Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SAR #10328

The Hitchhikers Guide was wrong, it's not harmless.

Falling Leaves:   Existing house sales fell 2.2% m/m and 25.9% y/y in October.  The inventory of existing houses for sale was up 8.4% y/y.  The total months supply of unsold houses was 23 months in August - six months used to be the norm.

Consensus, Redefined:  The Ministry of Truth has decreed that the recent election was a referendum on debt and that Washington received a mandate from the people to cut Social Security, gut Medicaid and Medicare, reform the tax code so the middle class and poor pay more and the rich pay less, abolish health care, and to stop pandering to the long term unemployed.  Isn't that what your vote meant? Apparently 'consensus' still means “made up by the Republicans”.

All You Need To Know:  From the horse's mouth: “Greed Beats Fear in US...”  Common sense ran last.

Cry havoc …  When the government wants to extend its grip on the population it applies the always successful 'be afraid, be afraid' card.  No evidence is required, just the repeating the mantra “terrorists, terrorists”.  As my mother used to say, it's for your own good.

Perception:  The markets don’t seem impressed by the Irish bailout.

Plan B:  Relentless budget shortfalls are prompting states to consider dropping out of Medicaid.  Not that any state is actually considering total abandonment of the program, but a series of severe 'what if's' are being examined.  The most popular is rejecting federal funds (57% of the cost) so the state can dramatically redefine eligibility and coverage – starting with nursing home payments.

Cousins:  Researchers now report that fish shrink during cold weather.  I know the feeling.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey:  The BEA's second guess at 3Q2010 GDP was raised from 2.0 to 2.5% growth, with the increase stemming mostly from an increase in state and local government expenditures, net exports, and personal consumption.  Non-residential structural investment dropped from a 3.9% increase to a 5.7% decrease.

Free Enterprise:  An impostor posing as a top Taliban commander held secret talks with Afghan and NATO officials, was paid a lot of money and then disappeared.  One bag, or two?

Then We Went to War:  Our casualties and loss of troops and expenditures of wealth in Afghanistan do not contribute to our national security.  Remember that just before we invaded Iraq we declared victory in Afghanistan?  Why are the neoconservarives who told these fabulous lies still in control in Washington?  The “war on terror” is now in its tenth year.  When will it end? Never?  What is it really all about? Is the “war on terror” designed to create enough fear in the US to allow continued expansion of the police state?

Chasing Cars:   Animal rights activists are seeking good homes for a thousand rats.  See, it's the old problem of what do you do once you've caught the car.

Windsock:  To gauge the general nature and direction of the Simpson-Bowles Fiscal Commission's proposals, note that its proposals would lead to an average $7000/year tax cut for the top 1% of America’s richest and about a $600/year tax increase for the working and middle classes. See the chart.

Clarification: The headline, “FBI Widens Insider Trading Probe”, has nothing to do with air travel.

Dog Days:  Here's some filler on a slow news day: TV personality, wilderness guide, author, taxation guru and would-be governor vice-president president politician Sarah Palin has lobbied ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" on behalf of perennial Senate candidate, witch, evolutionary expert and sometime sex adviser Christine O'Donnell.  Palin pointed out that Bristol's success shows that neither talent nor ability is required – much like Tea Party politics.

Unclear on the Concept:  A defrocked Catholic priest has been arrested for hiring a hit-man to kill a teenager he is accused of abusing.


SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless America!

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

"Dog Days: Here's some filler on a slow news day: TV personality, wilderness guide, author, taxation guru and would-be governor vice-president president politician Sarah Palin has lobbied ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" on behalf of perennial Senate candidate, witch, evolutionary expert and sometime sex adviser Christine O'Donnell. Palin pointed out that Bristol's success shows that neither talent nor ability is required – much like Tea Party politics."

Dog Days my arse! The Tea Party kicked progressive/socialist ass this past election, and just wait till 2012 when the Tea Party finishes the job of taking America back from the socialists. You have seen nothing yet!

CKMichaelson said...

Let me introduce "The Headers". Each item in SAr comes with a header that contians the html link to the source story. Headers are generally intended to be a comment on, a frame for, my slant on the item.

"Dog Days" was a refernece to "the dog days of summer" when news is thin and strange things surface.

Also today "Cry havoc..." Is from "cry havoc and lose the dogs of war." "Falling Leaves" is a stretch, but dimly evokes "Les Feuilles Mortes" which litterally means "the dead leaves" which is a fair description of the housing market.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe has on its cover the comment "Mostly Harmless".

Jesus said "all you need know is within you"...

From a day ago "Lot 49" was a reference to Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 which is another sort of auction...

And so on. Anyway, Dog Days was not a comment on politics at all, but expressed my view that Palin's advice to ABC was not particularly news-worthy. As an aside, I think she was right and having O'Donnell on DWS would bring viewers. That one I'll head "Bread and Circuses"


CKMichaelson said...

Errata: That should be "loose the dogs of war." Lose gives an entirely different spin on things. Maybe I should send my comments past First Reader, but he's not up yet.

rjs said...

jeez, that spectre still plaguing you? what did you do to deserve that?

anyhow, linda beale takes down the WaPo consensus:

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

It's funny to see socialists/progressives apologizing/defending the actions of the goons at TSA/DHS. How very far you have fallen when it comes to what a liberal used to stand for. It certainly wasn't defending an illegal search/seizure by Federal Authorities. Rather than worrying abour Palin, you might remove the plank from your own eye by putting a stop to illegal search/seizure by a Democratic President, Democratic House and Democratic Senate.

Anonymous said...

Dog days:

I just heard Sarah give an interview on Glen Beck's program. Asked what she would do about the North Koreans and the Chinese support for the NK's she spoke about energy independence. God help us all.


/thehangedman/ said...

CKM //

Your micro-seminar in humanities seemed timely, and shows just how there is no longer any real ties to bind the variegated citizenry of the US into anything resembling a "people".

Anonymous said...

Unclear on the Concept: A defrocked Catholic priest has been arrested for hiring a hit-man to kill a teenager he is accused of abusing.

No mention in that story of "defrocked". The story actually refers to the accused as Rev. John M. Fiala, indicating he is still frocked. My understanding would be that Papa Church does not defrock until after conviction, if even then.

rjs said...

it's been almost 50 years since i've been catholic, but what i recall is that once a priest, always a priest; so although a priest may be officially defrocked or excommunicated, any sacraments he would administer would still be considered valid...

CKMichaelson said...

Ah, my bad. When writing up the priestly item, I somehow remembered it said he was a former priest. It did not. Wishful thinking.

Will the church wait until his conviction for soliciting murder to decommission him? Or will he be assigned duties as a prison chaplain?

And I can understand why the church does not single out committing one type of crime as disqualifying a priest - for once they start down that road, where would they stop? Would there be any clerics left?

For these vermin, no mercy, no parole, and no further human contact.

OSR said...

When will it end? Never? What is it really all about?

Oil and natural gas is what its about and it will be over when they are over.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving CKM!