“The rich are different from you and me: they have more influence.” Paul Krugman
Memo: The recession is over. It has been over for some time. Over a year. The National Bureau of Economic Research says that the recession started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. This was put out in a memo because they couldn't say it with a straight face in front of 17.5 million unemployed Americans.
Pot/Kettle: Israel says Russia is acting irresponsibly in selling 72 cruise missiles to Syria. Syria undoubtedly feels the same way when the US sells weapons to Israel.
Contingency Plans: Obama has said that the US would begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011, yet construction is just now starting on a $100 million extension to Shindand Air Base, another $100 million extension at Camp Dwyer, and a third $100 million extension at Mazar-e Sharif airbase. None of these will be completed by the withdrawal date.
Impetuous: Beginning November 1, you must ask permission from Homeland Security's TSA three days in advance or you won't be able to fly. Just another way to save you money.
Mirrors Saud: Saudia Arabia now claims 1) it has oil reserves for more than 80 years of 8 mbd production. 2) it now has 260 billion barrels of reserves and 3) “is expecting to increase” that by another 100 billion barrels and then 4) will manage to recover 70% of the oil in its existing fields. Not one of these claims is believable.
Infield Fly Rule: Sales of junk bonds have passed $170 billion so far this year – already setting an annual record. Investors are chasing yield and ignoring risk with the same blind panache they did in 2007, just before...
Assigned Readings: America is disintegrating, the America that once had a large middle class, the one with high paying jobs, the one where street were opportunity knocked and everything was possible. The recession may have ended, the damage lingers on. Get used to lower standards.
Without Comment: More than 600 items looted from the Iraqi National Museum during the Rumsfeld 'stuff happens' disarray have been returned to the Museum. The cache was found in the Prime Minister's office, “along with some kitchen appliances.”
The Way Forward: GOP leaders say they will use any control they may get in the Congress to repeal regulations that businesses do not like, reinstate massive tax cuts for the rich, cut spending on social programs, prevent any reduction in global warming and starve health care reform out of existence. Once Republicans do all that, they'll find some way to blame it on the Democrats – or have to face voters without any fig leaves.
A Quote: “Newt Gingrich himself is sufficient reason that no American patriot should ever vote Republican.” - Brad DeLong
Neverland: Long story short, when Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh on Automatic Earth) is asked when things will get better, she explains that the collapse of the financial system, the developing depression and the ongoing depletion of fossil fuels present probably insurmountable barriers to a resumption of the growth economy within any practical time frame. Actually, her answer is “Never.”
The Fine Print: Poland will run short of natural gas supplies this autumn if it fails to sign a deal with Russia for increased deliveries. It is the hand that heats the cradle, rather than the one that rocks it, that decides the future.
Slackers: A million over 55 workers have been unemployed for six months or more. Most will never work again above the level of “Thank you for shopping Walmart.” Tell me again the part about raising the retirement age...
Translation: According to the Justice Department, the FBI “gave inaccurate information” to Congress and the public when it claimed a possible terrorism link to justify surveilling an anti-war rally. When you do this it is called lying. When you do it to Congress, it is called perjury.