Tuesday, September 13, 2011

SAR #11254

Virtue has become its own punishment.

The Perils of Pauline: The US market is ignoring the disaster-in-progress in Greece and the disaster-in-the-making with the French Banks and the continuing slow-motion disaster that is the US economy. We've seen this movie so many times and know our hero will snatch the victims from the tracks just in time, so we don't even get goosebumps anymore. But for it to work, someone is going to have to put all their pennies into zero-interest rate notes. You first, Martha.

Vocabulary Exercise: Inexorable- “Look out! She's going to blow!” As in 'Greece's default on its debt is inexorable.'

Vive la Différence! Wannabe Romney says that unions should be prohibited from using funds from union dues as political campaign contributions. He said he has “no problem with unions,” as long as they rely on profits for buying politicians  political actions, like corporations do.

Either/Or: Professor Roubini, spelling Professor Krugman, says “In the short term, we need to do massive stimulus; otherwise, there's going to be another Great Depression...”

Empire/Clothed: “The fact is that the two years or so after 9/11 were a terrible time in America – a time of political exploitation and intimidation, culminating in the deliberate misleading of the nation into the invasion of Iraq.” See also: Years of Shame.

Leadership In Education: Darrel Issa (R-CA) says that “It’s time for us to say states have to step up to the plate. I don’t think we should maintain government workers with borrowed money.” The government workers he had in mind are your children's teachers.

Fungibility: Italy wants China to make "significant" purchases of its debt. Société Générale said it would cut costs and sell off assets to to raise 4 billion euros in fresh capital. Wall Street doesn't care who rescues them as long as someone shows up pretty soon.

Happy Shopping! It's best not to annotate your shopping list as you nervously walk around the Mall of the Americas (and probably all the malls of America) - at least if you are of a dusky complexion and don't have a few hours to sit around explaining to rent-a-cops that shopping is patriotic.

Half-Measures: BofA said it will cut 30,000 jobs and slash annual expenses by $5 billion. Investors said that would be a nice start, but wanted more cuts in people and in expenses. Austerity – one size fits all.

Pudding: Bin Laden said a key aim of Al Qaeda was "bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy." The $1.2 trillion wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan hasn't bankrupted us yet, but it didn't help things much.

Don't Need No Stinkin' Rules: JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon – a big backer of globalization and WTO rules, says that US banks should not follow international rules – we should, he says, tell them ‘If it’s not in the interests of the United States, we’re not doing it’.

Faded Glory: Americans may once have been exceptional, but that achievement is crumbling and our favorites narratives with it. For example, among the 20 major advanced countries America now has: the highest poverty rate; the greatest inequality of incomes; the lowest social mobility; the highest infant mortality rate, highest obesity rate, highest % of people with no health care coverage, and the most low-birth-weight children per capita. Proportionally, America spends the least international development and humanitarian assistance, but spends the most on the military and wars. The US has nearly the poorest student performance in math, science and reading. And we have the highest % of our population in prison and the highest homicide rate.

Unclear on the Concept: The President plans to pay for his jobs plan with tax hikes that the Republicans have already rejected. How's that going to work out? Well, no jobs, but Obama will gain talking points to use against them in the 2012 campaign.

Porn O'Graph: Melting away...


kwark said...

"Re Vive la Difference!" We hear this sort of thing constantly from the Republican party but their logic escapes me. It's OK for people with capital to invest to pool their resources and then use the proceeds to influence politicians. But it's not OK for people with only their labor to offer to pool their resources and then use the proceeds to influence politicians . . . or is there some deep thinking here that I don't get?

CKMichaelson said...

I suspect the difference is not in the least subtle - it is wholly explicable by the "me Tarzan, you Jane" level of thought: Corporations give money to me, so it must be okay. Unions give money to my opponents, so it must be stopped. Most GOP philosophy is at that level.