Tuesday, June 7, 2011

SAR #11158

Before power corrupts, it seduces.

Anschluss: In the beginning.... Germany's Deutsche Telekom has acquired 10% more of Hellenic Telecom, leaving Greece holding but 10% of the firm and leaving Deutsche Telekom with a 40% share. (Note that Deutsche Telekom is 30% owned by the German government, meaning the German government has just bought the Greek government phone system.) Next up, the public power company, the natural gas company and the lottery.

Asked and Answered:? Why do we have such high unemployment and underemployment? Because the unemployed have no political clout and no economic importance. Until anger leads them into the streets, the disenfranchised will be ignored.

Multiple Choices: Security forces in ____ fired on protesters again today. a) Israel, b) Yemen, c) Syria, d) Bahrain e) all of the above and more.

Rational Discourse: Climate change scientists in Australia are receiving death threats and have had to go into hiding.

The Numbers: Republicans claim that folks over 55 will not be affected by the Ryan plan to gut Medicare. But part of his plan is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which means re-opening the 'doughnut hole' in Medicare's prescription benefit. This would cost 4 million seniors about $1,700 a year. And it would also do away with ACA's coverage of preventive-care services. Add to this $744 billion in Medicaid cuts and try to figure out if you can keep grandma in long-term care at $4,500 a month or more. And that's what happens to the folks who “are not affected” by the Ryan plan...

Squeeze Play:In order to satisfy the needs of both the established industrial nations and the rising powers like China and India, we need to produce 29% more energy by 2025.

Never On Sunday: The stark, cold math facing Greece: In 2012-13 Greece needs to pay its international creditors 84 billion euros. It is expected to do so by borrowing another 65 billion euros and selling off 25 billion euros worth of its assets. What happens in 2014, when the interest payments rise, there are no lenders in sight, and all the islands have been sold to Germans?

Unclear on the Concept: The US military wants to convert to ecologically responsible warfare. Read that again, slowly.

Revisionism: Iraq announced it expects to produce 3 mbd of oil by the end of 2011 and at least 3.5 mbd by the end of 2012. Previously they had promised 3.3 mbd a year earlier, 4.9 mbd by the end of this year and 6.5 mbd by the end of 2012. Iraq seems better at producing estimates than petroleum.

Acorn / Oak: “Imagine Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged not with raping a maid, but starving her to death, along with her children, her parents, and thousands of other people. That is what the IMF has done to innocent people over and over during its long and nasty history.”

Weeding: The only part of immigration policy that Congress seems united on is requiring all American businesses to run employees through E-Verify, a system that confirms the applicant is legally entitled to work in the US. Neat, except about 80% of agricultural field workers are illegal immigrants.

Ryan vs. The States: Taking Tennessee as the poster child, here's what Ryan's Plan would do: add $52 million to the cost of prescriptions for 93,000 seniors. Add $2.5 million to the cost of 'wellness' visits to doctors by 23,000 seniors. Medicaid payments to hospitals would drop $2.4 billion – guess who'd have to make that up. And – the biggest savings – just over 1 million people would be kicked off Medicaid. Your results may vary.

Porn O'Graph: Go fish.


Anonymous said...

Re: Unclear on the Concept

Good on the military I suppose, but it does smack a little of self-righteousness. Like all our recent wars.

Anonymous said...

The Ryan plan can certainly be improved, but the Corrupt Party and its acolytes would rather demagogue it (easy) than propose an alternative (difficult). Enough already! How about a plan so we can contrast and compare.

The president, who is a gifted demagogue, said the country would not be in this mess, but for the Bush tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Nonetheless, he and his fellow cowardly Democrats wouldn't dare call for the drug benefit to be halted and all the Bush tax cuts to be reversed. Just end the tax cuts for the rich, leaving the much larger part of the Bush tax policy in place.

Perhaps someone, anyone, can explain to me how makes sense mathematically for the Bush tax cuts, which I agree played a major role in our current debt and deficit problems, to be only partially repealed, while leaving most of them alone.


CKMichaelson said...

Bill - First request: There already was a plan, the Ryan thingy is the GOP's alternative to the Affordable Care Act (and its intended follow-up Universal Single Payer). Now if the GOP would propose a plan that might work...

I agree that the Bush tax cuts could/should be repealed. If it'd make the GOP go along, I'd be happy to see the whole thing repealed - if we can stop the Bush wars at the same time and maybe cut the DOD budget by 50%.


I'm Not POTUS said...

Re: Unclear on the Concept

(I am gonna be tongue and check for a minute here.)

The DoD is always getting the theme right but messing up the delivery.

No, your typical Russian son, would wage ecological warfare efficiently by doing something like developing unique strains of common, potentially deadly afflictions, then testing them out on former enemies to gauge the effect on civilian populations and how effective a massive outbreak would be on enemy economies.

But I am just throwing out spitballs here. There is no way there are still that devious. I mean come on when was the last time they planted deep mole spies.........

By the way CKM did you read the Zerohedge article on creating an "evil plan" for yourselves. Great reading.

CKMichaelson said...

I set the 'Evil Plan' aside to read this evening & will see if some of it can be shoehorned into an item for SAR tomorrow. Thanks for the pointer.


Anonymous said...

I agree that we have to get out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. However, I would keep special forces and drones in Afghanistan; nation building is a fool's game.

The Medicare actuary says Medicare is on the road to bankruptcy.