Will poverty reduce our energy use?
Faint Praise: The best that can be said about the Obama administration is that they are not evil and they are not as dumb as they seem – or are they? Obama certainly seems not to have heard the voters in Massachusetts when they said Centrism was dead. And he continues to parrot the GOP line, right down to attacking his own policies. Maybe instead of trying to be all things to the Republican Right, he should try being true to his campaign promises and his party's principles. It worked for Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy – when Democrats were not the party of Wall Street – they were the party of the people. Times change.
Teaching Point: The 4 week moving average for initial unemployment claims increased about 10,000 to 456,250. This, the third consecutive increase, suggest the downward trend has reversed. The last time there was an uptick in average 4 week numbers was last February, just before the invisible recovery began.
"Eppur si muove": Syed Iqbal Hasnain, the Indian glaciologist who was misquoted in a 1999 interview reported in New Scientist and which misquote recently excited climate deniers worldwide, once more has tried to state his position clearly: "It is a fact that global warming is happening. If the Arctic Sea ice is melting, how can the Himalayan glaciers not be melting?"
Because I Said So: Henry Paulson justifies the Wall Street bailouts by explaining that letting
Goldman Sachs AIG fail would have caused “complete collapse of our financial system, and unemployment easily could have risen to the 25% level.” Instead of just 17.3% and rising. His proof – he thought so. He believed. Has anybody ever challenged these hysterical fears, or do the peasantry just gather up $2,000 per family, send it to the Banksters and say thanks?
There's a lesson here somewhere... Studies show that Greece is bankrupt because no one there pays any taxes. See what happens when the Republican philosophy letting the rich and powerful not pay taxes gets put into practice?
Around the House: Fannie Mae reports that the foreclosure rate continues to increase. The backlog of unsold new houses increased some more, and the median time it takes builders to sell a completed is now 13.9 months: an all time record, 50% higher than a year ago. Note that 28% of all housing units in Orlando are vacant, 12% of all houses in Las Vegas was in foreclosure last year, 10% of mortgages in CA and AZ defaulted. Good thing the recession is over and housing has bottomed.
Ode to the Electric Car: The US has about 250 million cars, which burn about 13 million barrels of gasoline a day. Let's snap our fingers and convert them all to electric power and plug them in and charge them up. Blackout? You bet. The energy in 13 million barrels of petroleum would power 2 million US homes for a year. Where's the electricity going to come from to repeatedly charge 250 million car-sized car batteries?
Talking Their Book: Goldman Sachs says it has studied the matter thoroughly and concluded (without leaning too hard on the evidence) that recoveries from housing busts are always slow, but that stocks go up quickly and you'd better buy some from them now,
before it's too late for them to book the profits before the market goes to hell.
Porn O'Graph: When over there is over here and it's over over here.