Thursday, December 12, 2013

SAR #13346

The financial industry has done a superb job of convincing people that what they do is important to the rest of us. The Archdruid 
Making It Obvious: Stanley Fischer, former chair of Bank of Israel, has been asked to become vice chairman of the Federal Reserve when Janet Yellen replaces Bernanke as chair.

Details/Devil: The budget bargain is remarkable for what it doesn't address: No tax loopholes for the rich were closed, unemployment benefits were allowed to die, food stamp cuts were let stand, nothing was done about the long-term deficit or a short-term stimulus. And the sequestration cuts were simply postponed for two years – leaving that cudgel in GOP hands for later.

Priorities: The EU has fined Johnson&Johnson and Novartis $22 million for conspiring to block the sale of a generic pain killer in the Netherlands. Chump change.

Things You Didn't Know: Iraq "was a great place" until the US Forces retreated left. The First Amendment only protects the rights of Christians, not Jews, Buddhists or Muslims. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is a North Korean agent.

Paying Customers: How much profit does the medical industry make from keeping the terminally ill alive as long as possible?

Wages Of Sin: In western Iraq adjacent to Syria, Al-Qaeda has gained sufficient control to announce the area to be "Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria." It isn't, not yet but maybe they'll have better luck reforming Iraq than the US Army did. Further East, American military officials worry that the Taliban will return once the occupying army leaves at the end of 2014.

We Had A Dream: Nearly two-thirds of Americans no longer believe the US offers everyone an equal chance to get ahead - and it's not just sour grapes from the losers, only the very well off think they're living the American Dream. They are.

Ah, The Point: It has become clear that dissent will be impossible once NSA's security surveillance state is complete and the difference between citizen, suspect and terrorist disappears.

The Future Is Now: Housing demand in Las Vegas has plummeted while the supply has been increasing. Let's hope what plays in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.

The Even Playing Field: In Texas, a 16-year old sentenced to probation, with no jail time for killing 4 people while drunk after claiming that his parents, not he, were responsible because they had raised him to believe that their money and influence would protect him from suffering the consequences of his actions. They were right. No, he wasn't named George.

Map/Territory: "...the charts suggest that the current run will top out within the next few months and retrace most of the advance from 2009; i.e., a crash of significant amplitude." Or not. Whatever. 
Stressing the Positive: Gallup reports that 12% of Americans - the incurably optimistic and the blissfully unaware - still retain a favorable view of Congress.

The Parting Shot:

Room with a view.

Palácio da Pena, Sintra, Portugal


Drew Dowdell said...

Priorities: I wonder if the lawyers for the defendant openly snicker when they heard the amount...

Anonymous said...

That's quite an impressive doorway. I'd guess it's located in a Spanish or Italian castle.. care to tell where exactly?


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

The doorways - there are two, with entrances left and right to parts of the castle - are part of Palacio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal, as have been the previous four days' Parting shots. The picture on SAR 13347 is of a street in Sintra - the town at the foot of the hill the castle rests on.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, thanks. It's on my to-visit list now :)


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Good move. Portugal is a terrific place to wander around. More teasers are scheduled.