Friday, February 1, 2008

SAR #8033

Never underestimate the relentless optimism of investors.

Birth Order: Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen: “In Afghanistan, we do what we can. In Iraq, we do what we must.” State Dept claims the wars are our children and we shouldn't choose one over the other.

Casablanca: A study of the National Guard and Reserves reports that they are not ready for an attack on the country and that 88% of National Guard units do not have the training or equipment to do the job. The equipment was left in Iraq. Apparently putting hooded prisoners in stress positions is not all they'll be expected to do here at home.

War Is Sell: American Oil companies are paying Iraqi MPs $5 million each to vote for the Cheney-written Oil and Gas law that grants American Oil companies "access" to Iraq's oil. Intimidation and threats were not mentioned, but what's the bribe without the threat? It's democracy we're spreading, just like in DC.

Guernica: When the German's dropped 45,000 kilograms of explosives on a small Spanish town in 1937, it shocked the world. Pablo Picasso painted the now famous Guernica in protest. When the US Air Force dropped 45,000 kilograms of bombs on a small town in Iraq last week, it didn't even make the news. US air strikes are, after all, advancing democracy.

Denmark: Residential construction employment declined 28,100 in December, and is now down 375 thousand from 3.5 million workers in 2006. Housing starts are off 50%; makes you wonder what the remaining 2.8 million guys are building.

Fig Leafs Are Us: The world's largest banks want to rescue the mortgage bond insurers; insuring their own insurers. The losses faced by the banks are so great they need to keep their insurance, even against uninsurable risks. What makes this rescue seem so necessary is what will make it fail: Too much money, too much risk.

No Shit: Fertilizer is now so expensive and in such short supply in Australia that it will be out of reach of many farmers this season

Foreign Affair: New York's Westchester County faces an energy crisis, and officials must act quickly to avoid power shortages, and blackouts. This warning came from a coalition of major regional business groups. New York; not Kenya, Nigeria, or South Africa.

Read My Signing Statement! On January 29, 2008, in a 'signing statement', Bush made it very clear why we are in Iraq: "To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq." and how long we would be there: " for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq." Next question?

Precedent or Admission? Merrill Lynch has agreed to pay Springfield, MA. $13.9 million to settle a dispute over collateralized debt obligations it sold the city that plunged in value. Quick, call the lawyers.

I've Got A Secret: John McCain claims a secret plan for ending the wars and executing bin Laden. Why secret? "Because I have my own ideas and it would require implementation of certain policies and procedures that only the president of the United States can take." No phone booths and, please, no tights.

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