Saturday, February 2, 2008

SAR #8034

If voting really made a difference, it would be illegal.

Last Full Measure: At the Army's request, the VA stopped helping soldiers file for disability pay before being discharged. Why would the Army ask such a thing and why would the VA go along? The Army wants to minimize the cost of paying disabled vets, and the VA works for Bush.

Mine's Bigger: The world currently uses the energy equivalent of one billion barrels of oil every five days. All of Prudhoe Bay every two months. We're going to double this in 12 years how? Coal mining? Windmills?

Spectator Sport: The Feds have opened a criminal fraud investigation into UBS to go along with a similar probe of Merrill Lynch. What does Harvard Business teach you to do when the Feds flip open their credentials?

Size Matters? Microsoft offered to pay a 62% premium to buy Yahoo. But even then MS/Yahoo will have only 31% of the search market, compared to Google's 56%. Microsoft is spending $41 billion to be second. Why?

Trip to Bountiful: Goldman Sachs reports that banks face $60 billion more in write-downs, commercial real estate prices will fall 25% , home price declines will continue, small and mid-sized banks will struggle. A sub-prime problem, isolated from the real economy, they said.

Brush Clearing: Bush opened up 3.4 million acres of the Tongass National Forest to road building so about half a million acres of it could be clearcut. The taxpayers have to build the roads, the lumber companies pay about $1.47 a tree. In 2002 taxpayers spent $36 million on roads, loggers paid $1.2 million for the lumber. Privatization at your expense.

Breathing in a Paper Bag: The National Association of Realtors wants you to know: Home values double every 10 years. And: Realtors are terrific human beings. You should buy a house today! Caution: "terrific" may overstate things a bit.

Advice: Buy a farm in a remote area, stock it with seed, fertilizer, canned goods, medicine, clothes and a gun. Survivalist nutcase? No, that's Barton Biggs, Morgan Stanley's chief global strategist thru 2002 and now head of Traxis Hedge Fund.

Auto Show : By 2018, the 9 million barrels of gasoline we use each day will not be available at any price. At some point rationing will be needed to keep essential sectors - food, water, utilities, police - functioning. The rest of us will need alternative means of transport. It takes about 14 years to 'replace' the US auto fleet. Got yours yet?

Flea Market: We are a bankrupt 3rd world country, we just doesn't know it yet. We have been borrowing the money to prop up our economy since Reagan. We currently borrow $522 billion a year. Could you take care of the bill, I've got to go to the powder room.

You Don't Want To Know: The British government wants to be able to bail out failed banks under the Official Secrets Act in order "to preserve financial stability and protect depositors." Wouldn't want the sheep to know about the slaughterhouse, would we?

Tag Sale: Last week, Bush&Co held the Chuckchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale - declaring open season on 50% of the polar bears left. Of course, Fish and Wildlife is still studying the mater, so polar bears are not an endangered species. Yet.

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