Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SAR #10103

Where's my share?

Big Gulp:  While some would argue that $1 a gallon more for gasoline doesn't have much effect on customer spending, those of us in the real world – where we drive to work and use about 600 gallons a year - find that the extra 600 bucks out of our after-tax income is missed.  But not so much that we cut back on our driving.  Credit card data suggests that the US consumed more gasoline in March than ever before.  Before being the previous record, in July 2008, just before $148 a barrel oil.

Traffic Stop:  Near Kandahar, Afghanistan a civilian buss pulled to the side of the road to let an American military convoy pass, and was promptly shredded with hundreds of rounds, killing 5 and wounding 18 civilians. Rules of the road, combat style.

Cornered Ratzinger?  While activists in England propose arresting the Pope in connection with serial child abuse charges, the scandal has forced the Vatican to admit that the Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, mishandled pedophile priests, although a subordinate has fallen on his sword for these lapses.

Simple Solution:  Skeptics claim the reason the IMF won't sell gold is because it does not have as much gold as it pretends.  Of course if they (and others) would report the serial numbers of the gold bars in question, there would be no doubt.  But the IMF refuses...

Stopped Clock:  Ignore the source and consider this:  Georgia leads the nation in bank failures and in foreclosures. Texas has mostly been immune. Texas prohibits using your house as an ATM.  Georgia encouraged small banks to proliferate.  This suggests that making bad loans is not confined to big banks and that a little consumer protection regulation goes a long ways. And no mention of CDOs, CDSs or other derivatives.

Been There:  The US military says that "by 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day,"   With prices over $100 a barrel there would be “significant economic and political impact.” Not to mention the empire's need for oil, oil and more oil.

Lost or Survivors?  Bank of America, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo may have to set aside an additional $30 billion to cover possible losses on the $442 billion in second-lien mortgages they hold.  This equals their combined profits for the year.  But never fear, the accountants have several months in which to magic these losses into bonus payments.

Restraint on Trade:  Oakland Park, FL, has decided that you have to determine how solvent someone is before doing business .  If it turns out you bought a newspaper or a rose from a poor person you face $50 to $100 in fines and 90 days in jail.  This law will stay in effect until it is reversed by the first court it ends up in.

The Road:  Few look admiringly at our broken political system – except the Republicans, who intentionally broke it, consistently resisting all attempts at bipartisanship.  They are nihilists who see future glory as the public perceives the Democrats as incapable of governing – even though it is not just the GOP's doing, it is their plan, one they've been refining for 40 years.  (See: Nixon's sabotage of Johnson's Vietnam peace talks, Reagan's October Surprise against Carter and Gingrich's “Kill Bill” campaign.)

Porn O'Graph:   Making it, or not.


Anonymous said...

RE: Been There

Remember the end of Three Days of The Condor?

"Higgins: Not now - then! Ask 'em when they're running out. Ask 'em when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask 'em when their engines stop. Ask 'em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won't want us to ask 'em. They'll just want us to get it for 'em! "


Freethinker said...

Republicans intentionally broke our political system by resisting all attempts at bipartisanship? I don't think so. Our political system has been broken by idolization of imperialism and neoclassical economic ideology which are class driven. These modern paradigms, embraced by politicians, regardless of party of affiliation, engender corporate cronyism, corruption, militarism, and consumerism. It doesn't seem that the Democrats have been refining any plans over the past 40 years to protect or improve our political system.