Saturday, December 22, 2012

SAR #12356

It used to be crime & punishment, but they seem to have gotten a divorce.

Speaking Up: Boehner's inability to muster a passing vote in a House his party controls raises the question of how much of the House he speaks for and whether he'll be Speaker come January. To win the job he'll need an absolute majority of the House. He doesn't have one now. Now if we could get Obama to stop negotiating with himself...

Send In The Clowns: Mario Monti has resigned from his position as Italy's EU-appointed Prime Minister. Elections - if the EU feels it cannot simply appoint another PM - will be held in February and will be focused on the austerity programs he has initiated at the behest of his masters. Odds now suggest that former communist Pier Luigi Bersani's Democratic Party will win with about 30% of the vote and form a coalition government, perhaps with Berlusconi's PDL or the group led by the other professional comedian Beppe Grillo.

The Brotherhood of the Flagellants: With no coherent threat of scourging from the right, House Democrats are working on a plan that would cut Social Security benefits, plus reduce the benefits of about 50 other federal programs that are keyed to cost of living adjustments.

Aw, Really? The bandwidth caps that the big internet service providers insisted were essential to help them give users reliable fast service, actually only give the companies faster profits.

Infield Error: It is not clear what Obama gains (other than an easy confirmation) from the Kerry nomination. What the Democrats may well lose is a Senate seat. Doesn't seem like a fair trade, but then Good Deals are not exactly Obama's forte.

To Be Continued: The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has ruled that Ghana “shall forthwith and unconditionally release” the Libertad, an Argentinian ship which was seized last October as part of an attempt by a hedge fund that stupidly lost money investing in Argentinean bonds reverse the notion that a bankrupt country can declare bankruptcy. Think of the precedent. Think of Greece. Don't think this is over.

Hit Parade: November was the 5th warmest on record. Ten of the warmest Novembers have happened in the last 12 years. The last time global temperatures came in below the 20th-century average for the month of November was in 1976, and the last time any month came in below the average was February 1985.

Keep On Trucking: For months US auto makers have been stuffing dealerships with unsalable cars and citing them as 'sales'. Now, just to get rid of pickup trucks, GM is offering deals with up to $9,000 off, Ford and Chrysler up to $4,500. Get 'em while they're stuck with 'em.

The Little Engine That Can't: One of South Carolina's elected yahoos wants state officials who comply with Federal health laws to be jailed for two years and fined $1,000. For Federal officials (presumably SC elected congresscritters who vote for health legislation) it'll be five years and $5,000.

Porn O'Graph: The ups and downs of shale oil.

The Parting Shot:



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