Friday, February 7, 2014

SAR #14038

Worry is praying for what you don't want.

Squeaking Wheels: The Republicans and Fox News... ah, I repeat myself. Anyway, the right has had a field day blathering on about the CBO report that Obamacare will kill 2 million US jobs next year. Too bad that's not what the report said. The report was not 'about' the ACA. but was its annual Budget and Economic Outlook, this one for the 2014-2024 decade. The main body of the report concluded that because of the unnecessary austerity measures forced on the country by the conservatives the economy will grow slower than expected (and much slower than it would have) over the next several years. One of several Appendices did treat the economic impact of the ACA, concluding that the labor participation rate and hours worked may fall as much as 2% as workers learn that earning more sometimes will lower their helathcare subsidies more than their take home pay increases, and those who worked just to have health insurance realize they do not need to work at a hated job just to afford good health. And that decrease will in turn lead to about a 1% increase in aggregate wages. Not exactly a disaster.

Telephone Tag: A leaked telephone call between a US assistant secretary of State and the US envoy to the Ukraine, pretty well confirms Russia's allegation that the US funded and orchestrated the 'citizen' protests against ties between the Ukraine and Russia. Imagine that.

Punch Line: Blythe Masters, the head of JPMorgan's commodities price rigging division, is joining the Commodities Futures Trading Commission whose job it is to overseen the operations of places like JPMorgan. Masters is best known for lying to the CFTC when it was investigating JPMorgan's rigging of the futures, swaps, and metals markets. Takes one to know one.

A Better Mouse Trap: Turkey's hand-puppet parliament has given prime minister Erdogan total control over who can see what on the Internet in Turkey, which is well on its way to being second only to China in its suppression of citizen access to information not approved by the ever more dictatorial Erdogan. It is the end state sought by those who want to kill network neutrality and free and open access to the internet, more than a few of whom call the USofA home.

We've Got Ours: The righteous rich in wealthy Louisiana neighborhoods want a divorce from their poorer neighbors to keep the cities from taxing the wealth they've piled up behind their security fences. In particular they are offended that they have to pay school taxes to public systems they would never let their delicate little ones attend. Under the banner of 'local control' they want to keep control of their money and not waste it educating the riffraff. This is not a new disease, merely a resurrection of an old case of nearsightedness.

Define 'Temporary': The Ukrainian government, under siege by its citizens from within and its creditors without has banned yet another form of protest - taking your money out of the system. It has imposed strict limits on foreign exchange operations, purchases, transfers and withdrawals. Temporarily. Just until something-or-other...

Sowing/Reaping: Thousands of Americans, mostly residents of the 23 states where the Republican controlled statehouses refused to expand Medicaid coverage, will die for lack of that coverage. The Republican justification for causing these deaths was supposedly financial, but in that the federal government would have paid 100% of the costs for through 2016 and 90% of the cost thereafter, that's a non-starter. It was simply based on the GOP's basic disdain for the poor. After a loved one dies unnecessarily, send a funeral card to your governor and the state GOP headquarters.

The Parting Shot:
 Giant Anemone, Condylactis gigantea.

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