Friday, August 1, 2014

SAR #14211

The future is still not here, and won't ever be.

Mediocre: In the last quarter, US GDP grew by 4%. But – and there's always a but – the rate was only 2.3% in actual demand, the rest was inventory building. You know, all those cars parked all over the dealers' lots, and all the warehoused stuff you don't see but didn't buy. The BEA suggests economic growth is very slow: only 1.8% a year on average between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of this year. Celebrate responsibly.

Gladiator Nation: After Baltimore Raven fans gave wife-beating Ray Rice a standing ovation and splurged on Rice jerseys and those cute little statutes of Rice dragging his comatose wife out of an elevator, the league has decided to replace traditional half-time shows with wife-beating contests featuring both fans and convicted professional athletes.

Terminology: The CIA, finally and in direct contradiction to the denials its leaders, has admitted, confessed, owned up (take your pick – news reports vary) to having “hacked Senate computers”, “spied on Congress”, “improperly accessed congressional computers” (again, pick one, depending on your choice of news purveyor). Was it illegal? Sure, but no one will be sent to jail – the CIA has “improperly accessed” enough information on the Congress to preclude that. If they haven't, they can ask their buddies over at Fort Meade for a cup of sugar.

Supping With The Devil: A judge in NY has ruled that a US warrant is enforceable in Ireland. Irish courts were not asked for their views. 
Your Point, Sir? ”NATO bombed 5,000 civilians in Kosovo just because it was insulted; 27,000 Iraqi civilians were bombed during the American invasion because they posed a danger to the US; there is not a country in the world that can talk to us about morality.” - Israeli MP

Finely Printed: The FCC is asking Verizon to explain why it is limiting the internet usage of those customers who signed up for unlimited access. The problem seems to be that the FCC and the customers thought it was data use that was unlimited, while Verizon is pretty sure unlimited should only apply to their profits.

Asked and Answered: “Why is Washington risking war with Russia?” Err... could it have anything to do with money, profits, energy - stuff like that?

What Did You Do In he War Daddy? A handful of incredibly insensitive and unbelievably greedy hedge fund creeps in NY are forcing Argentina into unnecessary and wholly destructive default. The details are... detailed, but come down to this: Over a decade ago Argentina was bankrupt and had to default on its international debts. Over 90% of its creditors accepted a serious haircut, licked their wounds and went on their way, leaving Argentina to recover. Which it did. But the guys that bought up the crumbs for pennies now insist that they make profits in the neighborhood of 1000% for doing absolutely nothing but screwing up a nation's economy.
Better Late Than Never: A massive pot-growing operation in Tennessee has been busted by the cops – who want to put as many folks in prison as possible before pot gets to be as legal as the whiskey they're celebrating with today. 

Anybody Keeping Score? Bank of America has been ordered to pay another $1.27 billion for its various housing-related frauds. This time it was Countrywide's crime, but BofA got the good with the bad and Angelo made off with the goods.

 Pattern Crime: After being demoted over the quality of his job performance, a worker botched his assassination attempt on the CEO and then committed suicide.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

SAR #14210

The fact that most of us are average does neither explains nor excuses television programming.

Interesting: The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that Mississippi cannot impose a law that would close the remaining facility providing abortion services in the state because “ a woman has the constitutional right to end her pregnancy by abortion” and the state cannot deprive any woman of that constitutional right. Supreme Court here we come.

Yes: Some suggest that oil is the only reason the West has any interest in the Middle East. They're right. Washington went to war to protect Kuwait's oil and to 'save' the Iraqi oil fields, but doesn't care that the Israelis are invading Gaza under false pretenses. The US Congress threatened to go to war if Russia was found responsible for bringing down MH17, but says nothing about over a thousand dead civilians in Gaza – because they have no oil.

Need Not To Know: If you live in Rhode Island, you are not allowed to know what the hedge funders are paid to lose your pension, nor what they gambled it on. Trade secrets, where they trade your money for secrecy.

Inquiring Minds: How does the House Republicans vote to sue Obama for weakening the Affordable Care Act differ from an attempt at impeachment?

Political Logic: The White House continues to want to censor – geld, neuter, whatever – what the US public can be allowed to know about the torture program run around the world by the CIA for years. And which has theoretically stopped. If it has stopped and if it was, as they pretend, somehow legal, then what are they hiding? Oh, evidence of a crime, evidence of a crime.

Precedence: Michele Mad-Eyes Bachmann has explained that the reason Obama is not stopping the flood of immigrant children is because “he wants to experiment on them”. Yeah, he wants to see what the results feeding, clothing and housing the poor, the downtrodden, those yearning to breath free would be, if we actually tried it
Menu Item: NOAA says that climate change is threatening the world's supply of shellfish. Enjoy now, they'll cost even more before they're gone.

Trial And Errors: Everyone gets things wrong once in a while, but it takes a certain type of hard-money economist to be wrong consistently, year after year.