategy of the United States.

    This National Security Strategy sets forth my guidance and direction for an America First foreign policy and charts a path to achieving the goals and objectives that will make America great again.

    DONALD J. TRUMP

    THE WHITE HOUSE

    Now, a competent psychiatrist might have taken the time to read the White House website for Trump’s more official language. Trump speaks differently on Twitter from how he speaks in his role as POTUS. This should not come as news, but apparently the left will never, ever get it.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/01/trump_crazy_like_a_fox.html

  33. tgs

    Agree with most of the list but:

    Pressuring China to help get Kim Jung Un to behave.

    is a bit of a stretch to call an accomplishment.

  34. Spring is coming

    Praise be to Jeebus, we r to be saved, Oprah wants to be POTUS!

    And we’ll all get A NEW CAR!!!

  35. Chris Harper

    Hamlet? Really? Don’t you mean Richard III?

  36. OneWorldGovernment

    Wolffian economics
    By Tom Riley

    Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury, promoted his book recently in an interview on BBC Radio. After boasting that the book spells the end of the Trump presidency – just like all the other phenomena that brought about the end of the Trump candidacy and presidency in the past – Wolff was asked whether Trump deserves credit for America’s current booming economy. He delivered himself of this gem of analysis:

    He hardly has a staff anymore, since most people have left the White House. And it may be that he will do nothing. The economy is booming possibly because you’ll have someone who’s not capable of actually implementing any policies or regulation.

    I contend that these few sentences should receive far more attention than has so far been the case. They tell us what Wolff – and really his whole media class – consider the role of a competent and functional White House.

    That role is to impose policies and regulations that will throttle the economy.

    After all, this is the one task at which Obama – the ideal president in the view of Wolff and everyone else in his class – managed to succeed. He couldn’t enforce his line in the sand. He couldn’t stop the growth of ISIS. He couldn’t keep Putin from annexing Crimea. He couldn’t prevent the terrorist acts of the week that we had to get used to under his leadership.

    But Obama could throttle the U.S. economy.

    Moreover, this is the one task at which Hillary would have succeeded – if the American voter had opted for throttling the economy rather than liberating it.

    So there can be little doubt that in the mind of Wolff, this is what a president should do. Trump is a failure as a president, in the world of Wolff, precisely because the economy is booming.

    Any observer who understands this truth will recognize the real purpose of Wolff’s Fire and Fury.

    Tom Riley is widely known as a poet of the formalist school and is the author of Translations from the Ogrish.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/01/wolffian_economics.html

  37. Mother Lode

    And we’ll all get A NEW CAR!!!

    I seem to remember one of Obama’s ecstatic disciples at one of his rallies claim that Obama was going to put gas in her car.

    Oprah is just completing the deal.

  38. Fitter

    No error. The title is a quote from Hamlet. “Now is the winter …” from RIII.
    “And Falsehood falsehood cures, as fire cools fire”

  39. The Pugilist

    I hope Trumps tax cuts really do lift the US economy. This will be where theory meets reality. I want this to succeed and pressure a roll back in Govmint in Australia.

    To be effective, Trump’s tax cuts will need to be paired with substantial deficit reduction through spending cuts and the Fed will need to ‘normalise’ interest rates to bring domestic saving and investment back towards balance. The tax cuts will also improve incentives to work, save and invest, but the tax cuts on their own will just risk blowing out the budget deficit, raising the real exchange rate and blowing out the trade deficit.

    Culling regulation will also help.

    If Trump is really worried about the trade deficit, he would be better to focus his energy and political capital on getting industry support for government spending cuts. He’s currently pissing them off with his bullshit trade rhetoric and he risks not delivering on reducing the trade deficit which will narrow his support amongst voters.

    It was going to create the equivalent of the useless EU in the Pacific with a monstrous fucking bureaucracy.

    OWG, obviously you’ve never tried to export anything. These bureaucracies exist in each country and they all do their own thing making it a nightmare for business trying to comply with multiple sets of importing country requirements. Having a standard set of rules within a trading bloc helps reduce compliance costs immensely for all those businesses within the bloc. And the TPP would lead to a much more liberal approach than the Europeans as it was being led by the US – there was much more national sovereignty built in to the TPP. There was no supranational body.
    Fortunately, Japan and Australia are stepping up, keeping the thing alive and leaving it open for Trump (or his successor to join) when he sobers up. Look at who else pulled out of the TPP – the leftist idiot to the North, Trudeau. That’s the company Trump is keeping with his trade policies. I agree with just about everything else he’s doing, but his trade policy is the achilles heel. The yes men on this blog are not helping him in the long run by going along with his crap.

  40. Confused Old Misfit

    That anyone could or would defend that “modern text” disgusts me.

  41. alexnoaholdmate

    First of all, the line is “Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun of York…”

    If you only read the first part of it, you would gain an impression that Richard III was saying something completely different from what he is actually saying.

    Second: I agree with Confused above: Shakespeare “translations” are appalling and facile. Shakespeare wrote in English; if people have trouble understanding him, the issue lies with them, not with the bard or the words he wrote.

  42. OldOzzie

    Trump is about eliminating this kind of stupidity – if only in OZ

    “DRIVE FAST, FREEZE A YANKEE!”

    Everyone remembers the lines for gasoline. What is less recalled are the shortages and price spikes for natural gas, whose price and supply was also regulated at the federal level. But in Texas, intrastate natural gas outside the federal purview was abundant and cheap, and the lack of pipeline capacity to transport it, along with the price controls, meant Texas enjoyed cheap natural gas while the rest of the country shivered or paid out for expensive home heating oil and oil-fired electricity (oil-fired electricity was nearly 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity in 1973; today the figure is less than 1 percent). Hence there was a popular bumper sticker in Texas back then: “Drive fast, freeze a Yankee.”

    Even Jimmy Carter was able to figure out that the federal price controls on oil and natural gas were counterproductive, and he began taking half-hearted steps to deregulate the energy market. (Reagan said “why go so slow,” and eliminated most remaining price controls in his first week in office.) And once the price of natural gas was deregulated, it made possible the construction of lots of new pipeline infrastructure to allow gas to begin displacing oil as an electricity source, which is why gas has been the largest new source of electric power over the last couple of decades.

    But from the looks of things the northeast is living back in the bad old days during the current bout of global warming climate change gripping so much of the country. The spot prices for natural gas and electricity are soaring:

    Gee—how can natural gas be so expensive when its abundant and cheap (thank you fracking—see the chart at the bottom*), and moreover available in nearby states like Pennsylvania and Ohio? It’s not necessary any more for eastern natural gas customers to have to deal with those cowboy hat-wearing folk in Oklahoma and Texas.

    Ah, maybe headlines like this have something to do with it:

    In fact Gov. Cuomo has blocked at least three natural gas pipelines in New York. (The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission overruled Cuomo on one of these last fall.) And since Cuomo has blocked fracking activity for gas in New York state, it is missing out on the prosperity that has revived so many parts of rural Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

    The Wall Street Journal offered the most comprehensive takedown of this madness in an editorial back in August:

    The U.S. shale boom has lowered energy prices and created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. But those living in upstate New York and New England have been left in the cold by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose shale gas blockade could instigate an energy crisis in the Northeast. . .

    All of this is ominous since the region desperately needs more natural gas to make up for lost power from the impending shutdown of nuclear and coal plants. New England’s Independent System Operator projects that 14% of the region’s electric generation capacity will be retired within three years and says more pipelines are needed for grid stability.

    Energy costs in the Northeast are already the highest in the nation outside of Alaska and Hawaii in part due to the shortage of natural gas. Northeast residents pay 29% more for natural gas and 44% more for electricity than the U.S. average, according to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Industrial users in the Northeast pay twice as much for natural gas and 62% more for electricity. . .

    Inclement weather can cause energy costs to skyrocket. During the 2014 polar vortex, natural gas prices in New York City spiked to $120 per million Btu—about 25 times the Henry Hub spot price at the time. Natural-gas power plants in New York are required to burn oil during supply shortages. Due to pipeline constraints and the Jones Act—which requires that cargo transported between U.S. ports be carried by ships built in the U.S.—Boston imports liquefied natural gas during the winter from Trinidad. This is expensive and emits boatloads of carbon.

    Speaking of which, about a quarter of households in New York, 45% in Vermont and 65% in Maine still burn heating oil—which is a third more expensive than natural gas and produces about 30% more carbon emissions per million Btu. Yet many can’t switch due to insufficient natural gas and pipeline infrastructure.

    But what about all that solar power New England states have added in recent years?

    While PV helps reduce energy consumption during sunny winter days, demand peaks in winter after the sun has set.

    Amazing how this simple fact seems to evade supposedly smart people.

    Chaser: Here’s the Florida weather map from early last week. Surely proof of global warming climate change!

    This whole “bomb cyclone” thing must be unprecedented. Oh, wait. . .

    The Great Blizzard of 1888

  43. OldOzzie

    Trump is about eliminating this kind of stupidity – if only in OZ

    “DRIVE FAST, FREEZE A YANKEE!”

    Everyone remembers the lines for gasoline. What is less recalled are the shortages and price spikes for natural gas, whose price and supply was also regulated at the federal level. But in Texas, intrastate natural gas outside the federal purview was abundant and cheap, and the lack of pipeline capacity to transport it, along with the price controls, meant Texas enjoyed cheap natural gas while the rest of the country shivered or paid out for expensive home heating oil and oil-fired electricity (oil-fired electricity was nearly 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity in 1973; today the figure is less than 1 percent). Hence there was a popular bumper sticker in Texas back then: “Drive fast, freeze a Yankee.”

    Even Jimmy Carter was able to figure out that the federal price controls on oil and natural gas were counterproductive, and he began taking half-hearted steps to deregulate the energy market. (Reagan said “why go so slow,” and eliminated most remaining price controls in his first week in office.) And once the price of natural gas was deregulated, it made possible the construction of lots of new pipeline infrastructure to allow gas to begin displacing oil as an electricity source, which is why gas has been the largest new source of electric power over the last couple of decades.

    But from the looks of things the northeast is living back in the bad old days during the current bout of global warming climate change gripping so much of the country. The spot prices for natural gas and electricity are soaring:

    Gee—how can natural gas be so expensive when its abundant and cheap (thank you fracking—see the chart at the bottom*), and moreover available in nearby states like Pennsylvania and Ohio? It’s not necessary any more for eastern natural gas customers to have to deal with those cowboy hat-wearing folk in Oklahoma and Texas.

    Ah, maybe headlines like this have something to do with it:

    In fact Gov. Cuomo has blocked at least three natural gas pipelines in New York. (The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission overruled Cuomo on one of these last fall.) And since Cuomo has blocked fracking activity for gas in New York state, it is missing out on the prosperity that has revived so many parts of rural Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

    The Wall Street Journal offered the most comprehensive takedown of this madness in an editorial back in August:

    The U.S. shale boom has lowered energy prices and created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. But those living in upstate New York and New England have been left in the cold by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose shale gas blockade could instigate an energy crisis in the Northeast. . .

    All of this is ominous since the region desperately needs more natural gas to make up for lost power from the impending shutdown of nuclear and coal plants. New England’s Independent System Operator projects that 14% of the region’s electric generation capacity will be retired within three years and says more pipelines are needed for grid stability.

    Energy costs in the Northeast are already the highest in the nation outside of Alaska and Hawaii in part due to the shortage of natural gas. Northeast residents pay 29% more for natural gas and 44% more for electricity than the U.S. average, according to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Industrial users in the Northeast pay twice as much for natural gas and 62% more for electricity. . .

    Inclement weather can cause energy costs to skyrocket. During the 2014 polar vortex, natural gas prices in New York City spiked to $120 per million Btu—about 25 times the Henry Hub spot price at the time. Natural-gas power plants in New York are required to burn oil during supply shortages. Due to pipeline constraints and the Jones Act—which requires that cargo transported between U.S. ports be carried by ships built in the U.S.—Boston imports liquefied natural gas during the winter from Trinidad. This is expensive and emits boatloads of carbon.

    Speaking of which, about a quarter of households in New York, 45% in Vermont and 65% in Maine still burn heating oil—which is a third more expensive than natural gas and produces about 30% more carbon emissions per million Btu. Yet many can’t switch due to insufficient natural gas and pipeline infrastructure.

    But what about all that solar power New England states have added in recent years?

    While PV helps reduce energy consumption during sunny winter days, demand peaks in winter after the sun has set.

    Amazing how this simple fact seems to evade supposedly smart people.

    Chaser: Here’s the Florida weather map from early last week. Surely proof of global warming climate change!

    This whole “bomb cyclone” thing must be unprecedented. Oh, wait. . .

    The Great Blizzard of 1888

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