Monday, March 10, 2008

SAR #8071

"If you don't have an oil well, get one."
Eddie Chiles, circa 1971

Payback: In the last 15 years, average hourly earnings have increased year to year at a 2.5 - 4% rate. For the first ten years of that period, household debt grew at a 5% rate. During the last 5 years, household debt grew at a 12% rate, year after year. If you do not immediately see the problem, congratulations, you have a future as an economist.

Scalped: A US Tomahawk missile strike hit a shack in the village of Dobley in Somalia, wounding six civilians and killing three cows and a calf. The target, a "known al-Qa'ida terrorist", escaped. The attack was the fourth known strike by the US inside Somalia. None has been successful.

Election? We Don't Need No Stinking Election: In 2000 Bush and Cheney stole the election in Florida. In 2004 they stole the election in Ohio. Why in the hell are Clinton and Obama working so hard to be candidates in an election that may well never take place?

You Don't Care: Pfizer is trying to force the New England Journal of Medicine to reveal identities and evaluations of the referees in their peer-review process. Peer reviews are anonymous to insure that free and honest evaluations are given papers prior to publication. Pfizer claims the public has no interest in maintaining a fair system of evaluating and publishing scientific work, while Pfizer has a lot of interest in suppressing negative studies of their products.

Fire Next Time: Ancient sediment cores from the Arctic show that during previous warm periods the tundra has burned repeatedly, releasing large quantities of carbon into the atmosphere. Fine. Something else to worry uselessly about

No Deal: Credit card companies used to work with tapped out customers, but no more. "Higher rates maximize the recovery." Pushing collections pays off better for them & to hell with their customers. After writing off $38 billion last year, no more Mr. Nice Guy. Come to think of it, Guy didn't come back from vacation back in 1998.

Laffer Curve: When Bush was sworn in, oil was $39 a barrel, the US had a $230 billion budget surplus, and the euro was worth 94 cents. Tax cuts for the rich worked like magic. In 2007 the US bill for foreign oil was $367 billion, the cost of the Iraq war was over $210 billion, interest on the nation debt $450 billion. The euro is $1.52. Under Bush the dollar has lost half of its value. Just like the Constitution.

Not 'If', But 'When': CEOs are lobbying hard to block tougher limits on the air pollution that causes asthma, bronchitis, heart attacks and deaths. They argue that the costs would hurt their profits. They do not deny that their pollution kills, only that saving a few customer's lives isn't worth cutting profits.

Homework: Offering hope to millions of teachers, scientists recently discovered that moths remember what they learned as caterpillars.

Name, Rank, Serial Number: Tim Couch (R-KY) wants to outlaw anonymous posting online. He proposes a bill requiring all who post comments on a website register their real name, address, e-mail address and NSA identifier before posting anti-Bush comments.

Lost Cause: During last week's election to replace Denny Hastert, Diebold touch-screen voting machines flashed "REPUBLICAN" repeatedly on the screen. Subliminal advertising was not sufficient to prevent a Democratic victory.

Collateral Damage: Remember when the war was going to cost $60 billion and was going to be paid out of Iraq's oil? So far the interest on what we've borrowed to bomb Baghdad comes to $100 billion a year forever. Just the interest. More if we want to pay down the principal. We're not losing the war, we are losing our future. For a mere $350 billion we could have made Social Security solvent for another 75 years. When you are old and broke, thank a Republican. Or a Democrat.

No comments: