Monday, October 10, 2011

SAR #11281

Explanations, like fashion, change inexplicably, and rapidly.

Coals to Newcastle: In northern Syria security forces opened fire on a funeral for a leading opposition leader, killing two. In Damascus they fired on a funeral possession for three protesters they had killed earlier.

Enough Is Too Much: Wannabe Mitt Romney is promising to increase defense spending. Don't point out that we spend too much already, or ask how much Social Security he would cut to do this.

Queen For A Day: Today's plan to rescue Europe from the Europeans is... whatever. They'll make something up, the market will cheer, then it'll all fall apart. Rinse and repeat.

Slow Learner: Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh says (again, he reneged the last time) he will step down soon. " I reject power and I will continue to reject it, and I will be leaving power in the coming days. He has been in power since 1978 but recently discovered he didn't like it.

Promises, Promises: Why can a politician happily renege on a promise – no new taxes, bring the troops home, single payer healthcare – with little or no hazard, but if you renege on a promise to a bank, they come take your house away?

Hypocrites Oath: The CDC reports that doctors' improper/over-prescription of painkillers and stimulants kill far more people than illegal drug dealers do, and even more than die in car accidents.

Word to the Wise: Drivers on the US East Coast - where most gasoline comes from European refineries - should note that cargoes of gasoline destined to the US have dropped 35% as refineries in both Europe and the US cut back while they switch over to winter blends.

Thumb on the Scale: The environmental impact study for the Keystone XL pipeline is being done by a company that has a financial stake in the pipeline getting built.

Crop Circles: Suburban municipalities, filled with folks escaping from taxes closer in, soon find they need to expand their infrastructure to get new taxpayers to help pay off the loans that went to expand the infrastructure for the previous wave of settlers. And round and round it goes, and the maintenance costs increase every year and no one dares raise taxes and eventually it will all fall apart. God bless the near-sighted.

Criminal Offenses: Patarick Howley, an assistant editor for the right-wing American Spectator, admits that he committed trespass, simple assault, and inciting a riot - all to bring discredit on the people who wanted to protest the use of drones to assassinate Americans, who resolutely refused to be confrontational. Thanks to Howley a large number of peaceful protesters were maced - including tourists who happened to be in the area. Don't hold your breath waiting for Howley's arrest.

It's The Thought That Counts: Jeff Immelt, GE's CEO, wants corporate taxes to be cut, even thugh GE hasn't paid a cent in taxes for some time.

Amen: "Europe is demonstrating that a sovereign nation without a true central bank is just an uninsured bank, liable to be tipped over by the markets." James Saft.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Romney's remarks about "maintaining American military superiority", while banal in the political context, remind me very uncomfortably of America Über Alles. Spouse and self were doing touristic things in Washington, DC over the weekend with a foreign colleague of missus charley, and one of the sites we visited reminded us of the reservation by the Constitution to Congress of the power to declare war. It became clear to me why we never declare war any more - it is no longer necessary to warn the world that we'll kill them if they don't obey us - all of them already know that.

kwark said...

RE: "Thumb on the Scale" In my personal experience, Federal agencies ALWAYS farm-out the bulk of NEPA compliance when an Environmental Impact Statement is the required document (as it always is on large, controversial projects) AND the project proponent ALWAYS pays for the work. It's also quite true that your typical Federal agency really doesn't have the expertise to prepare all the varied elements required in an EIS. But perhaps worse, agencies VERY RARELY allocate sufficient resources (staff or money) to even carefully and properly evaluate the thousands of pages of text in an EIS on projects like the Keystone pipeline. What the article doesn't mention is that insufficient resources and absurdly short agency review time-frames are just part of "gaming" the system to push through projects that the big-wigs in DC favor. And when that's not enough because some pesky agency employee points-out too many flaws . . . a little pressure from DC makes everything OK. 'Happened all the time with Bush via his cadre of political gate keepers installed throughout the various Federal agencies - won't be a shock to me to see the same thing happen with Obama's administration.

CKMichaelson said...

kwark - thanks for the real-world report. Just another form of regulatory capture. nothing to see here, move along....