Wednesday, January 15, 2014

SAR #14015

We could use a worldwide disaster sufficient to wake us without wiping us out.

Evidentially: A review of US arrests shows that the NSA's bulk invasion of privacy rights has “has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism.” That would be damning if preventing terrorism had been the actual goal. 
Briar Patch: Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki told the Kurds that Baghdad would cut the money they send to the Kurds if they go ahead with an oil pipeline to carry Kurdish oil to Turkey. Tough choice, pittance or profits... 
Hand Washing: The Supremes have ducked having to rule on abortion restriction legislation from Arizona that lower courts had ruled unconstitutional. That's the judicial version of no harm no foul and letting the lower court take the blame. Or credit.

Who, Where, What, How and Why: An EU investigation into the NSA and its friends has determined that there is "compelling evidence of the existence of far-reaching, complex and highly technologically advanced systems designed by US and some Member States' intelligence services to collect, store and analyze communication and location data and metadata of all citizens around the world.” Especially 'why'.

Heard On the Grapevine: Court documents reveal that for over a decade the US government has been letting the Sinaloa drug cartel operate with immunity in the Chicago area in return for providing information that let the DEA put Sinaloa's competition out of business. 
The Speaker Speaks: Orange John Boehner says Obama is responsible for the chemical spill in West Virginia because the facility had not been inspected since 1991. The two Bushes were too busy and besides, it would smack of government interference and over-regulation if they had. Boehner says the government ought to be inspecting and enforcing regulations even if there are no regulations to enforce, as in this case. Or something incoherent like that. 
Asked and Unanswerable: Why does anyone still believe the NSA's excuses?

All Work And Damned Little Pay: Republican legislators in WI want to repeal laws that require employers to let workers have one day a week off, claiming that a 7-day work week would give workers' greater opportunities to make money – at least until they repeal the overtime pay laws. Plus it would increase productivity and profits – if the increase in industrial accidents doesn't eat up the gains.

Dead Right: A NM judge has ruled that the terminally ill have the right to die with dignity, with the assistance of their doctors. Thus NM joins MT, OR, VT, and WA in giving competent terminally ill persons a way to escape pointless pain and suffering. A Federal judge has ruled that OK's ban on gay marriage is not OK. 
New Broom: Terry McAuliffe (D), Virginia's new governor, made his first item of business an executive order expanding Virginia's anti-discrimination laws to include the state's transgendered employees, In a swipe at his predecessor, Republican Bob McDonnell who never received a bribe gift he didn't accept, McAuliffe signed an order prohibiting himself, his family, members of his staff and their families from accepting anything worth more than $100. He also appointed a 3-person commission to enforce that rule. He didn't address the question of highway lane closures.

Translation: Everything points to a significant risk of deflation in the eurozone, with only a spike in global commodity prices having the potential to impose inflationary pressure on the euro. The eurozone's recovery is constrained by its structural weakness. “A major euro-zone relapse cannot be discounted, and if it happens, the whole world will have to come to the rescue.” Warm and fuzzy, right?

Good Ole Boys: While the US Commerce department and Wall Street are celebrating The Recovery, about half the nation's counties are still suffering from five years of a drawn-out, un-ending recession. It's not only in weather forecasts and real estate prices that location rules. 
Porn O'Graph: Luck of the Irish.

The Parting Shot:

Squirrelfish, Holocentrus adscensionis.

No comments: