Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SAR #13037

Drone strikes are a form of educational outreach.

Nullification: CEOs and their lawyers are gleefully preparing suits to challenge not just all the NLRB rulings that went toward protecting workers, they are giddy with the idea of putting Obama in his place. Trouble is, the same logic would invalidate not just Obama's recess appointments, but 600 such appointments going back 30 years – and all the rulings, regulations etc. made by any and all of them. Someone should spank these children and send them hungry to bed.

Noted: In the last 30 years, economic consensus has never forecast a recession. Economists who have correctly predicted recessions tend to end up unemployed.

Motivation: Why would anyone investigating the conditions on the nation's factory farms be labeled a terrorist? Because the idea of a new Upton Sinclair scares the hell out of industrialists in charge of corporate-controlled farms, slaughterhouses and the meat packers of today. Thus ALEC has come up with legislative templates that will criminalize telling the public about the horrors required to bring them their daily bread. And steak and ham and deep fried chicken.

SNAFU: To date, the US has shoveled $51 billion into something called Afghan security forces. Trouble is, no one seems to know what we bought with the money, not how effective these forces are, how they are equipped, or even how many of them there are. But wait, there's more! The IG auditing US expenditures thinks that even what little we know “could be a sham.”.

Investment Accounting: Wall Street exists to sell promises, mostly hollow, and their problems, cleverly packaged as opportunities. They know far more than you, which is why they get the bonuses. You are a natural resource and they mine you. And they don't much like you.

The Golden Years: Seventy-five percent of retirees worked longer than they intended in order to have access to an affordable heath plan.

Padded Cells: The CBO reports that in the last 30 years the federal prison population has gone from 25,000 to 219,000. Do you feel safer? The US incarcerates far more of its people than any other nation. Do you feel safer? Last year 95,000 juveniles were put in prison (not in juvie, in prison). Do you feel safer? The largest number of these prisoners are serving time for drug-related crimes, relatively minor drug-related crimes. Do you feel safer? The federal Bureau of Prisons spends about $6.5 billion a year. Are we safe yet?

Data Point: US unemployment has been above 7.5% for six years now.

Fairy Tail: The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month. Nope, not as long as ATT and friends pull $178 billion a year out of consumer pockets. Just not gonna happen. It may be the world of the future, but the future is just that, the future. And big money will keep it there, continuing to insure the US has an expensive, third-rate broadband internet and wireless communication system. A very profitable third-rate system.

Platitudes: The brokerage houses all say now's the time to buy, now, at the peak. They always say that, we always believe them, and Lucy always gets the last laugh.

Happy Anniversary: On February 3, 1913, the backlash against concentrated wealth in the US resulted in ratification of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, authorizing a federal income tax, which Congress made steeply progressive based on the "capacity to pay."  Time for a replay.

Porn O'Graph: Why the rich don’t want to talk about inequality, Canadian edition.

The Parting Shot:



Anonymous said...

Re Padded Cell:

Watch this eye-opener and weep!

TulsaTime said...

SNAFU- why would we expect Afghanistan to come out any different than IRAQ? We operate the same everywhere, build crap with no regard for need, don't keep track of the money spent, don't give a damn about the quality of anything money is spent on. I recall certain dangerous showers built for US troops in Iraq, as well as massive detention buildings in both places that had chicken wire for security doors.

You don't suppose that the military is allergic to accountants and auditors because of the rampant graft and corruption, do you?

OkieLawyer said...

Re: Nullification

This demonstrates -- probably as good as anything -- the complete asymmetry in access to the courts between the wealthy and those affected by consumer laws. For instance, one of the arguments undoubtedly will be that those who were adversely affected by past unconstitutional recess appointments are 1) out of time to challenge them due to the statute of limitations or laches; and 2) assented to the resulting rules and laws by not challenging them. Nevermind that those who were adversely affected by "pro-business" appointments are disproportionately unable to afford to challenge these laws because of the enormous costs.

It is similar to what I was taught in undergrad in my Constitutional Law class: the Unionists won the elections, and the Confederates won the Supreme Court.