Monday, July 25, 2011

SAR #11206

"This is not the country I was born in." Jesse Ventura

Buyer's Remorse: "In many crucial areas, Obama has done more to subvert and weaken the left's political agenda than a GOP president could have dreamed of achieving. So potent, so overarching, are tribal loyalties in American politics that partisans will support, or at least tolerate, any and all policies their party's leader endorses – even if those policies are ones they long claimed to loathe." It's amusing to watch the mental and ethical contortions of progressives, now that it is obvious that Obama is the leading force behind the push for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Kick The Can: The dedication with which European leaders ignore the obvious is admirable.

This Week In Democracy:In Egypt, where Government Overthrow 1.0 has been ineffective, the streets are getting bloody again as the protesters take aim at the military dictatorship that replaced Mubarak. In Spain the Indignant completed their cross-country marches where they have stopped in villages along the way to hold teaching meetings – some with up to 200,000 people. All they want is an end to corruption and an end to welfare cuts – and jobs. In Syria tens of thousands, perhaps as many as 1.2 million, took to the streets in defiance of the government crackdown against them. In the US, citizens cheered the end of the pro football strike.

Constitutional Un-Convention: The politicians negotiating over the debt ceiling have proposed that Congress elect (or appoint, or accept) a Super Congress composed of six members of each house – three from each party- and let them rule the country.

Details, Devil: The administration is looking for a way to take foreclosed homes off the market by somehow taking them over and renting them. This is motivated by the combination of rising rents and falling house prices. The government will somehow become the owner of a bunch of empty houses. It will rent them out (through some agency or via private contracts) in competition with private landlords, undercutting the market yet somehow paying for the maintenance on all these houses. Somehow being able to rent houses even more cheaply will lower rents, do away with the housing glut and reverse the fall in house prices while taking prospective buyers off the market. Somehow. And these folks are part of the solution?

Long/Short: The only Social Security reform needed is to remove the income cap and let the well off pay their fair share..

Secret War, Inc. The State Department refuses to let its own Special Inspector inspect anything about the mercenary army it will field in Iraq come 2012, when “security operatives” from over 5,000 different contractors take up arms. The Ambassador insists that the chief inspector is not supposed to inspect security, just reconstruction. Which suggests the mercenaries are not part of the reconstruction effort. Remember back when an informed public was the guardian of democracy?

Charades: It is difficult to believe that the latest moves in the debt drama are not scripted passages aimed at causing a crisis, under cover of which even more treasure will be transferred from the taxpayers to the rich and shadowy.

Damned Facts: Non-defense discretionary spending in areas like foreign aid, education and food safety did not create the deficits. Social Security has never contributed to a deficit. The deficit is the result of the Bush tax cuts and the Bush wars and the tax revenue lost to the Greenspan housing recession.

The Big Sleep: As the recovery enters its 27th second year, mass layoffs are back. Yes, Borders, Cisco and Lockheed Martin, but also the states, with 142,000 so far this year, lots more to come.

Porn O'Graph:  He's not heavy...


Anonymous said...

Constitutional Unconvention: Sounds like a conference committee to me. Much ado about nothing.


Anonymous said...

This week in democracy: Your comparison of Egypt, Spain and Syria to the US is warped.


CKMichaelson said...

My comparison is not all that is warped.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Thanks for gathering and annotating these items.