Saturday, March 7, 2009

SAR #9066/Weekender

Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

Worst Answers: We won't have another Great Depression because: "History has basically made us smarter." and "We have the computer " and "We have the internet ."

Mumbled Numbers: BLS reported unemployment rose to 8.1% in February. Real (U6) unemployment rose to 14.8%. The number of unemployed persons increased by 851,000 to 12.5 million. Over 2.5 million jobs have evaporated in the last 4 months.

Poorly Trained: US rail freight traffic dropped sharply in February; carload traffic fell 14.5% and intermodal traffic fell 18.7%.

Right To Life Die : "Healthcare is a privilege" that Obama's "fast march to socialism" would pretend is a right. So says Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tn), accusing Obama of encouraging "class warfare in order for him to be able to say everyone" has a right to health care.

Rhetorical Question: "Are Republicans Suddenly Concerned About Deficits or Do They Just Want to Embarrass President Obama?"

The Garden Path: We are being told that we must nationalize our banks losses, prop up zombie companies, lower interest rates to zero, and pass stimulus packages in order to escape the fate of Japan—which, um, partially nationalized its banks, propped up zombie companies, lowered interest rates to zero, and passed eight stimulus packages - all to no avail.

Push Button Ease: California's secretary of state reports that "voting systems" made by Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems) have a delete button.

Piqued: GOP Senators have placed indefinite holds on the nominations of Austan Goolsbee and Cecilia Rouse to the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Under Senate rules, any senator can block consideration of a nominee without giving a reason and without being identified.

Omerta: Doctors are forcing patients to sign non-disclosure agreements before treating them, as the medical profession again tries to hide its performance record behind a wall of white silence. They claim that knowing the costs and outcomes achieved by various practitioners would not improve the level of care and might increase lawsuits for shoddy performance.

Omerta II: Why won't the government say where the $200 billion given to AIG has gone? Because they don't want you to know. Now shut up and sit down.

Scratch & Sniff: The Obama housing bailout offers "incentives to extinguish second liens", so the borrower can concentrate on paying the primary mortgage. Seems reasonable; but why not cancel the student loan, car payments and those obnoxious dunning letters from Visa? This whole plan does not pass the laugh test.

Parking Fees: Spirit Airlines is now charging $10 a ticket to sell you a ticket. Ryanair has announced that it won't cost more than 50 cents to use the toilet during flights.

Who spent all the oil? The easy oil has been found, pumped, burned. What remains is ever more expensive to find, obtain, transport and refine. With investment tanking, projects getting shelved and the pipes getting rustier each day, in a few years - recovery or no - supply will start falling and in 5 to 8 years will be seriously short of demand. What's that ahead? Green energy? A sign that says 'Cliff ahead'?

What Happened? Barclays has been asked to explain where $3.3 billion in Lehman "bonus" funds disappeared to after Barclays took over the UK branch of Lehman Brothers. Well, duh.

Addictions: Various groups want the US to switch from gasoline powered cars to natural gas powered cars. That's like an alcoholic switching from booze to beer, it might cost a bit less but the same hangover awaits come morning.

Porn O'Graph: Double Vision at work.


Anonymous said...

"Omerta II":

After Bernake's one word answer "No" to congress was not reported anywhere (I guess because the Rush - Steele fight was so much more entertaining) I've given up. Americans should be out in the streets (perhaps with violent intent) over this egregious spending of taxpayer dollars by the Fed with no recourse by congress or the people. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US!!!


Anonymous said...

Worst Answers: We won't have another Great Depression because: "History has basically made us smarter." and "We have the computer " and "We have the internet ."

No, Science does not solve all. Any scientists or analysts even considering the possibility that all these whirring, supercomputers trading, trading with their highly tuned mathematically engineered trading algorithms might have caused all these problems? And what about those 8-10000 Hedgies with their powerful computers trading away outside any regulation. No, no one is even examining this.

So too with the Hadron Collider, all the Experts tell us it will be alright.

Anonymous said...

It would be one thing to live through these tough times if we knew it would be better after we got through it. But by propping up the criminal structure at the top, we are assured that it won't be.

I remember "belt tightening" and the last time we had to clean up after a crime spree. This one is going to feel more like a noose tightening.

CKMichaelson said...

Anony - Yes, and I'm afraid it won't be the right heads wearing nooses.