Monday, March 28, 2011

SAR #11087

Austerity promotes discord.

No, No, Nanette: Secretary of State Clinton insists that the US will not get involved in the internal conflict in Syria because the situation is completely different from Libya. Syria has no oil and the US will not complain about Assad killing his own citizens as long as he continues to torture the “suspects” the US sends him.

Fair & Balanced: Richard Lugar (R-IN) claims the cost of the military actions in Libya “will exacerbate the nation's budget deficit.” He explained that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did not run up the budget because they were off-budget items.

Flattery: Half a million Brits protesting the government's austerity program turned Trafalgar Square into Tahrir Square for the day.

Where The Boys Are: Could one reason for the urgency behind the US handing off operations in Libya be connected to the movement of the USS Enterprise out of striking range in the Red Sea into the Strait of Hormuz to join the Vinson? What's going to happen in the Persian Gulf that will require the attention of two US carrier groups?

Parse This One: “Japan Says Nuclear Crisis Not Worsening as Radiation Levels Rise”

Marshal Dillon: Of course the government would say that Tokyo's 32 million residents are not in any danger from the nuclear power plant disaster. Even if they were not safe, where would they go? There's no getting out of Dodge this time.

Be Prepared: The government has extended unlimited FDIC coverage to all non-interest-bearing accounts “regardless of the balance” or the ownership of the accounts through December 31, 2012. Which major bank is going to fail and cause the entire credit/banking system to freeze between now and New Year's Day 2013?

Miss Manners: It would be best if all your non-work emails carried the caveat “written on and sent from my personal computer using a private, non-business ISP.” It would also be good if it were true.

More Is Better: John Boehner maintains that cutting social support programs, firing teachers and government employees, and ending unemployment benefits will lead to rapid economic recovery because people without incomes soon become willing to work for pennies, driving down wages and wresting jobs away from China and Bangladesh.

Get That Education: The idea that a more educated population is the route to economic happiness seems proven by Portugal's 37.1% dropout rate, next to last in the OECD countries. But in Ireland, which has already collapsed, the dropout rate is only 4%, while Greece’s rate is 8.6%.  Iceland, which went down the tube first has a 10% dropout rate. And the US is way back in the pack at 23%.  All this must mean something, prove something,  but I’m not good at math.

About Schmidt: How many people who actually vote are drawing social security? How many actual voters are within 10 years of drawing social security? How many voters' parents would have to move in with them if social security were cut? How much will each of these categories of self-interested voters change as the boomer generation ages? Do votes count more than deficits?

Priorities: Great Britain's austerity budget cuts will lead to at least two years of decline in the nation's standard of living, along with inflation that will easily outpace any salary increases. Meanwhile, MP expense reimbursement, previously curtailed as part of the austerity reforms, will be reinstated and enlarged.


Anonymous said...

RE: Where The Boys Are:

Usual prize?


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Most assuredly, RBM, usual prizes. Decisions of the judge will, of course, be arbitrary.


OkieLawyer said...

Re: Marshall Dillon

I actually suggested to someone today that if people in Japan need to move, that we offer them a place to live here. It's not like we have a shortage of houses. Or couldn't use a few educated tech types.

Nah. That would be too logical.

tooearly said...

greater Tokyo is 30 million at least

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

32,450,000, by one report. Correction made. Thanks.


kwark said...

RE: About Schmidt "Do votes count more than deficits?" Maybe the question should be who can you convince to vote against their own interests? So far the deep pockets crowd has been winning that one hands down. Rather than frontal assaults, I'm betting on sideways maneuvers like strip-mining, oh, I mean "privatizing" social security.