We're nearing the end of Eat, Drink and Be Merry.
Down, then Out: Pemex reports Mexico's July oil output fell 7.8% y/y to 2.56 mbd, while Cantrell – eighth largest oilfield ever discovered – dropped to 588,210 barrels a day, down 41% from a year before. Mexican production has fallen every month since July 2006. Exports to the US are down 33% y/y. This is peak oil on steroids.
Election Day: Report from the poppy fields.
Democracy Inaction: Why does the fate of health care depend on the whims of six Senators who together represent 2.6% of the American people, when Obama's side has 57 votes without any of these guys and over 70% of the people want health care reform?
Lukewarm: The ocean off Maine is 72ºF this summer, and off Ocean City, MD it's 88ºF. The world's oceans are at an all time high – an average of 62.6ºF, over a full degree warmer than the 20th Century average. Near the Arctic, water temps are 10ºF over average. It takes a lot of heat over a long time to do that.
Then & Now: The last time US unemployment was this high, we built the Interstate Highway system. This time around we bought cars to drive around on them.
Foggy, Foggy: Never mind that millions are running out of jobless benefits, millions more will lose their homes in the coming months, states see tax receipts drying up, and that teachers are being laid off – by economists' standards the recession is over. Best not put it to a vote.
Contaminants: You can
run fish but you can't hide. All of the fish sampled from 300 streams around the US were found to be contaminated with mercury. Another study found that 92% of all US currency is contaminated with cocaine. Price of admission.
Priorities: Isn't there something wrong with a society that spends $216,000 a year to incarcerate a kid but less than $8,000 to send him to public school?
Mascot: The Republicans should bring back Nancy Reagan – the perfect symbol for the “Just say No!” approach they've adopted.
Fantasy Numbers: In the next few years the Social Security program will bring in less money than it will pay out. So? Why is Social Security a separate item when the Defense Department isn't? Why are there separate taxes for Medicare and Social Security, but not for the Air Force? Taxes are taxes and government spending is government spending. Certainly the government has happily been spending lots and lots of money taken in from Social Security on things like wars. Turn about's fair play.
By the Numbers: In the first great depression there was no branch banking. If branches were counted as the equivalent of 1930's free-standing banks, we've closed over 3,600 so far this year.
Meanwhile: If recovery depends on consumer spending, then it'll be delayed a bit. US Personal Income has taken its worst annual decline since 1950. Until the US median wage improves relative to the cost of living, there will be no recovery.
With A Straight Face: The administration now says the 10-year deficit will be $9 trillion, up from $7 trillion. Monopoly money.
Drill, Baby Drill: From a peak in 2001, through the era of $141 a barrel, the number of rigs drilling off-shore has consistently fallen. Could it be that even at over $100 a barrel the oil companies didn't have places to drill? And as drilling falls off, can production be far behind? Yet the EIA predicts a large rise in off-shore production...
Numb-ers: If the 40% of the $10.1 trillion in mortgages that are underwater are only 10% underwater, that's a trillion dollars missing from the pot.
Porn O'Graph: In Comes before Out goes.