Monday, September 1, 2008

SAR #8245

It’s not our government any more; never was.

Democracy In Action: 30-man swat teams in riot gear and armed with semi-automatic weapons have been conducting warrantless house to house searches, arresting persons who might take part in protests, confiscating computers and journals. Even those meeting at public venues have been arrested and charged with violating Republican wishes.

Never On Sunday: The NYMEX, for the first time ever, held a Sunday session "to help traders who needed more time to react." Make up your own story: Maybe some big guys needed to tidy up their positions...

Best Question: Why did no one on in Denver last week condemn torture, wiretaps, internet intercepts? Why no denunciation of the gutting of the Endangered Species Act? Or allowing the FBI to investigate anyone, anywhere, anytime? Or the wholesale shredding of the Constitution, or the ridiculous concept of "the unitary executive", or the abolition of habeas corpus? Gutless wonders, all.

Good, Bad, & Ugly: Office leasing in Dallas is picking up, that's the good news. The bad news is that the increase is due to the FDIC renting 5 more floors to house personnel to help liquidate banks as they go under - partly due to the bad commercial real estate market.

The Road Ahead: The current slowdown in the US will last until the American consumer is able to start buying again. That means taking on more debt, for American wages, adjusted for inflation, haven't risen in 30 years. But debt requires the extension of credit, and banks simply aren't doing that right now. Until they do, no shopping, no recovery.

Sweetie: Britain is facing "arguably the worst" economic downturn in 60 years which will be "more profound and long-lasting" than people had expected, according to Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling.

No News or Good News: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced a study entitled "Public Health Implications of Hazardous Substances in the Twenty-Six U.S. Great Lakes Areas of Concern" It details evidence of increased infant mortality and elevated cancer rates, and details the elevated health risks from being exposed to dioxin, PCBs, pesticides, lead, mercury, and other hazardous pollutants. Perhaps 'produced' is the wrong word. The report was written, but has not been released because it suggests business should stop polluting and is thus subversive.

Oil for Peas: Saudi Arabia is swapping $6 billion in oil and financial aid with Pakistan for hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land.

Political Math: Faced with a $6 billion shortfall on a $121 billion budget, NY state legislators agreed to reducing spending by $400 million. The Governor then added another $600 million in cuts (to education, prisons, and bridge repair) leaving the state short a mere $5 billion.

Pandering: She is the one-time mayor of a town of 10,000, two-year governor of a state with the population of Nashville, TN, anti-gay, anti-abortion, a global warming denier who wants creationism taught in the schools. This McCain's decoy to lure Hillary's cadre.

Mexico; Future Tense: In a very few years Pemex will finish draining Cantarell. Kidnapping is beginning to rival narco-trafficking as the leading industry. Dissatisfied groups are blowing up pipelines. Hundreds of thousands pour into the streets to protest the government's incompetence. Will the revolution be put down by US forces, or mercenaries?

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