Thursday, January 24, 2013

SAR #13024

We are running an experiment with everybody's future, and nobody knows how it will turn out.

Two Down, At Least Two To Go:House Republicans led(?) by John Boehner, capitulating once again, have decided to 'extend' the federal debt ceiling to May 19th - as long as they don't actually have to vote to increase the limit.. The next can to be kicked down the road is the sequester silliness on March 1, followed by the expiration (and renewal) of the continuing resolution at the end of March. Don't say this drama has to end; it's the new normal.

The Cost of Salvation: How much would it cost to actually do something about global warming? About $700 billion a year – and cutting way back on the consumer society. And that's why we're not going to do it. We'll pay on the way out.

Asked and Obvious: Should taxpayers fund the rebuilding of those areas devastated by Sandy (and Katrina, etc.) that will most likely be hit again and again in the years to come? Wouldn't it be smarter to offer funding to relocation efforts?

Something to Jim Crow About: In Virginia, the Republicans - smarting from Obama's victory - are going to apportion the state's electoral votes by congressional district. That way they can gerrymander the state's presidential votes and get by stealth what they cannot achieve by light of day. The change would have reduced Obama's 13 electoral votes to only 4, despite the huge plurality of actual voters and their desires. Voters desires, after all, are the last thing Republicans are concerned with. "One person, one vote" has always annoyed them. It is not an accident that this would disenfranchise blacks and other non-white voters.

No Man/Island: Why should folks in Seattle be protesting shipping coal to China? Because coal combustion is the leading human-caused source of CO2 emissions. Coal burned anywhere is global warming everywhere. Now on to petroleum fueled transportation, number two on the hit list.

Right Place, Right Time, Right People: Go watch - and then wonder why you don't do the same sort of thing for members of your own species.

Slipped & Fell: Johnson & Johnson, back in 2011, figured out that 40% of their hip implants would fail within 5 years, resulting in painful and painfully expensive replacement operations. Of course they thought the pain would fall on the recipients and not their profit margin, so nothing was said. Or done. Now the first of perhaps ten thousand lawsuits is changing their analysis.

Dance Steps: If you think the war for Iraq's oil is over, you have not been paying attention; it's only just begun.

Mulligan! The US electricity supply network needs a do-over, starting with generation (40% of US carbon emissions come from power plants), a rebuilding of the distribution grid (which deregulation has let go to the dogs), upgrading the grid's stability and redundancy (to cope with the coming increase in Sandy-type natural disasters) and improving grid security (the transmission network is the blood supply for the economy and it is virtually undefended from sabotage and terrorism – and ordinary wear and tear). At this point it might be cheaper to start over, under central control, and do it right - certainly profit-now deregulated privatization isn't up to the job.

Wrong In So Many Ways: The Republicans have launched a website asking for our advice. No, it's not The Onion, but it might as well be. I'm pretty sure they don't want my advice.

On Unions:"The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.... The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome." It is time for a revival.

Porn O'Graph: The arc of justice, the making of a rainbow.

The Parting Shot:


American Goldfinch, winter uniform.

1 comment:

kwark said...

Re "Asked and Obvious". Not everything will be rebuilt but lots of stuff that shouldn't be will. The thing is, "reconstruction" is often driven by patronage via the local congressman. This form of feeding at the Government trough is exactly how things operate at the local level - and have operated for several generations. In my neck of the woods there is a "flood control" project (aka decades-long pork barrel project) funded by the Army Corp of Engineers. It would've been FAR cheaper to simply buy-out the entire TOWN where land repeatedly floods but that wouldn't dump money into the hands of the local construction firms who also happen to support their zillion-term congressman (a fine anti-big government Republican by the way).