Our lives depend on others.
Don't Leave Home Without... Described by one of its authors as “the only plan that is going to ever pass”, the diet recommended by the Gang include reductions in deductions for health insurance, home mortgage interest, charitable gifts, even retirement savings. Medicare and Medicaid would be diminished and Social Security undermined. While most taxpayers will pay higher taxes under their plan, the top tax rate would drop from 35% to 23% and those big hedge fund incomes would be taxed as capital gains – which would be unchanged at 15%. And the alternative minimum tax, designed to force high-income families pay at least some bit of income tax, would be repealed. It proposes a “territorial tax system” which would be a windfall for US multinationals. What's not to like?
Existentialism:June's existing home sales
fell eased 0.8% m/m to 4.77 million (annualized), and were 8.8% percent below June 2010. Naturally the realtors say the decline was due to the debt/deficit fight in Washington.
Financial News: The ingredients in a loaf of bread are water, salt, yeast, and wheat. And petroleum-based energy. Guess which is the most expensive and is mainly responsible for the increase in prices.
Shortly: “Goldman Will Sach 1,000 Workers Because it Only Made A Billion Dollars Last Quarter.”
and Punishment: Signing someone else's name to a legal document is a crime. It is also a crime to sign an affidavit testifying to the accuracy of facts you have no knowledge of. It probably is an even bigger crime if you have a robot do the signing. It may be even more illegal if you promised to stop doing it eight months ago, and didn't.
Spy Vs Spy: Following the Christchurch, NZ, earthquake, in which an Israeli tourist with five or six passports was killed, the Israeli ambassador flew from Canberra, Australia to personally drive three of the deceased 'student' friends to the airport and to take possession of the passports. Soon thereafter an Israeli “rescue team” was apprehended in the disaster area by NZ officials – although both sides now claim it never happened.
En Passant: “Market prices almost always tell you something useful. But sometimes what they tell you is that there’s a marketing scam in progress.” Sometimes?
Exports: Domestic demand for petroleum in Saudi Arabia is growing, production slowing and exports dropping. Internal use grew from 1.6 mbd in 2003 to 2.4 mbd last year, while exports shrank from 9.1 mbd in 2005 to 7.2 mbd in 2010 – which was 28% of Saudi production. At this rate, Saudi Arabia will become an importer of oil by 2025.
An Oracle of the Law: Albuquerque's chief criminal judge was arrested for raping a prostitute. The evidence is a video of the attack purchased by an undercover police officer. The judge will appear in court on Thursday to explain that it was not him on the video, it wasn't really rape, and he won't do it again.
Dead Budgie: Is natural gas going to save us from global warming? No, putting carbon into the atmosphere must stop no mater what the source. The safe level is about 250 ppm, we are at 393.69 ppm and on track to reach 850 ppm by 2100 – and that's a lot more degrees than anyone needs. Slowing down the rate at which we are killing ourselves is hardly going to make the difference.
Family Tree: Fermilab's mad scientists have observed a new particle, the neutral Xi-sub-b, which was predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. It is composed of three quarks: a strange quark, an up quark and a bottom quark (s-u-b). This, my son-in-law the physicist assures me, is important because it “strengthens our understanding of how quarks form matter.” I don't think I was included in the 'our' part of the understanding.
Porn O'Graph: Where the Wild Things Are.