Thursday, January 27, 2011

SAR #11027

It's a home, not an investment.” Again.

Turn About:  After supporting Egyptian strong-man Hosni Mubarak for 30 years the US suddenly advises him to “respond” to his citizens. Which he is doing, with water cannon, batons, arrests and incarceration. What more could the US want, free speech zones?

Taking Names:  It's fun to watch the housing headlines. In 2010 the fewest number of new houses was sold in over 45 years. Selling prices in November fell at a 12% annual rate from October's levels. Yet if you squint, you can get the following headlines: “ New home sales at 8-month high.” Single-family home sales jump 17.5%. And sales of New Homes in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast. Same houses.

Looking Back:  Investigation into The Causes of the Current Mess find it was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street.

On the State of the Union:  “It amazes me that the discussion on change centers on 'improving competitiveness' when the crisis was caused by a massive financial fraud and political and regulatory failure that goes largely unresolved and unrepaired, sucking the life out of the real economy and spreading corruption of thought and action.”

American Economy Explained:  The uptick in consumer spending occurred because "People got bored with being frugal. It's much more fun to go out there and spend money." Even if you don't actually have any.

Wrong Haystack:  The US Military admits it has been unable to find a link between Julian Assange and PFC Manning. The mistreatment of Manning will continue until he confesses to some crime he can incarcerated for.

In-Laws:  Tony Blair's sister-in-law thinks he should be tried for war crimes. So do my in-laws.

The Bad News:  Despite Obama's pronouncements about clean energy, the fact is that “almost all the energy infrastructure that we'll be using in 2020 is either in place now, or in the final investment stage." And is nearly all coal and natural gas and it will most certainly speed us towards a 3.5ºC warmer planet. Primary energy use is set to grow 40 percent through 2030 not retreat.

Honest Mich: Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) explained Wednesday that Republicans would be happy to work with the President "If the president is willing to do what I and my members would do anyway.”

Statue of Limitations:  The Justice Department wants Internet service providers and cell phone companies to be required to hold on to records until the government has a chance to persecute prosecute you. Why duplicate what NSA already does?

Trend:  Along with proposing a law to forever ban any federal funds from going to anyone who can even spell the word 'abortion', the GOP now wants to punitively tax insurance plans that cover abortion procedures. It may be your money and your choice, but that doesn't mean they can't punish you for your choice.

Sounds Good To Me:  NY DA Cyrus Vance is seeking mandatory prison sentences for securities fraud.

One Plus One:  House Republicans are rushing a bill to the floor that will kill the federal financing system for presidential and other elections, reversing decades of attempts at campaign financing reform. This comes at the very moment that corporate contributions, unlimited and uncontrolled thanks to the Roberts Court, have surged into the pockets of the Republican leadership. Correlation is not causation. Not always.

More Sound to No Effect:  Republicans want to use the debt ceiling as "leverage" to force spending cuts, but it is a hollow threat. Neither the Senate nor the White House would go along. Another all show-no substance drama.

Porn O'Graph:  Dedicated to those who stayed behind.

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