Monday, March 11, 2013

SAR #13070

In science, if your theory doesn't fit the data, you change the theory. In politics, not so much.

Point of View: Afghanistan's President Karzai says the US is colluding with the Taliban to keep the war going. Don't scoff, there are precedents. Nixon secretly kept the Vietnam war going so he could get elected and Reagan paid the Iranians to keep the American hostages until after his inauguration.

Numbers Game: TransCanada says the Keystone XL pipeline would create 553,235 permanent jobs. The US government's study suggest the number would be closer to 35.

Peaked: Last week's drop in unemployment was more the result of people giving up the search for work and dropping out of the labor force than it was of workers finding jobs. And those 236,000 new jobs reported for February 2013 have an echo in the 271,000 reported in February 2012 and the 311,000 in January 2012. Compared with December 2007, there are 5.8 million fewer Americans working full time. And 2.8 million more working part time. In other words, celebrate sensibly and keep an eye out for sequester-sponsored layoffs.

Asked & Answered: Did the US already overtake Saudi Arabia for petroleum liquids king? What do you mean “petroleum liquids”? Pretty much, no, not even if you wave your magic wand and pretend that natural gas liquids have much in common with crude oil – which they don't.

Promises, Promises: Greek Prime Minister Samaras promises there will be “no more austerity measures” and that “relief measures will slowly begin... as soon as growth sets in.” Chicken in every pot, ponies all 'round. Too bad the troika wants more public sector jobs whacked, privatization speeded up, and the banks bailed out – lord knows with what.

Logic? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Logic: According to Republican legislators in Kansas, those who volunteer or work at abortion clinics are a clear and present danger to the state's children and must not be allowed entry into a public school, not even to bring the class cupcakes on their own kid's birthday.

Silver Blaze: NASA says that the predicted peak of eleven-year sunspot cycle is a no-show. Instead the surface of the sun is nearly blemish free. And they don't know why.

Infrastructure: The world's most heavily traveled shipping lane with over 35,000 annual transits, the 118 year-old Kiel Canal, has been shut down because two long-neglected locks have broken down. The closure will force ships to travel an extra 450 kilometers to pass between the Baltic and the North Sea. Last year Germany cut the canal's maintenance budget from €60 million to €11 million, money well saved.

The Good & The Bad: The OECD is predicting that the energy demand of a worldwide economic recovery will send the price of Brent crude to $190 a barrel by 2020. That is, if the increasing price of oil doesn't trip the world back into recession first.

The Anti-Party: The Republicans are “ideologically cohesive, disciplined, and determined to take power, even at the cost of disrupting the political system.” In fact, they want to take power in order to dismantle the system.

Porn O'Graph: Percentages.

The Parting Shot:


Signs of spring.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re sunspots, relative absence of - it reminds me of the Silver Blaze story:

Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

I, and the item, stand corrected.

TulsaTime said...

Infrastructure- That is the first story I have ever read that casts an 'american' light on the germans. Since they are supposed to be the proactive and forward thinking group in europe, this almost looks teaparty-ish.

Recovery is such a quaint notion now, it's hard to imagine worldwide anything except chaos. Even a rumored recovery will spike oil prices, smash the marginal markets, and look out below.

With war in the wings, finance ready to shatter, and political systems locked, we seem to be well on the way to another banner year.

and did you read about the reactors in japan with their radiation worldwide? sad