Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Last Call For The Gas Face

Gas is around $2.30 a gallon here in the Cincy/NKY area right now, and it looks like once again the Memorial Day - July 4th stretch will be the year's peak as gas prices are expected to fall again.

Gasoline prices may have peaked for the year, already falling as the busy Fourth of July travel weekend approaches, according to analyst projections. 
Prices at the pump typically top out near the end of June - absent major swings in crude oil costs - and this year gasoline prices likely will fall throughout the second half of 2016, according to a forecast by GasBuddy, which tracks fuel costs nationwide. Gasoline costs started decreasing just before the July 4 holiday in seven of the past 10 years.

"This defies the general consensus on Main Street that prices rise ahead of a major travel holiday," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. 
Motorists will enjoy the lowest Fourth of July prices since 2005, according to GasBuddy. The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline on Tuesday was unchanged in the Houston area at about $2.11 from the past week, down from $2.54 for the same week last year and $3.48 in 2014. Nationally, pump prices fell an average of about 3 cents to $2.30. 
GasBuddy predicts the national average will dip to $2.27 per gallon on July 4, down significantly from 2014, when the national average hit $3.66 per gallon.

So why the good news?  Ask Nigel Farage.

The decision by United Kingdom voters to exit the European Union will add even more downward pressure to summer gasoline costs despite record-setting demand, Laskoski added. That's because the so-called Brexit is weakening global economies, depressing oil demand and prices. Cheaper oil - the primary feedstock of gasoline - means less expensive fuel. 
GasBuddy projects that average gas price nationally will again slip below $2 a gallon as early as November as demand falls after summer and refineries begin pumping out cheaper winter-blend fuels. The average U.S. price for gasoline is expected to fall to an average of $2.21 in August, $2.02 in October and $1.88 in December, according to GasBuddy.

Gas under $2 a gallon again this winter?  More than likely.  We'll see.

NC GOP Goes Down The Crapper, Con't

With heavy pressure coming from businesses (mainly the NBA) and activists alike, NC GOP lawmakers are thinking about tweaking the state's awful HB2 bathroom bill discrimination law.  If this sounds like feebly trimming the edges on a lawn full of evil mutant plants that are eating the neighborhood pets, you're probably right.

The draft bill would not change a key part of HB2 – the prohibition on transgender persons using the bathroom or locker room of their gender identity in public facilities.
It would restore the right to sue for gender discrimination in state court, a right removed by HB2 but sought by Gov. Pat McCrory. 
And it would use federal anti-discrimination standards in determining discrimination, not the standards in HB2. That could extend protections to sexual orientation, according to a lawyer familiar with the legislation. Critics, however, said the changes would do nothing to protect the LGBT community. 
The impact of certain rewritten sections of the law is difficult to gauge at first glance, said Charlotte lawyer John Gresham, an employment law specialist. 
For example, the revisions appear to reinstate and even broaden LGBT and transgender protections on hiring, firing and other workplace issues, Gresham said. But it excludes bathroom access from being classified as discrimination. 
The draft would make it easier for people who’ve had reassignment surgery to be recognized by requiring a “certificate of sex reassignment,” not necessarily a birth certificate, to prove their new gender. It would also increase penalties for violating people’s privacy in bathrooms or locker rooms
And it would create an “anti-discrimination task force” to review issues surrounding the law, including how claims of discrimination are handled in North Carolina.

This is a hideous compromise. Are you seriously telling me that the process of "fixing" the law is creating a legally separate class of human beings who need a certificate from the state in order to use the damn bathroom?  Have you guys even remotely read a histroy book down there?  Last time I checked, they still taught the humanities in the state concerning why this might be a bad, bad idea.

God I hope the NBA pulls All-Star Weekend from Charlotte.  This is repugnant.

Read more here:

Terror In Istanbul

"There was a huge explosion, extremely loud. The roof came down. Inside the airport it is terrible, you can't recognize it, the damage is big," said Ali Tekin, who was at the arrivals hall waiting for a guest when the attack took place.

A German woman named Duygu, who was at passport control entering Turkey, said she threw herself onto the floor with the sound of the explosion. Several witnesses also reported hearing gunfire shortly before the attacks.

"Everyone started running away. Everywhere was covered with blood and body parts. I saw bullet holes on the doors," she said outside the airport.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest in a string of suicide bombings in Turkey this year, but the Dogan news agency said initial indications suggested Islamic State may have been responsible, citing police sources.

A Turkish official said it was too soon to assign blame.

The attack bore some similarities to a suicide bombing by Islamic State militants at Brussels airport in March which killed 16 people. A coordinated attack also targeted a rush-hour metro train, killing a further 16 people in the Belgian capital.

Paul Roos, 77, described seeing one of the attackers "randomly shooting" on the departures floor of the terminal.

"He was just firing at anyone coming in front of him. He was wearing all black. His face was not masked. I was 50 meters (55 yards) away from him," said Roos, a South African on his way back to Cape Town with his wife after a holiday in southern Turkey.

Both Turkish nationals and foreign tourists were killed in the attack, but to see something like this happen during Ramadan is going to draw nearly immediate accusations of Islamic State from President Erdogan, regardless.

We'll see.


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