Friday, April 22, 2011

SAR #11112

Nature's laws do not suggest a majority is necessarily right.

Where's Waldo? John McCain is wandering around Benghazi telling the rebels they are heroes – which they are – and raising Libyan expectations that America will save the day. That's an easier sale in Libya than on Main Street.

Steady As She Goes: Jobless claims came in at 403,000 this week, a bit down from last week, and the four week moving average settled at 399,000. Seems to have reached a plateau, not getting better, not getting worse. Which is worse.

Pot & Kettle: BP is suing Transocean, Halliburton, and Cameron for causing the Global Horizon fiasco. Sort of like the Tweed Ring.

Koch 'ya: Koch brothers' companies send out handy lists of who their employees should vote for if they want to keep their jobs. McDonald's does too. Both suggest that if the right people are elected, the company will be able to continue with raises and benefits. If not, hard times will descend. McEmployees better want fries with that.

Explicate: Christian minister and political activist David Barton cites “the Biblical principle of free markets”. Chapter and verse, please.

Joe Friday: The claim that cutting taxes increases revenues, besides being counter-intuitive, is simply not true, according to PolitiFact, a fact-checking website. For example, As George W. Bush trimmed taxes (mostly for the rich) in 2001, 2002, and 2003, income tax revenues fell and deficits soared. Lest ye forget.

Cowed Control:Bahrainian secret police are rounding up doctors who have the termity to treat protesters wounded by the regime. The government – a friend of both the US and the Saudi regime – went to quite a lot of trouble to put holes in these people and doesn't want the doctors patching them up.

True Grit:The FHFA reports house prices fell 1.6% m/m in February, and 5.7% y/y. January was revised down from -0.3% to a full -1%. It's the recovery, y'know.

Choosing Choosers: Sooner or later, and sooner is better, health care services under Medicare will have to be curtailed. The logical way is by extending the scope of the Independent Payment Advisory Board to limit services as well as fees. But the Republicans want to let insurance company CFOs make these decisions, not medical professionals.

Instructions: Here's how you can have a billion-dollar income and pay no taxes: 1) Get a billion dollars.

In Recovery: There are currently 130.7 million payroll jobs in the US – the same number we had in 2000. Median household income (in constant dollars) is $49,777, down from $51,100 in 1998. Currently there are 5 million fewer jobs than before the Great Whatever began, with 13.5 million government-approved unemployed, 8.4 million part-time because they can't get a full time job, and 4 million who have gone AWOL. Tell me more about how cutting government spending is going to make this better.

Can't Dance: Governor Perry has told Texans to turn to God and pray for rain this weekend. Apparently his plea for 'National Disaster' status wasn't enough and now he's working his way up the chain of command.

Myth Takes: Existing home sales were up! a smidgen in March, and existing home inventory decreased 2.2% Y/Y. But that's 2.2% of 4 million, which isn't even counting the 2 million-plus in the shadow inventory. "Distressed homes – typically sold at 20% or more in discount – accounted for 40 % of the sales. Yep, sales were up. A smidgen.

Asked and Answered: “What Will Happen If Gay Marriage Is Legalized?” Gays will get married and the majority of Americans will approve. So?

Circular Logic: In that the United Arab Emirates has outlawed civil rights protests (they outlawed civil rights a long time ago), detaining rights activists indefinitely without trial is “fully in line” with the law. Like in the US.

Magic Wallet: The US is doling out more money than it's taking in. Just like its citizens, more than half of whom get some sort of government assistance. Since 2007, four out of every five dollars in household income growth has come from the government.

Porn O'Graph: Healthy difference. (They all live longer than we do, too.)


rjs said...

magic wallet numbers are suspect, and unlinked, and i couldnt find anything comparable elsewhere; kash at angry bear debunked a similar claim a few months back:

Rick said...

Good to see you picked up the CalculatedRisk entry. It's a great summary of the situation and points out the widespread pain we seem to be oblivious to. Only thing I'd add is the long term changes - each recession in the last forty years has gotten progressively harder on people who work for a living.

I'm Not POTUS said...

If I ever meet McCain, I want to ask him if a soldier, who's life depends on the strength, character and courage of the officer leading him into combat, would rather follow a gay man who graduated at top of the class from the Naval Academy or settle for an admirals son who barely squeaked through at the absolute bottom of the class.

Tell me Senator, who that soldier should choose.