Friday, February 22, 2008

SAR #8054

Trickle-down economics - the idea that if one feeds the horse
enough oats, some will pass through for the sparrows.

. John Kenneth Galbraith

Suicide Note: China acknowledges that “substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions” is essential. Thus they are only building three commercial scale coal-to-liquids plants. So far. Making Nazi CTL fuel "guarantees the end of the planet’s livability by 2100.” For its part, the US has abandoned efforts to develop carbon sequestration and is building more coal-fired power plants. Asphyxiation.

Real Estate Problems Spread: Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) has been indicted for extortion, wire fraud money laundering and making poor choices involving conveying government land to some real estate developers. The price was $4.5 million.

Mulligan: On Feb. 13, the Administration, faced with a faltering economy, announced it would be shutting down the government's economic data site " due to budgetary constraints." Thel press - NYT, WSJ, Forbes - cried foul and accused the Bushies of hiding unflattering data. Today it was quietly announced that $17.83 had been found in an undisclosed location and the site would remain available.

Slummybrook Farm: The subprime crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundamental changes in American life may turn today’s McMansions into tomorrow’s slums. The details are on-line in the Atlantic. Go read.

Field Trip: In defending his decision not to send US troops to Darfur, The Liberator of Baghdad said that "foreign troops would only be divisive." He observed: "Outside forces that tend to divide people up inside their country are unbelievably counterproductive. In other words, people came from other countries — I guess you’d call them colonialists..." Travel seems educational.

Castrato: Explaining its intention to continue the embargo of Cuba, a US government spokesman said, "Castro may be gone, but we can never lift the embargo on Cuba as long as that government is engaged in torture, wiretapping, secret military tribunals, warrantless arrests and indefinite incarceration....

Hands, Please: Ten thousand Turkish ground forces have pushed into Iraq, widening their conflict with Kurds who are, nominally, Iraqi citizens. The US has urged Turkey to bring current military operations in Iraq to a swift conclusion. How many out there think the Turks did this without getting the car keys from Daddy?

Danger, Danger! The US has warned Serbia that if they burn down another of our embassies we are going to Do Something. That'll make everyone respect us in the morning.

Sit In: The New York Times sat on the McClain story for months and only published it when The New Republic called them and said they were going to go with the story that NYT was protecting McClain. Remember, the Times sat on a report revealing NSA's wiretaps for a year, and didn't publish until after that fall's elections and only then because a book on the program was being published.

Creationism: The Bush devotion to the free market/globalization philosophy has lead to the un-creation of 209,000 jobs in Ohio from 2000 to 2007, 3.7% of the workforce. During the same time Michigan lost 9.1% of its jobs. Have you ever read a piece where "greed" could not be substituted for "free market forces" or "globalization"?

Three Little Words: It's simple, we have a serious Depression in housing (another 25% down in prices according to Merrill Lynch), Inflation is ready to pounce (4.6% in December, and rising) and the specter of Famine if this year's grain harvest is sub-par (we're down to 51 days supply). Depression, Inflation, Famine. I love you, too. Keep your hands off.

Saving Behinds A DuPage County Illinois school district has refused to give the NCLB tests to students who do not speak English. You would think that was reasonable if you had no experience with mandatory federal testing. Everyone gets to take the same, non-discriminatory tests: kids that speak little English, the autistic, kids with learning or behavior disorders. At least the kids in Illinois are learning about civil disobedience.

A Capital Idea: Panicked bankers are now begging the fedsa to buy up the risky and bad mortgages they handed out in the last few years. Let's do it. But instead of taking their bad paper, why don't we-the-people rescue the banks the same way Dubai and China and all rescued Citbank, Bear, Morgan and friends. We'll provide the billions and the failing capitalists bankers give us their shares in the banks. None of this socialism for capitalists. The Peoples' Bank of The United States - has a nice ring to it.

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