Saturday, January 19, 2008

SAR #8020

"Ethanol? He's going to sell ethanol? Dumb.
He should get into the shoe business;
that's where we're headed." -

Instructions : A New Jersey family sold their business and entrusted the money to Lehman's, to be put into liquid tax free muni bonds. Two months later the family asked for the funds and were told that half their money was now tied up in illiquid, unsaleable derivatives. Interesting story, more interesting when we learn the amount in question is $600 million.

Top Secret : Invoking executive privilege, the EPA refused to provide lawmakers with an explanation of why it rejected California's greenhouse gas regulations. "Just because," is what Mom used to say.

Just Us : A grand jury indicted a Texas Supreme Court Judge for tampering with evidence to protect his wife, who is accused of setting a million dollar fire that destroyed the couple's house and damaged a neighbor's. The Judge was charged with evidence tampering in her case. A mortgage company had sued to foreclose after they missed five monthly payments. The DA who presented the case dropped the charges claiming 'insufficient evidence.' The DA himself is embroiled in a scandal over office e-mails containing pornography, racist humor, and love notes to his secretary. He is also under investigation for violations of election laws. The grand jury foreman threatens to reconvene the panel and reindict. Ah, Texas.

Bad Rap: DNA sequencing has linked a newly discovered virus to skin cancer. Maybe it's not all the Sun's fault.

Delayed Clarity : With the courage we've come to expect of retired generals, Tom Ridge has announced that "There’s just no doubt in my mind — under any set of rules — waterboarding is torture.” He added, “I believe, unlike others in the administration, that waterboarding was, is — and will always be — torture. That’s a simple statement.” Once upon a time Tommy was Secretary of Internal Security, but that was before clarity came to him.

Head Lines : Some “10% to 20% of soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq may have suffered” traumatic brain injury. Because of "policy driven approaches", the Army has "major gaps" in identifying and treating these injuries. It's all in their heads.

Shh! Don't tell the Children ! Federal Reserve researchers are sorry to report that two decades of studies indicate that trying to grow the economy by giving ever more to the rich doesn't work. Turns out that "more income equality could, in fact, foster growth." The research was published anonymously by reformed Republicans.

NIMBY : Industrialized nations import carrying capacity, export environmental degradation and resource depletion. Everything looks fine to the importing nations. The damage shows up on the evening news as conflict attributed to ethnic or religious rivalry in some distant, dusty country where forests are being leveled and rivers are being killed.

Yew Knew : No immortal plants or animals have be found, but some live indefinitely. There's a 1400 year old yew tree in England. The Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine is still produces offspring after 4,000 years. Hydra appear to have indefinite lifespans. Research shows that sedentary organisms are particularly likely to achieve this postponement of senescence. TV's role in the process is unclear.

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