Monday, March 3, 2008

SAR #8064

Whatever happened to normal?

Pearl Harbor: The Somali Air Force fired missiles into Detroit this morning, killing 8 civilians in their homes as they slept. One Somali official claimed it was "a precise strike against a known terrorist." Okay, I got the roles reversed. But does it make any more sense if we acknowledge that The Greatest Power On Earth bombed a quiet little town with no provocation and that the Administration does such things with no Constitutional authorization?

Clarification: The Fed's rate cuts aren't motivated by the desire to stave off recession; they're to prevent a major banking crisis.

Opting Out: Countrywide reports that 5.4% of its $28 billion in Option ARMs are 90 days overdue and ready to foreclose, and that another 71% of its Option ARM customers were making minimum payments - that is, just the interest. I'll do the math: Countrywide is going to be stuck with $22 billion more in foreclosed homes real soon.

Recycled: Goldman Sachs projects a 26% decline in commercial real estate values over the next two years. That's what they said last year about residential real estate.

Straws: The problem with the Peak Oil/Climate Change message is that we are trying to convince people to prepare for the end of the world as they know it, and we have no hope to offer them.

Shame On You: In case you've missed your mother's little chats, here's Treasury Secretary Paulson: "Homeowners must understand that having mortgages greater than the value of their houses does not affect your ability to pay your mortgage. Does not create a government responsibility for assistance. Homeowners who can afford their mortgage should honor their obligations. Negative equity does not necessarily result in foreclosure. Keep paying your mortgages! Most people buy homes as a long-term investment, as a place to raise a family and put down roots in a community. Homeowners who can afford their payments and don't have to move, should choose to stay in their house. Let me emphasize, any homeowner who can afford his mortgage payment but chooses to walk away is simply a speculator – and one who is not honoring his obligations." Now you remember why you left home.

Merger Talks: The CEO of Nestlé, the world's largest food company, foresees a struggle between the food and biofuel industries over arable land as fresh water supplies diminish. "We will not find sufficient water to produce all the crops," Peter Brabeck said. "There will be a fierce fight for arable land." He did not immediately deny rumors of an alliance between Nestlé and Blackwater.

Vaccination: Bush is insisting Congress immunize the telecoms against lawsuits arising from their helping the administration spy on civilians. It is not the telecoms he is protecting. The lawsuits would expose the administration's memos, letters, e-mails and contracts arranging for telecoms to break the law. Comes under the RICO statutes. Conspiracy.

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