Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SAR #10357

Better Late than Now.

Pay To Play:  The FCC has come up with new rules for 'net-neutrality' that essentially redefines 'neutrality' and make a fine (and costly) distinction between what is and is not 'the net'.  Details will be in your next billing statement.  It's like that sign in Animal Farm when it gets down to “Some animals are more equal...”

Been There, Done That:  "Senior American military commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for an expanded campaign of Special Operations ground raids across the border into Pakistan’s tribal areas.” (NY Times)  "The NATO force in Afghanistan denied Tuesday that the U.S. military intends to carry out ground raids inside Pakistan.” (LA Times)  As a young soldier I remember standing on an LZ far inside Cambodia listening to a US Army LTC explain to me that we were not in Cambodia because the US had no troops in Cambodia.

Another 800 Pounder:  Lagging along about three years behind the crash in housing prices is a corresponding decline in property taxes – you know, the taxes that cities rely on to provide services, pay for capital projects and educate the kids.  Hold your breath, the worst shortages are still a year and a half away.

Having A Fine Time:  Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay a $553 million fine.  Jeesh.  Half a billion bucks, for “various tax-oriented transactions”.   Well, that explains everything. Meanwhile, Ernst and Young have been sued for “helping to hide financial risks” at Lehmans just before Lehmans disappeared. I think we're talking tax evasion and accounting fraud, but maybe it was just the petty cash.

Not Necessarily News: US 'wasted' billions in Afghanistan; Rape Rampant in US Military.

Goose/Gander:  Senate Republicans, lead by Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, plan to block legislation that would provide additional aid to cover the health care costs of 9/11 first responders at a cost of $7.8 billion unless there are off-setting budget reductions elsewhere.  You know, like they did with the $780 billion in tax cuts for the very rich.

Eating the Cake?  How is it that deleveraging Americans suffering 10% unemployment are spending enough to make retailers happy?

Apple Pie:  Now it is Attorney General Eric Holder's turn to shout “Be afraid, be afraid!”  He particularly wants us to understand that “the terrorists only have to be successful once” and that “the threat is real, the threat is different, the threat is constant.”  Holder fears an “alarming rise in the number of Americans who are more than willing to attack and kill their fellow citizens,” as evidenced by the 50 citizens who have been indicted on terrorist-related charges in the last two years, especially those few who were not set up by the government.  Be especially watchful around salad bars.

Asked and Answered:  Will the Housing Market Continue to Decline?  Yes.

Unicorns: “The American Economy” does not exist.  There are, instead, several distinct economies within the United States.  Some, like that of the Wall Street financiers, are doing well.  Most of rest are not, and have not been doing well for years, even decades.  It may be a good time to be rich, as Business Week observed, but it is a very bad time to be anything else.  e decades-long destruction of the American middle class is nearly complete.

Next Year In Jerusalem Mecca:  Kentucky's tourism board has approved up to $37 million in state funding for a Biblical creationist theme park.  Next year they will consider funding The Haj Experience theme park in Eastern Kentucky, replete with camels and flying carpets.

Porn O'Graph:  Bubble glum..


Anonymous said...

Thanks, CK!

Demetrius said...

Apple Pie, I read today that the Governor of New Mexico is going to pardon Billy The Kid. So when is Chicago going to made St. Valentine's Day a public holiday?

OkieLawyer said...

Here is another side of the 800 pound question:

Stop Panicking About Muni Defaults.