Saturday, July 2, 2011

SAR #11183

Not all sociopaths wield knives.

One Step Over The Line: Serious People assure us that the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling are so dire that – in the end, after the posturing – the ceiling will be raised. Maybe a little, maybe a bit more, but at least enough to avert disaster. Nonsense. Such pabulum ignores the essential insanity of modern GOP extremism. Watch their faces – they act as thought the crash of the economy will be as entertaining as those savored by NASCAR fans.

Sixth Sense: Assad's security forces killed only six of the half million protesters that took the streets in Syria on Friday. They'll do better tomorrow.

Dream On: A seriously misinterpreted survey asked “"How important a part of the American dream is owning a home?” to which 89% said it was important. And they are right, the American Dream is defined as owning your own home. That does not mean the folks who correctly identified this fact felt that way themselves or felt that that particular American Dream was pertinent any more. Americans have abandoned home ownership – having lost their life savings along the way, learned a lesson about the validity of the American Dream, and driven up rental prices by 6.7% in the last year.

All In Favor Say 'Me, Too' : So far this year 19 different polls have shown that Americans strongly support higher taxes to reduce the budget deficit and to narrow income inequality.

Ignorance is not bliss: Scientists have come to understand that the public does not understand the warnings they have been giving for 20 years, because the public does not appreciate the refined and constrained discussion in scientific journals. So now they are trying to make it a little clearer: The link between the ongoing outbreak of extreme weather events and global warming “can no longer be ignored. We have changed the climate enough so that there’s more moisture and more heat in the atmosphere driving stronger storms and heavier rainfall.” They expect to be attacked by the professional skeptics and those paid to deny the obvious.

And In This Corner: While all eyes are on Athens, one in every five Portuguese companies is delinquent on its bank loans, and 14.2% of Portuguese families are behind on their loans (personal and mortgage).

Chain Of Fooling: For some reason, Social Security benefit cuts seem to be part of the debt ceiling negotiations, although Social Security has no impact on the debt, being wholly funded by dedicated taxes. The slight of hand that is being discussed is changing the calculation of benefit increases from changes in the CPI to changes in a “chained CPI”, which is a very stealthy benefit cut that would cause seniors tens of thousands of dollars during their retirement years. The big thing to watch is the the midnight rush to passage, when a huge unread document will get passed with no one knowing what they are voting on until the stock market soars the next day.

Record Keeping: One way of measuring the economy's recovery is to note that 44.647 million Americans were drawing food stamps last month, another new high. The average monthly benefit per household dropped to $282.38 a month, a new low.

Priceless: Worth watching, worth supporting.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

CKM,the majority of the blame for the mess we're in with the debt ceiling standoff resides at the White House. Obama's so over his head that it's beyond making jokes about. I have run a SMALL company that I managed to grow into something special, but I was overwhelmed by the difficulty of the executive position when I started. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have my 1st executive position in the Oval Office. Unfortunately, I'm witnessing it and it's painful to watch.

Bill

CKMichaelson said...

Thanks, Bill. Always good to know what the GOP's taking point is for the day...

ckm

Anonymous said...

Your dismissive reply is quite telling.

1st, your vapid response very strongly implies that you agree that Obama is out of his depth as President. He isn't the first, but he is the least qualified in my opinion.

2nd, and more importantly, if I thought the Republicans were in the right, why would I be pained by his ineptness. I think the Simpson Bowles recommendations are an excellent starting point. Why waste the time and effort only to completely abandon the report in favor of a blueprint that the Senate rejected 97-0? WTF, and I don't mean winning the future! The Republicans are irresponsible for thinking the deficit can be reduced solely with spending cuts, but the President has no idea how to lead effectively.

Bill

CKMichaelson said...

We are, I fear, agreed. I agree that Mr O is not the leader any of us who voted for him expected, but (to your first note) I don't think it has anything to do with a lack of executive experience or training (as we are hearing from the loyal opposition of late).

I believe you are technically in error to cite the S-B recommendations - my memory is that that bunch actually never got around to publishing a report of any sort, they just went to the media.

The problem is not that Obama lacks "executive experience" or that he is inept (both are true, but immaterial). He is spineless - or seems so to those of us who wanted the contents to match the advertising. His radio talk today was a simple surrender to the Republicans, plus at least 47 offensive canards and shop-worn platitudes.

I suspect he is simply an empty suit, bought and paid for. He may or may not have some idea how to lead; he has no incentive nor inclination to do so.

ckm

Anonymous said...

I agree. Look at Clinton and Reagan. Regardless of their ideology, both men understood how to negotiate and lead. Neither whined a lot, and both appreciated and respected the power of the executive. Take a look at http://goo.gl/l3yaB, which shows the number of vetoes by president. This is far from a perfect barometer of presidential effectiveness, but it does indicate whether a president is an independent thinker who isn't shy about expressing his opinion. Bush had only 10 vetoes in 8 years, and (to the best of my knowledge) Obama has just 2. Meantime, both vastly increased presidential power covertly. To me, that's not transparent leadership.

Bill

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that 44.647million Americans are seeing America on less than $10 bucks a day?.
Now that's living High on the Hog.
Thanks from a Long time drop in who gets it

Drewbert said...

The Republicans refuse to entertain even a penny in tax increases or any decrease in corporate subsidies, so much as the courtesy of open debate.... yet Obama is the problem?