Saturday, January 5, 2013

SAR #13005

Those who cannot pay, will not get; it’s the American way.

Respect: The Republican House leadership (sic), stung by the reaction to not addressing the $60 billion-plus aid requested for Sandy's victims, has passed a $9.7 billion insult. Even that was too much for 67 Republican congresscreatures who voted against giving even a penny to the victims of super-storm Sandy.

Bi-Partisan Agreement: If the Republicans are right about the need to cut welfare as a part of the drive to reduce overall government spending, why not start with the $150 billion the government could save by having competitive bidding for Medicare Part D prescriptions? Then we could save another $100 billion by abolishing tax breaks and subsidies to the oil, coal and gas industries. Cutting back on America's military adventures could easily save well over $100 billion a year. And that's just a start.

Correction: Ralph Nader - and lots of other folks - think that a carbon tax is "the best solution" to global warming. Not true. The only solution is to stop burning fossil fuels. Now. Of course it's not going to happen - but that doesn't invalidate the idea, it simply shows how richly we deserve what we're doing to ourselves and our progeny.

The Usual Suspects: If you suspect that the US is a wholly owned and operating subsidiary of a) the military-industrial complex, b) Wall Street, c) Big Oil and d) the healthcare/insurance cabal, you are right. So? At least it's not a conspiracy; conspiracies are secret.

With A Straight Face: The Church of England had decided to permit “abstinent gay men in civil partnerships” to be bishops.

Mythtakes: The idea that the US government must 'pay for' deficit spending at some later date is flat wrong. The government (ie. politicians) have no intention of ever paying off the debt. The Republicans intend on using the debt to justify privatizing Social Security and abolishing healthcare for 90% of the country, while Democrats intend on inflating away the debt - which is, after all, largely held by people who don't vote for them.

Our Girl: Ann Coulter thinks there should be a public registry of women who have had an abortion because they ‘might be willing to murder a child’. Not to be outdone, a judge in California ruled that a rape wasn't a rape because the woman wasn't married.

Price Supports: In December, OPEC produced the smallest amount of oil in over a year, and going forward they intend to cut their output another 1%, citing lower demand (and not mentioning the higher prices they need to meet their budgets.) Their supply, their demands.

Promises, Promises: Speaker Boehner says he will never again negotiate one-on-one with President Obama.  So there.

Deduction: Krugman notes that "Of the total income being generated in this country, a substantially smaller fraction is now going to workers of any kind -- including highly skilled workers -- and more is going to whoever it is that owns the capital." and concludes with an explanation that this is the result of technology being owned by the capitalists, not the workers. What part of the definition of a capitalism doesn't he grasp- it's not the technology, it's the system.

Today In Global Warming:Abu Dhabi is building coal-fired power plants across Turkey – to burn good old lignite. Europe is having - their words - "some kind of golden age of coal." The golden tint is the sun shining through the haze from coal-fired power plants.

Puzzle: If the war on terrorism - which is really a war on terrorists, which is really a war on folks we don't like - is what we are engaged in, and if terrorism is a tactic, a process, then logically the war will never end. So the US will continue to kill people around the world, at will, forever. Why? Because we can. For now.

Porn O'Graph:Well-aged health-care costs.

The Parting Shot:


Morning, January.


HS said...

The war on terrorism is actually a war on those who won't cede their resources to those listed in The Usual Suspects. At some point, the Chinese are going to have fight back and then we'll have WWIII.

Anonymous said...

A haunting parting shot this time.. quite the contrast with yesterday's.

- Lobo

greatblue said...

Re The Usual Suspects and Deduction: Automation has replaced labor in much of our economy.  The only solution I see for the average person is to start buying shares of corporations.  That's the only way average people are going to share in the wealth and have their interests aligned with those in power.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I think your optimism that the Democratic party wants to inflate away the debt is unwarranted.

They are just as committed to supporting the creditor class as the Republicans are.

Blissex said...

«the US is a wholly owned and operating subsidiary of a) the military-industrial complex, b) Wall Street, c) Big Oil and d) the healthcare/insurance cabal,»

There are some important footnotes.

The Military-Industrial complex (think SAIC), Big Oil and Wall Street are as much instruments of state power as viceversa.

They are quasi-nationalized long arms of the government ("national champions") and as a result people move easily between them and government and back.

Consider Dick Cheney and Hank Paulson: both were first political operatives, then big business people, then again political operatives.

It is perhaps appropriate to say that Cheney was an operative of the Republican elite in the oil industry, and Paulson in finance, as viceversa.

Also note that all these industries are very popular employers, and among the few that provide good jobs and benefits, usually to people in the right social groups, and they have very many shareholders.

Consider for example healthcare: it costs twice as much, around 14-16% of GDP, and gives the same results as nationalized healthcare in Canada, England, France, Germany, etc.

That means that saving money in healthcare means threatening the good jobs and high share prices of 7-8% of the USA population, which of course they would not like.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Blistex hits on a problem that has bothered me for some time as I rant on about single-payer healthcare and downsizing the defense department... Is there something actually productive and worthwhile all these people doing essentially unnecessary jobs could be doing?

What if there was a revival and most of us gave up on McWhaterver and ate healthy stuff at home? What useful things would all the service personnel be able to do?

Or does it all come back to my secret fear - that we've got far more people than we have jobs that actually need doing, and no handy way to get them money so they can keep the economy running...

kwark said...


Regarding your reply. . .farm labor, farm labor and, your fear is confirmed. But don't worry, our overlords will keep kicking the can down the road 'till they can't. Which constitutes long-range planning these days.