Friday, September 4, 2009

SAR #9246

Myths don't die, they transform.


Civil Lies Nation: Used to be the Office of the President of the United States got some respect. Now, when the President plans to encourage kids to stay in school and work hard to achieve success the American way, the right tries to prevent it, claiming it's un-American.

Coughing Up: In a play-within-a-play, healthcare profiteer Pfizer has been fined $2.3 billion after pleading guilty to fraud. They will, of course, recoup the expense, adding it to the nation's healthcare bill.

Change? What's changed? War in Iraq. War in Afghanistan. Bailouts to the rich. Broken promises to the workers and the poor. Lobbyists writing legislation. Massive debts. No regulation of Wall Street. Renditions and secret prisons. We might as well have given Bush a third term.

Kerthunkers: From selling cars at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14 million cars, as soon as the Cash for Clunkers stopped, so did the buying – dropping to an annualized rate of 8 million. Golly gee.

Recession Ends... Data everywhere is looking positive! Even the Food Stamp program is doing better, serving 2.1% more serfs in June than in May, 22% more than a year ago, reaching a record of 35.1 million,

We've Only Just Begun... : Across the USA commercial buildings have lost half their value, more in places like Manhattan. Some 65% of commercial mortgages coming due in the next few years will probably not qualify for refinancing because the buildings will not be worth the amount owed on them. A tsunami warning should be sounded.

Poverty Delays Prosperity: The loss of some $7 trillion in household wealth - $54,000 per house on average – is keeping customers from shopping, buying, retiring, eating and such. It's a drag on the recovery.

Ulterior Motives : The Fox (played by the mortgage industry) is asking the farmer (played by Congress) to split Fannie and Freddie's little henhouse (their 90% control of mortgages) into smaller parts, guaranteed by the government and set free for the Fox to enjoy.

Exceeding Expectations: US companies cut jobs faster while increasing individual worker's output the most since 2003 – far above expectations. Especially the expectations of workers who thought they were doing a good job, increasing productivity. Do any of these executives own mirrors?

Illustration: Iraq's oil exports are falling as domestic usage increases. Google Export Land Model .

Cavalry Not On Way: Nuclear power's contribution to the world's energy and CO2 problems will continue to decline. With few new plants even planned and with lead times of ten or more years to bring facilities on line, there is no possibility that nuclear power will play any significant role in replacing fossil fuels over the next 20 years.

Explain, Please: Executives at bailed-out banks are getting richer by the day from stock options that would have been worthless if the taxpayers hadn't come along and saved their sorry asses. Why are they allowed to continue to benefit personally from ruining the economy?

Universal Sufferage: A BofA teller refused to cash a check for an armless man because he couldn't provide a thumbprint. The teller is permitted to vote in the US.

Asked and Not Quite Answered: Did Goldman get special treatment because Treasury Secretary Paulson had been their CEO? “Goldman is the only counterparty I know that through the whole thing got bailouts at 100 cents on the dollar. It was an unbelievable transfer of wealth from taxpayers to reckless companies.”

Porn O'Graph: 50% more people, 2,000% more credit – not counting mortgages.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

you really shouldn't accept uncritically a report on nuclear power from Mycle Schneider - he appears to have made a living for many years out of telling anti-nuclear politicians and organizations what they want to hear. To take only one point: the construction times for the current generation of Japanese reactors are about 4 years, not 10 years.

In reality, all European governments except for Germany and Ireland are planning new nuclear plants, though nowhere near the scale needed to phase out fossil fuels. Some simple calculations (www.withouthotair.com) show that it's impossible for Europe to live solely on its own renewables. The only alternative is country-sized solar thermal plants in the north African desert, connected to Europe by HVDC. The lead times for such a scheme are likely to be a lot longer than nuclear.

TulsaTime said...

Don't you just love how fast that 'patriot' switch turns off? These are the same people that slung around the treason accusations when people wondered if it was a good idea to start a war!

So now we go back to the black helicopters and the jack-booted thugs. And imagine if McLame had been elected!!! It's enough to make a man want to wear pink. By god, it's a good thing football season is here. Where is that damn remote, anyway.

TT

Anonymous said...

Calvary Not on Way:

Another thing that the Greenies screwed up.

RBM

Anonymous said...

C A V A L R Y

not calvary.

CKMichaelson said...

Well, yes. But possibly both?
ckm

K Ackermann said...

Those bailed-out execs getting richer from the public...

Something that has bothered me for some time is that when oil companies lease a site on public lands, they get to estimate yield, and add it to their balance sheet.

Even if they do nothing with that oil, they can leverage it in the form of bank loans. That must be nice.

rumor said...

"Well, yes. But possibly both?"

Hah. This is exactly what went through my head when I read the SAR this morning and considered pointing it out. Decided to let it go in the end.

Bill said...

With folks like Van Jones in charge of green jobs and a $30 billion stimulus budget, we might as well pack in any serious plans to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. What a pathetic joke Washington is devolving into.

Blissex said...

«getting richer by the day from stock options that would have been worthless if the taxpayers hadn't come along and saved their sorry asses. Why are they allowed to continue to benefit personally from ruining the economy?»

The Real American answer to that is that in Real America the best and brightest must win -- that is what capitalism is all about. The best and brightest must be rewarded for producing and creating so much wealth for Real America, and incentivized to create even more wealth -- and Real Americans know that it is communism to punish them, and it also would stop some of that wealth trickling down to the unproductive 80-90% of the USA.

«Did Goldman get special treatment because Treasury Secretary Paulson had been their CEO? “Goldman is the only counterparty I know that through the whole thing got bailouts at 100 cents on the dollar. It was an unbelievable transfer of wealth from taxpayers to reckless companies.”»

For a Real American GS are the best of the best and the brightest of the brightest; they are the most productive, creative heroes of Real American capitalism, and any rewards are justified for incentivizing them to ever greater success. GS are winners, and in Real American winners must win.

Also Real Americans consider all the money that GS and the other heroes of Real Americanisms have received from the government as overdue, insufficient restitution, a small bit of compensation for all money the government has stolen previously from them with parasitic, exploitative taxation, and for damaging their business profits with petty, vicious regulation.

BTW I am not a Real American, but I reckon that understand how they think.

Anonymous said...

Coughing Up: In a play-within-a-play, healthcare profiteer Pfizer has been fined $2.3 billion after pleading guilty to fraud. They will, of course, recoup the expense, adding it to the nation's healthcare bill.

And how much of our "healthcare" goes to the products of these Farma Fraudsters and is subsidized with tax dollars? In America, you don't get what you pay for, in this case, good health. See Dr. Nortin Hadler, professor of Medicine at UNC, THE LAST WELL PERSON.

Bill said...

Blissex, based on your definition of Real Americans, they are a very small minority, most of whom can be found either on Wall Street, working in rent-seeking occupations, or inside the Beltway. Indeed, GS wouldn't have received a dime of OUR MONEY if not for the "generosity" of the Real Americans who supposedly represent us.

Most folks, including me, have never met your definition of a Real American.

CKMichaelson said...

Maybe not, Bill, but I sure want to be one of Blissex's Real Americans when I grow up.
ckm

Blissex said...

«based on your definition of Real Americans, they are a very small minority»

Howe comes then that Real American parties and presidents have been in power for most of the past 15-30 years?

«the Real Americans who supposedly represent us.»

But they do. Real Americans elect other Real Americans.

Please remember that GWB was re-elected on a platform that included torture, abolition of habeas corpus, and unlimited domestic spying, and virtually all the incumbents that voted for TARP were thumpingly re-elected.

Real American policies are *popular*, for several sad reasons.

«Most folks, including me, have never met your definition of a Real American.»

It is a bit like saying "I never met anybody who admitted to voting for GWB". Sure, that can happen. But the vote is secret. Also, Real American voting is rather geographical. Perhaps in your neighbourhood you only meet unAmerican cognac sipping elitist liberals :-).

Political scientists reckon that there is a 35-3% solid base of Real American voters, for one thing. Then there are quite a few Real American sympathizers.

This is what some starry eyed liberals don't realize -- Real Americans exist, there are a lot of them, and they manage somehow to get a majority of votes most of the time.

Blissex said...

As to the percentage of hard-core Real Americans, there is this by now famous survey:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_National_819513.pdf

where on the second page it is reported that 39% of usians replied "yes" to the question "3 Do you think the government should stay out of Medicare?".

These 39% do not want the government to STEAL THE PROPERTY of the Real American owners of their Medicare accounts, which were all part of GWB's policy of rejection of welfare, for an ownership society.

:-)

Bill said...

I voted for Bush as the lesser of two evils.

Take a look at Obama, who's amazingly making Bush look better with each passing week.

After running a campaign as the anti-Bush, he's continued with many of Bush's war on terror policies, is making Bush seem like a fiscal conservative and has actually expanded the power of the executive branch.

How ironic is it that this administration decided that illegal secret assassination program that involved mercenaries had to be shut down, but an illegal overt assassination program involving mercenaries continues without objection.

My point is that our choices for president suck! But given the choice, I will take an honest SOB over a sanctimonious liar any day.

As for Congress, gerrymandering and money virtually ensure the reelection of most House members.

And what's up with the racial/ethnic caucuses, such as the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Someone enlighten me.

It seems that most of these folks can do ANYTHING and still get reelected every time! Here's a perfect example from Politico, published today.

Why is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refusing a growing chorus of calls to drop the hammer on ethics-challenged Charlie Rangel?

Because, at the moment, doing nothing creates a lot less trouble for Pelosi than doing anything, current and former House aides tell POLITICO.

Stripping the Harlem Democrat of his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee would force Pelosi to make a series of unpalatable decisions about Rangel’s successor that would create a ruckus in the Democratic caucus.

It would also infuriate the Congressional Black Caucus, which is still sore over Pelosi’s decision to strip committees from former Louisiana Rep. Bill Jefferson – even after Jefferson had been found with a wad of tainted cash in his kitchen.

“Unless they find $90,000 in his freezer, like they did with Jefferson, we’re going to wait [for the outcome of a House ethics probe],” said a Democratic aide familiar with Pelosi’s thinking on the matter.


It's freaking lawlessness for political expediency right before our very eyes, but we're supposed to be outraged by the harsh treatment of KSM and his fellow terrorists?

Right!

Before Obama's emergence, many voters felt powerless to make a difference. But after only 7 months, I think there's more cynicism than ever. Obama is mostly to blame, but so are both sides of the Congressional aisle.

In my opinion, the only way to reasonably mitigate the problem is to impose term limits and politicians from corporate money.

And then slowly shrink government.

fajensen said...

In my opinion, the only way to reasonably mitigate the problem is to impose term limits and politicians from corporate money.

In MY opinion, nothing can/will change until a senator or governor or banker comes to a sticky end - similar to what happened to Ceausescu or Mussolini!

In the same vein, the European kings did not favor sharing anything with the plebes either ... Until the French revolution wiped out the most powerful and opulent set of royalty Europe had to offer!

*Then* we suddenly got all manner of reform and freedom handed over. Whoever holds absolute power only respects force!

Anonymous said...

Take a look at Obama, who's amazingly making Bush look better with each passing week.

Hahaha - Suckerr: Obama is Bush re-incarnated! The more you vote the more things stay the same!!

http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KI03Df02.html

Bill said...

Like I said, I'd rather have a tough SOB than a sanctimonious liar any day.

I saw Obama coming; you only have to engage in rudimentary research to see what he's all about. But too many folks were blinded by Bush-rage (which Obama and most of the media stoked every day) to step back and ponder who exactly Obama was.

That said, I didn't think he'd be this poor a leader.

Anonymous said...

That said, I didn't think he'd be this poor a leader.

That will be corrected soon. I hear they are growing his replacement in a secret research facility. The new one will have integrated teleprompter so its head does not have to keep bouncing left-right while speaking ;-)