Thursday, December 16, 2010

SAR #10351

“The world doesn’t end with a bang or a whimper, but with the endless repetition of lies and disinformation.” Joe, Climate Progress, comments.

The Plan:  Congressional Republicans deliberately rejected a renewal of the Build America Bonds program because ending the program will make it harder for states to borrow to cover an expected $140 billion in budget shortfalls in 2011.  It is part of their plan to prevent a federal bailout of “spendthrift states”, forcing state governments to seek bankruptcy protection (which they cannot now do) and subsequently cripple public employee unions through pension, wage and employment reductions.

Counter-intuitive:  Those of us shivering in Great Britain, Europe and most of the US will find it hard to understand that temperatures in Greenland are 18°F above normal.  Hard to talk about the climate in this weather.

Baby Bear's Porridge:  The government reports that the battle between inflation and deflation is essentially a tie, with the core CPI inching up 0.1% in November.  Earlier the PPI was came in at 0.8% which would suggest that producers are cutting their profit margins and concentrating on short-term profits at the expense of long-term survival.  Y/Y inflation is at 1.1% - way below the dreaded hyperinflation and below Bernanke's goals.

Without Comment:  “Obama To Nominate A Defender For Whistle-Blowers.”   Tell Julian to put down his hand.

Revisionism:  The Republicans on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission have quit because the majority refused to ban the phrases “Wall Street” “shadow banking system” “interconnection” and “deregulation” from the final report.

If Only:  The Irish government has blocked Allied Irish Banks from giving €40 million to bankers for their work in bringing down the Irish banking system and with it the Irish government.

Slide Show:  Some claim there are 64 million empty houses scattered throughout China – sort of like Florida without the swampland.  “There’s city after city full of empty streets and vast government buildings, some in the most inhospitable locations.  It is the modern equivalent of building pyramids.”

Gatsby:  The rich are different. Or did Citi give you a $22.5 million 2.357%  mortgage too?

Up in Smoke:  Industrial production is up 0.4% in November and capacity utilization is at 75.2% - or so the new data say.  The big gain was in utilities.  Employment was the big loss according to the Empire State Manufacturing survey, indicating businesses are cutting back jobs and hours worked while squeezing even more production out of the remaining serfs.

“V” - The Sequel:  Retail sales (minus gasoline) are now higher than they were at the peak in 2007.

Exports:  As riots explode in Athens and Rome, British police are considering a ban on anti-Government protests in central London in order to protect the government from being overly aware of the discontent of the rabble.  Why don't they just create remote, fenced-in Free Speech Zones like we do in America?

Punishment First, Trial Later:  Bradley Manning, who is accused of providing some/most/all of the WikiLeaks cables – but convicted of nothing -  has been kept drugged, in solitary confinement, with 23 hour-a-day isolation in a barren cell, for over 7 months.  In a couple of years he'll be given a fair trial and sent back to the same cell.  Or maybe stood before a firing squad. Whatever.

Half a Loaf:  The House has passed legislation that would repeal DADT. Now to get it past the Just Say No bunch in the Senate.

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