How much of what we do is done simply because we can?
Rube Goldberg: How did engineers take something as simple as a gas pedal and spiff it up with enough bells and whistles and electronics (no one is talking about the electronics, but my money's on the software) to make it dangerous. It is an object lesson in the inherent instability of complex systems... like the economy.
Litmus Test: Do you believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Barack Obama?
Game, Set & Match: “Supporting home prices is an explicit policy goal of the Government.” So says the Special IG for TARP, who went on to say that the government should get out of the housing business. Further, the Capital Purchase Program, which was supposed to increase lending to businesses and consumers, has been a complete failure and the TARP program to promote lending to small businesses, announced in March last year, is lost somewhere in the Treasury. Then he went on to talk about speeding cars and windy mountain roads.
Hole Truth: The real GDP for last quarter – once you subtract out the stimulus pump priming – would have been a minus 1.3%. The real economy still struggles with high unemployment, discouraged labor-force dropouts, and damaged balance sheets, making it hard to be optimistic.
Lawyers and Bankers, Oh My!: Just because the interest rate on your credit card is 8.9% doesn't mean that its not 29.9%. Don't believe me, go read the next to the last paragraph.
Housing: The government has been quick to try anything and everything to keep house prices up. It's not working, and we're stuck with overpriced houses and an immense loss of value. All this is explained in five easy charts...
Clip and Save: A Gallup poll of over 350,000 Americans shows that the voters favor the Democrats by astounding margins,. Only four states can be called solidly Republican, with one more leaning that way. About halfway through the election eve returns this fall, pull the note out and re-read it.
Old Faithful: Neocons advise Obama he can save his presidency simply by bombing Iran. Worked for George W.
Forked Tongue: According to Geithner, "The moral, fair and just choice is to protect the innocent." This does not quite explain the money the government passed through AIG to Goldman Sachs.
Wording: “Three US soldiers traveling with Pakistani security force members in the Northwest Territories were killed when ...” Note 'traveling' and 'security force members', which are so much better than “patrolling” and “local mercenaries”.
Deference: With the greatest of affection and deference, Dylan Ratigan pointed out to Mr. Obama the error in his grasp of the facts about the banks paying back the government bailouts. They didn't, and to pretend otherwise is to lie.
The Example: If the Republicans had their way, no one wold pay any taxes and the government would keep all their favorite pork projects running and … something, something. See Spain for how well this works out.
Death, Kiss of: When a house is 25% underwater, it stops being a home or an investment and becomes an albatross and the owner stops merely thinking about walking away and begins calling lawyers and making plans. 4.5 million have reached that magic point, more are on the way.
Clueless: Obama is running around the country promoting biofools and clean coal. Is it campaign season already?
Porn O'Graph: What goes up went way, way up.