In the new Punch and Judy show, you are Judy.
Easy Choice: Faced with saving the planet or saving the local economy, politicians will chose to save the local economy every time. All politics is local; the planet is toast.
Cycling: The cycle is cycling down, with unemployment gaining speed as the auto industry joins the housing construction industry on a two or three year coffee break with the folks that used to work at Starbucks.
Headline Only: Toilet-trained chimp on the loose in California.
Spades: The Saudis announced they will soon begin recovering an average of 70% of the original oil in place from their fields, up from the 50% they now attain. Or so they say. Schlumberger, the oil patch experts, cite 35% as the world-wide maximum for fields in sandstone, les than that for carbonate fields. Saudi Arabia's fields are mostly carbonate, and Saudi Arabia lies.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose: Seymour Hersh has just published another story the administration didn't want to see. No problem, Dick Cheney will just "go after Hersh papers in his apt." Direct quote from a Cheney handwritten note, May, 1975, the Ford Administration.
Step Back and Think: Do you own a bank? Work on Wall Street? Have a half-million dollar house? Me neither. Why should we care if the 1% who own 90% of everything lose their lunch money? And why should the 80% of us who've gained nothing from Bush's tax cuts pay even more taxes to save them from their own greed? Just asking.
Next, Then: The International Energy Agency is predicting that world petroleum supplies will remain very tight until 2013,
then disappear altogether.
Free At Last, Free At Last: Yes, Nelson Mandella, 90 year old Nobel Peace Prize winner, is free from the Department of Homeland Security's Terrorist Watch List.
Switzerland, Not: The IRS, oddly enough, thinks that lower Manhattan is within the US, and that UBS is hiding behind its name, not any reality, in refusing to identify the Americans it has helped swindle the US Government out of millions in taxes. The IRS generally wins these, ask Mr. Capone.
Long and Short: One year ago US crude oil inventories came to 354 million barrels. Today the level is 299.8 million barrels. It takes quite a bit - nearly 290 million barrels - to fill up the pipelines, so that is not really available. Makes things more interesting.
The Joneses: Banks stuck with
crummy distressed properties in failing communities have been avoiding additional losses by not paying for upkeep or taxes, hoping that the cities will confiscate the properties via a tax sale and let the banks get them off the books.