This struck me as a bit strange:
As Democrats congratulated themselves on the House floor last month for passing a controversial climate and energy bill, Republicans let out a cheer of their own, chanting, “BTU! BTU! BTU!”
The acronym was chilling for some Democrats who remember the infamous 1993 BTU tax debacle that quickly became a code phrase for forcing members to cast a vote that amounts to political suicide.
Bear DNA! Volcano monitoring! BTU!
Who can follow all of this stuff?
Our democracy is run by frat boys…shit…
Once again, I’m glad that I don’t speak that language.
Audience: Boo! Boo!
Boehner: Smithers…are they booing me?
Smithers: Uh, no, they’re saying “Boo-ehner! Boo-ehner!”
Boehner: Are you saying “boo” or “Boo-ehner”?
Audience: Boo! Boo!
Lieberman: I was saying “Boo-ehner”…
Maybe they meant ‘back that up.’
The Grand Panjandrum
Why offer policy alternatives when you can use not so clever little quips or stupid denialist arguments to convince yourself you are winning the arguments.
Do the Germans have a word for talkingpoints with no underlying policy proposal?
That’s a great Simpsons moment.
They were actually saying “Beaty You, Beaty You!”. It appears to be a sexual proposition by teh gheys in the Republican party.
What the hell is BTU? British Thermal Unit?
Right. Because a bunch of essentially powerless GOP Reps chanting “BTU! BTU!” is far more horrifying than the Salo simulation we had running as the Bush administration for the previous eight years.
The Politico has some really strange ideas about what is terrifying.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
I think the best part is this:
What success? Republicans pretty much did nothing except whine and make snarky powerpoint presentations until the crude oil market corrected itself.
Has any new drilling occured as a result?
Seriously, the GOP has been slowly turing into a bunch of big babies who will snivel and whine and throw papers until they get a nice warm blanket and a pacifier. (And probably a giant Ronnie doll to tuck them in). And a lot of the dems aren’t much better.
Shut up, stop trying to be clever and exciting and do some damm work.
We just had a near decade of “exciting” and I’m ready for “boring”
Just for fun, ask a republican what a joule is.
You keep saying these words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.
@maya: A new Congressional page?
They really do speak another language and Politico sure seems a fluent speaker of said foreign language, eh?
Maybe I wasn’t paying as much attention to politics in 1993 what with not having the intertubes 24/7 and all, but WTF was the “BTU tax debacle”? Politico talks like this is common knowledge and I’ve never heard of it.
Add another piece of evidence to the skyscraper-high pile showing that the US right is so far off in codeword in-group-speak that they’ve lost the ability to communicate with everyone else.
(Maybe that’s why they make such a public spectacle of being terrified that dialect Englishes are going to become separate languages — they’re projecting like mad. Again. Too. Also.)
Plus all the seats they lost in the House AND Senate. Maybe “success” has a more nuanced meaning than I thought.
jake 4 that 1
To which the only appropriate response is StFu! StFu!
Success = Rags like the Politico covered it.
And therein lies the Fail in today’s Repub stunt. Imagine what would happen if they put as much thought and creativity into policy as they put into finding new forms of Fail.
OTOH, maybe let’s not imagine that.
Brick Oven Bill
The reason T. Boone cancelled his wind project is that, even if only operating at 50% capacity, and generating zero revenue from anything other than government subsidies, would yield a 4% rate of return,
HE FOUND OUT THAT THIS GREEN ENERGY NONSENSE WILL NOT WORK.
I know what a Joule is. I even know what a MegaJoule is.
Davis X. Machina
It was a basic exercise in Pigoutian taxation — you want people to use less energy — tax energy use. Hydrocarbons would have been taxed at a higher rate.
It made so much sense. It would have reduced the deficit without touching the income tax, you could make it progressive via income-dependent rebates, it would encourage energy conservation — still the low-hanging fruit in carbon-emissions reduction.
Of course it was killed in the Senate. And this was before Al Gore was fat….
odds are good that none of the cheering GOoPers had heard of it either, until they were told how the cheer was going to go and when to do it.
No offense, T. Boone Pickens got kicked, dropped to the curb.
He showed up great guns and wimped out when he was asked to actually bring something of substance to the party.
B.O.B. in short, shut up.
joe from Lowell
Yeah, well, in 1993, we won a vote! So there!
A British Thermal Unit is the amount of heat necessary to make exactly one spot of tea.
The success had nothing to do with the “policy”, the sentence specifically refers to the success of the chant. Since they still lost the election in a blowout most people would say the chant wasn’t successful, but if your only criterion is “how much do Republicans like it”, as seems to be the standard for the Politico, then you could say it worked.
Something on a tennis bracelet they give their wives after they get caught having an affair again??
joe from Lowell
The purpose of conservative political communication in 2009 is purely morale-driven. They say things for the sole purpose of relieving the crushing miserly they have to live with every day as a despised minority with absolutely none of the governing power that they believe to be their birthright.
It doesn’t matter if what they say makes sense, as long as it makes them feel better for a little while.
It’s kinda like “the family joules”, right?
This was my first thought as well. The Republicans are the jock party protecting us from the nerds with their fancy book learnin’ and pansy-ass conservation schemes.
Ummmm…. Bloggers seem to be living in the same glass house. Just sayin’…
@joe from Lowell:
What is the unit of measurement for making a spot of something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea?
Sorry. I still miss Douglas Adams.
BOB – if you weren’t completely out of it, you’d know that T. Boone never really gave a fart in a high wind about wind power to begin with.
The whole “wind farm” thing was just a ploy to secure easements he couldn’t get otherwise in order to pump the Ogallala aquifer dry and sell the water to Dallas and Houston for personal profit. You know, an aquifer that essentially belongs to the some 45 million people in 6 or 7 states who live over it and rely upon it for life. With his easements for power lines, he was going to run a water pipeline as well. If the whole idea is going down the tubes, that’s nothing but a good thing – let someone who isn’t a greedy bastard do the development of wind energy, and let the greedhead who wants to steal the water belonging to 45 million people and sell it for personal profit pick up his toys and go home. Sounds like a win-win to me.
@Brick Oven Bill: Uhm, a 4% rate of return is pretty respectable dude. Unless you are still desperately clinging to your Madoff hedge fund investment.
I thought it was the energy needed to heat their loo, or open the boot of their car, or adjust their telly, or brush their teeth. Wait, nevermind that last one. A BTU is certainly not zero.
well, I could be wrong, but I believe joule is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.
@joe from Lowell:
This seemed like such a cool l’il apocryphal factoid that I had to look it up to see if it was right. Sadly, apparently, “[a]t sea level, it take[s] about 75 Btu to make a cup of tea.” Sigh. Still funny tho’.
On the other hand, I now know how many BTUs it takes to make a cup of tea. So, in a roundabout way, the Politico has led me to new knowledge – a first!
Brick Oven Bill
T. Boone drops wind project.
He is reportedly into this deal $2 billion. Yes, I agree about the water transmission easements. But the only explanation for the dropping of the guarantee of government subsidies for wind power, and the promise of the government exercise of eminent domain to obtain those easements is that:
WIND POWER IS A HOAX.
And the expenditure of an additional $8 billion cannot be justified. Because there would be no return on investment, even with the $23.44/MW-hr government payments.
Legislation by cheerleading.
Its what you buy your wife when you get caught fucking around on her. Duh!
@Brick Oven Bill:
WMD’s in Iraq is a hoax. Wind power is just not effective, doesn’t mean it’s a hoax. Unless you’re agreeing that Pickens didn’t care aout wind power. In which case his plan was a hoax, not the actual wind power which is real, wind does blow, it’s just not effective as a power source.
@Brick Oven Bill: Wind Power is a bunch of Hot Air!!!
I’m thinking that there’s money to be made in a Reagan likeness, full function (ahem) blow up doll.
And if those guys who make those “live woman” dolls don’t make one that looks like Sarah Palin, they’re missing out on scads ‘o cash.
Basically before the 94 midterms when the Dems got slaughtered Clinton proposed an energy tax that was more or less a first step to a new energy/global warming policy. The tax was based on the sources BTU output, in order to equilize the tax amount the various energy sources. The house passed it and the senate never brought it to a vote, and the vote of the house members was used against them in the next election, and a bunch of them got kicked out of office. So basically they put themselves on the line for a difficult vote for nothing.
The GOP has collectively turned into a mentally-ill homeless guy that mutters and laughs to himself in paranoid codespeak. It’s truly bizarre to see them make these references and expect anyone outside of freeperville, including most rank and file republicans, to know what the hell they’re carrying on about.
In the Politico article, Pres. Obama is quoted as having said yesterday about critics of his energy policy,
And as if to prove the President right, today’s juvenile, meaningless feel-good chanting Fail.
There better not be any House Democrats who find this level of idiocy to be “chilling”. The fact that Politico characterizes it that way, tells you something about Politico though. Not anything new, mind you.
B.O.B. That T. Boone Pickens is a bit of failure doesn’t make wind energy a hoax.
In the same sense that Sara Palin’s failure means that governence of the state of Alaska is not a hoax.
@beabea: I had to find that full quote for LOLs
This is all glaringly obvious to normal human beings, and yet he still has to come out and say it for the idjits. Oy vey.
Why the hell would an asinine “chant” like that be greeted with anything other than uncontrollable laughter? Who the hell cares if the Republicans don’t think you’re cool?!?!
I’m really getting tired of the, to quote Zell Miller, “yes-no-maybe bowl of mush” that is the Democratic Party. There is not enough testicular shared matter to comprise one ball in the entire Congress.
You haven’t won elections because people wanted you compromise and be timid. You won because the Republicans broke it and people want you to fix it!!!
OK, out of some slight interest and a lack of anything better to do, I looked at the BTU vote against which seats changed hands in the 94 election. Of the 38 Dem nays, 10 seats changed to R in the 94 elections, roughly 1 in 4, while of the 219 yeas 44 seats switched, closer to 1 in 5.
Ann B. Nonymous
How many BTUs are in a wingnut?
Only problem is that Hans Moleman isn’t nearly ridiculous enough looking to represent Lieberman
Next GOP Chant: “Birth Cer-tif! Birth Cer-tif!”
Or, perhaps during Sotomayor hearing we’ll get “Estrada! Estrada!”
I hadn’t heard about the water pipeline as the reason for T Boone’s interest in wind energy. I thought T Boone was “going green” because he had lots of natural gas to sell.
Did he get natural gas and wind energy mixed up? The potential for punning is endless. Like solar energy…
They are such children. Running the country is not like playing a high school football game, no matter how much the Republicans wish it was.
I’m all for boring competence as well. Heck, I’d be happy with competence, period. When can we have some of that, please?
Thanks! Oy vey, indeed.
From the context you’ve provided, I now have to wonder whether BTU in fact stands for “B**tch Tazered Us”.
It’s like.. cargo cult legislation.
As if the proper reciation of certain key words or phrases will cause reality to become what they want it to be, rather then the rather boring and occasionally politically risky act of *actually legislating*
I love how the Republicans have basically lost ground during every Congressional election since 1994 and yet Politico and other like-minded media consistently downplay the fact that they are losing elections now while trumpeting the fact that they won one election fifteen years ago.
If the GOP ever had a majority in Congress as large as the Democrats have now, Politico would spend every day talking about how this represented a mandate and that Democrats should just sit down and shut up. Have we heard anybody even use the word “mandate” this year? I certainly remember hearing it in 2005.
Isn’t a Joule a French country-western singer?
@The Grand Panjandrum:
The word is Scheiß.
@Dennis-SGMM: Also, “arschloch.”
@JenJen: Lindsay Grahm to the rescue.
The Germans also have a word for a Republican congressman:
“dorfnarr” (Village idiot).
OT but does anyone know who the folks were who raised a ruckus at the Sotomayor hearing? I couldn’t tell what they were shouting about.
I know what an idiot is. I even know what a million idiots are.
That would be the unit of measuring membership in the Republican Party; Megamorons.
DOMA and AUMF were the same thing and congresspersons who should know better keep falling for the ol’ rope-a-dope.
am i the only one who to this day still relishes in a president who speaks clear, thoughtful sentences?
used to be every time i saw the president talk i’d subconsciously hold my breath.
Here is the story.
I’m sorry I don’t speak or understand wingnut? Pero que mi Espanol es muy bien, comprende?
Speaking of GOoPer talk. I just happened to peruse Judge Robert Bork’s book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah and he claimed that some college campus feminists were so radical that they used the term “ovulars” instead of the male sounding “seminars”.
Talk about obscure and freakish GOoPer folk myth.
“But what about the unborn?”
Brick Oven Bill
In my opinion, anyone who supports this cap and trade legislation is a PicoBrain.
As in GigaJoule.
@GregB: Isn’t that a line from the Legally Blonde movie?
“The English language is all about subliminal
domination. Take the word “semester”. It’s a
perfect example of this school’s
discriminatory preference of semen to
ovaries. That’s why I ‘ m petitioning to have
next term be referred to as Winter Ovester.”
jake 4 that 1
@GregB: Uh. Yeah. I went to a school that was chock full o’ the type of women that make Bork wet the bed and I never, ever heard that one. Hell, most people I knew made fun of “Wymyn” and “Herstory.”
It’s powering my city right now, so it’s a pretty impressive hoax, if you ask me. What’s your theory, that little magical elves under the city are really the ones generating the power, and the windmills are just for show?
The Villagers, Politico and an uncomfortably large block of Democrats, unfortunately. If Democrats could do nothing than get over their preternatural need to be “liked” by the opposition, and understand that what the opposition “claims” the voters think is complete BS – that would be enough (Dayenu).
Heaven forbid we actually advance any, you know, Democratic policies.
Sister Machine Gun of Mild Harmony
Donald Trump managed to bankrupt himself running a casino. Therefore, the idea that running a casino can make you rich is a HOAX since everyone knows Trump is an ultra-genius. The fact that other people have made themselves rich running casinos only proves its hoaxitude.
Instead of offering real ideas and solutions to our plethora of problems, the Repubs would rather come up with high school-ish chants to show how clever they are. I’m so tired of their collective bitching and moaning about the solutions the Dems are trying to push forward.
And not once have I heard any one of them offer up any alternatives, to anything, other than tax cuts. Nor does any one in the media call them on it.
John, question for you: Are Burkean bells only audible to conservatives, like a dog whistle? Because I can’t even hear them anymore with things like “BTU! BTU!”
@Brick Oven Bill: Waitaminute.
That sounds like a floor to me. Higher capacity is more profit. Generate revenues from anything else and get more profit.
You’re telling me he quit because he had a guaranteed minimum rate of return of 4%, and it would probably go higher?
Reading those quotes that Ash found, I was struck by how this shows yet again how Obama is just operating at a completely different level than these clowns. And the sad thing for them (and for the country, since we really do need a non-crazy, non-juvenile opposition party), is that I’m not sure they even realize it.
B-T-U = Being Totally Useless
Somehow, it just lacks the je ne sais quoi of: Attica! Atttica! Attica!
I believe that’s called a NutriJoule.
Brick Oven Bill
Re: Wind Power
In Europe, 95% of installed wind capacity has to be backed up by conventional power plants, operating inefficiently. This is because the wind stops, and electricity cannot efficiently be stored.
T. Boone would not walk away from the 4% guaranteed rate of return that his wind farm would generate if it were to operate at 50% capacity because of the high levels of government subsidies ($23.44/MW-hr). This is my point. His wind farm would not operate anywhere near 50% of rated capacity.
This is because wind power is a hoax. Mnemosyne’s city very well be powered by electricity when the wind is blowing. But when the wind stops, it is powered by a conventional power plant. Oh, and when the wind is blowing and generating power, that conventional power plant is still up and running. Running in an inefficient manner, generating CO2 and burning coal or gas or uranium.
Rumor has it that T. Boone has 667 windmills for sale. Cheap. :-)
So, all of that time that you don’t have to run power plants is not reflected in the marginal cost and operating expenses? Your accountant sucks.
Take off your wind-power-colored glasses, and you will see the truth!
Some advice for Republicans: If you really want to taunt Democrats about their failures in a way the American public will understand, you should chant, “OSSSAAAAMMAAAA OSAAAMAAAA.” Trust me. Politico will say, “Republicans so totally stuck it to the Dems on the floor today…”
Advice is free.
I guess I really have to accept that you’re a spoof, since the official conservative is not to argue against renewable energy, but to argue for conventional energy.
Wind is not my specialty. I know more about solar. But I do have a good background in environmentalism, so I will try to sum up the basic disconnect in your argument.
Almost all renewable energy faces a similar formula. The initial costs are huge, the payback is slow, but the operating costs are tiny and the payback is very long-term. It is fairly standard for it to take 20 years to pay back the initial investment.
This in no way invalidates renewable energy. There are any number of counter-arguments. For example, in 100 years, that system will still probably be producing electricity pretty much free and with no further environmental impact. Also, the initial cost is constantly dropping as technology improves.
There are other challenges and other advantages, depending on the type of renewable energy. But trust me, renewable energy is well established as being useful. It’s getting it built that’s the supreme challenge, and the reason government invests so heavily.
Please note that I am fairly conservative on environmental issues. When I had to really learn about them to get my degree, I discovered that it’s really, really easy to lie to people about the environment. Often with very convincing seeming numbers. The left is just as willing to do it as the right. I’m not sure how the layman is ever supposed to understand things like the absurdity of protecting the nonexistent Northern Spotted Owl or the way numbers are picked and shaved and overinterpreted to suggest that solar power costs more electricity than it makes.
Advanced Joule Substitute (AJS).
Please note that AJS and Advanced Joule Substitute are trademarks of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation and may not be used without permission.
Brick Oven Bill
Good God Bago. The conventional power plants never shut down. It takes a day to start one of these things up. All that happens is that the loading cycles with the changes in the wind speed. In this manner, the conventional power plant is forced to operate in an inefficient manner, costing people money, and generating lots of gases that people are worried about for no good reason.
My accountant did suck, by the way.
@Brick Oven Bill:
You are such a f-ing idiot. Pickens no longer has a way of getting the power that would be generated by those turbines to market. He didn’t get his right of way upon which he would build his powerlines to get the power to market, so even if he could get 10000000% return it is nothing more then a theoretical return since HE HAS NO WAY TO SELL THE ENERGY.
Here’s an ovular.
Maybe they were giving a shout-out to the Brandenburg University of Technology?
Brick Oven Bill
You are a PicoBrain Napoleon.
Conventional coal fired power plants also produce a shitload of coal ash. Remember the recent coal ash spill? All coal ash contains are oxides of silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, magnesium, titanium, sodium, potassium, arsenic, mercury, and sulfur plus small quantities of uranium and thorium. There are several hundred coal ash piles across the US and all of them are unregulated. Moreover, the DHS views them as such a hazard that they have forbidden revealing their locations. Should a storm, a flood, or some idiot with a few sticks of dynamite and a grudge cause a coal ash spill neither the victims nor the first responders will know where it came from until the toxic sludge is lapping around their knees.
Just Google “coal ash,” it might open your eyes.
Again, I would like to point out the literary adeptness of B.O.B.’s figurative tilting at literal windmills (ed. note: but who is your Sancho? needs development). Reminds me of why he has so many fans.
But it’s a bit of a giveaway, no?
Reading about that in a recent GQ. Great googly-moogly what a mess.
The acronym was chilling
for some Democrats who remember the infamous 1993 BTU tax debacle that quickly became a code phrase for forcing members to cast a vote that amounts to political suicidefor anyone who thought that their colleagues were anything more than collectively retarded.
1 btu = 1 055.05585 joules
Off thread topic, but for anyone with passing familiarity with electricity, it is easiest to think of a joule as a Watt-Second.
e.g. a 100 Watt (incandescent) light bulb is 100 joules per second.
@Brick Oven Bill: True and false. They never shut down. They do, however, reduce how fast the systems burn. IIRC they have to run somewhere between 3% and 5%. The reason, however, has nothing to do with starting and stopping – the south station in Colorado Springs could go from idle to full load in about an hour, just as example. Instead, it’s because the rotors are so heavy they will warp out of true if left in one position too long. Or so the relatives who worked in the plant told me.
So yeah, you can’t put the plant at zero during no-load times. You can, however, cut the cost by over 90%, and possibly 95% (there are other costs than just fuel) during no-load.
Know what bothers me about all this argument from you, BoB? It’s the fact that you know brick ovens so well. Your conventional powerplant arguments are like defending the electric oven. The reasoning you use for woodfired ovens has significant correlation with the reasons for using windmills (and other renewable resource power systems).
Mike from DC
Uloborus – what is your opinion about the options for solar? what lies have you seen from the left on the environment? (I’m asking because I’m curious, not challenging you b/c I think you’re wrong).
Not gonna mention the utility I work for, but we have shut down most of our coal plants, seeing as they are now more expensive than Natural Gas generators we have.
Anyway, virually ALL power plants are managed or ordered by what is known as ‘Regional Transmission Organisations’ like this and the power plants are dispatched by these RTO’s in a way to prevent the ‘inefficencies’ you are complaining about. Since the load curve is always the same (day in and day out – very boring – only the amount changes) they know what to expect, and dispatch us accordingly.
Load curve Example
Ummm, what the hell do you mean by nonexistent?
@jake 4 that 1:
Ha! I agree with this. I had no idea what BTU meant, either, and so what? The fact that something may or may not have affected an election 16 fucking years ago is relevant to today because, what again? I know, it’s like them constantly bringing St. Ronnie into the picture. They have to delve into the past because their present is so damn bereft of anything substantial.
For some reason, I keep reading that line as “And probably a giant Ronnie doll to fuck them in.” It must be a Freudian slip.
@AnotherBruce: Hush. Uloborus is just confused. He thinks he is writing in a newspaper and nobody will take him seriously unless he includes at least one unfounded attack against the left.
And, to be fair to Ulborus, while the right has denied climate change, fought every form of pollution control, and attempted to gut regulation of every extractive industry known to mankind, the environmentalists on the left include a lot of people who don’t wear underarm deodorant; so, you really DO have to be careful whom you believe.
That’s your job, Doug ;-)
I feel like I’m dropping the ball when I need the Politico to explain these things to me.
Roger (Simon) that.
Someone asked, who speaks their language?
House Democrats do. And that’s the problem.
1. Climate change legislation passes House.
2. Conservative congresspersons try to distract from (1) by chanting “BTU! BTU!”.
3. Blogger writes post about (2).
4. Conservative blog commenter tries to distract from (3) by chanting “WIND POWER IS A HOAX!” and “T. BOONE PICKENS!”?
Hence the term BTU Call.
@mcc: Are they saying BOOO or T BOOOne Pickens?
BOOOO or T BOOOOne
Is that an optical illusion or does that second booo look like b-zero-zero-o…