oil production capacity in the system.
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman
Excuse Me? The Supreme Court suddenly remembered habeas corpus and ruled that detainees must be able to challenge their imprisonment in civil court. Unitary Executive Leader Bush said "We'll abide by the court's decision," while crossing his fingers behind his back. What choice does the President have but to follow the Supreme Courts rulings? Another signing statement? Explain the constitutionality of those, too, please.
Multiple Choice: The American way of energy (a) can go on forever (b) will end in the near future. For extra credit, define "near future." For survival, figure out how western civilization can avoid collapse.
Good News / Bad News: The Good News is US life expectancy now exceeds 78 years for the first time. The Bad News is the US is still down the list at 24th or so. The Worse News is that we're living longer at a time of economic upheaval, facing the effects of peak oil and the attractions of climate change.
Reconsider: Iraq wants US troops to be confined to their barracks and both they and privately hired thugs subject to Iraqi law. The US wants to run around shooting civilians and living in palatial permanent camps while exempt from both Iraqi and US law. Bush says he may reconsider "any contentious part" of the agreement. What agreement?
Promises, Promises: In the good old days (pre-August 2007), banks had extended $6 trillion in lines of credit to various companies. Now the companies, afraid that banks will shut them out under new, tougher lending rules, are drawing on these lines of credit. Which is just what the banks don't want them to do. Commitment, it's not just for the good times.
Definition: Is it socialism when the government owns all the houses? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now finance 80% of all house mortgages. The FHA guarantees another 10%. A nation of renters.
In the Wings, Waiting: Before the worst is over the following will come along: Major credit card defaults, even more foreclosures, corporate junk bond defaults, higher unemployment, actual admission of a recession, $500 billion Option ARM write-offs, bank failures, more bank failures, commercial real estate collapse, and a trillion dollars written off in the CDS/monoline debacle. Call me when it's over.
The Way Out: Energy Secretary Bodman says we need to invest $5.4 billion in energy supply infrastructure to meet the world's rising demand by 2030. That's $5.4 billion a day. Every day. For the next 11 years.
Can You Hear Me Now? More than 70 percent of young Australians show signs of hearing loss, with loud music played through headphones believed to be a major cause. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, was more prevalent among 18 to 34-year-olds than elderly people, even though it is one of the first signs of hearing loss.
The Neighborhood: One out of every four house sales in 1Q2008 was a "distressed sale". It was more than 50% of sales in some areas like Las Vegas, and reached 90% in some relatively new subdivisions.