Monday, April 18, 2011

SAR #11108

We’ve tried madness, and it hasn't worked.

Terms Of Engagement: Let's be clear, all the noise about budgets and debt and deficits and entitlements is not about the size of the government, nor about the role of the government in our lives. It is all about how much more money the rich are going to squeeze out of the rest of us. It is about redistributing the money upwards and the pain and suffering downward. And they will keep doing it until we the people stop them.

Critical Criticism: Deutsche Bank expects $4 a gallon gasoline this summer, but says the economy will be fine as long as household income continues to grow. I don't think they intended that as a joke.

Emergency Rule: Under Michigan's Emergency Financial Management legislation (a gift of the GOP-dominated state government) The emergency manager appointed over Benton Harbor, MI has emasculated all the elected officials, ruling that he alone had the power to “exercise any power or authority of any office, employee, department, board, commission, or similar entity of the City, whether elected or appointed.” In Wisconsin, Governor Walker is planning to take over administration of municipalities whose finances fail to meet his standards. Or whims. Lawsuits will follow. Then the revolution.

The Ayes of Texas: The University of Texas Investment Management Company voted to take delivery of nearly $1 billion in gold bullion. That's a lot of bull... ion. If they are right and the dollar goes to pot and the economy disintegrates, who are they going to sell the gold to when it's $20,000 an ounce?

I No Longer OU: A Morgan Stanley real estate fund failed, mailed in the keys, and walked away from ownership of 32-story Shinagawa Grand Central Tower in lieu of a $3.3 billion payment. They don't like it when you do that to them.

Dieting for Dollars: The prices of corn and wheat have doubled in the last year. And yet one-quarter of the US corn crop goes to ethanol.

Massey Energy, Anyone? An Italian court sentenced the Italian director of ThyssenKrupp to 16.5 years in jail, finding that the company – under his direction – has skimped on safety standards that lead to the deaths of seven workers, which were termed “voluntary homicides".

Rebuttal: Ask a libertarian to build a pencil, then count how many government projects, agencies and services it takes for the rugged individualist to actually make one. Or even a toothpick.

The Path Leads Back: The Republicans do not want to repeal the Great Society and the New Deal. They want to turn back to at least 1890, before the Federal income tax, before the Federal Reserve, before labor unions, before child labor laws. They want to repeal ”this hundred year, European-originated social democracy welfare state experiment” according to Mayr Matlin, former Cheney aide.

Without Comment: “The entire US healthcare industry is a giant scam.” Free sample: “Between 2000 and 2006, wages in the United States increased by 3.8%, while health care premiums increased by 87%.”

Over There: The US is choking to death on our profligate and unsustainable spending on social entitlements. Or so “they” claim. Yet the US spends relatively little on its citizenry – of OECD's 34 countries, we are last, spending but 7.2% of GDP on social welfare. Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Denmark, and more all spend well over 20% of GDP and are not running around claiming the sky is falling. Why not?

Q & A: Why does Pakistan resist CIA Drone Strikes and Special Operations killing? Duh. It upsets the survivors.

Spade / Spade: Whenever you hear anyone - Paul Ryan or the Gang of Six or those two troglodytes on the financial Reform Commission, Obama - anyone talking about “reforming Social Security” and reducing Social Security entitlements, remember this: The Congress owes Social Security $2.5 trillion. That's right, they borrowed it and used the money instead of taxing the public directly to pay for their spending. So now it is up to Congress to tax the public sufficiently to pay back that money to Social Security – to those of us who have paid the money in based on the promise. Anyone who wants to “reform” Social Security simply wants to finish stealing the money that was lent to the government. It is theft, not reform.

Porn O'Graph: Up-slope, Down-slope, X marks the spot.


Anonymous said...

Over There:

All those other countries can spend that much because the US provides a military umbrella for them. Without that umbrella those countries would have to reduce their social spending to take into account greater military outlays.

It's our Military that needs to be cut.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

I agree that our military spending needs to be cut. In my opinion, this could be done without corresponding increases by other countries.

Anonymous said...

Appearing on Wisconsin radio station WTMJ today, Governor Walker has denied the truth of this story.

No truth to it whatsoever. Absolutely a bogus story.
Absolutely false. The interesting part is that it’s false in both contexts. One: There’s nobody on my staff, nobody in my administration, I’m certainly not working anything remotely close to that. Secondly, it begins with the fact that he said the next Democratic assault. I’d like to know what the first one was.