Friday, December 12, 2014
Dibbs: Part of the budget bill being crammed through Congress deletes the part of Dodd-Frank that would bar banks from getting US taxpayer bailouts for their risky investment losses. Mitch McConnell demanded this repeal. Another provision would allow deep cuts to be made to the pensions of working and retired union pensioners. Retirees age 75 and older would be protected from some benefit cuts. Reflecting on the rewards and punishments in the bill, Jim Moran of VA said, “You have to be kind of clueless not to realize that this is the best it’s going to get at least for the next two years.”
Dominoes: Operations in US shale plays are being cut by biggies like ConocoPhillips and Apache and specialists like Goodrich and Oasis Petroleum, both of which cut budgets by half for the coming year. Oasis' rig count will drop from 16 in September to just 6 in March of 2015. So far, oil and gas exploration worldwide has been cut by $150 billion for the coming year.
Trial & Error: Three years ago Republican Governor Sam Brownback led Kansas into one of the largest cuts in state income taxes ever, promising that it would create growth and increase tax revenue. “We'll see how it works” he said. It has worked so well that in order to fill a $279 million budget deficit he is going to cut funding for the state's public employee retirement system. This cut won’t affect current retirees. But there's always next year.
Size Matters: Retailers and stock market gurus are salivating over the 'extra' money that lower gasoline prices will bring to the consumer, and predicting (encouraging) a burst of spending. But how big a boost are we really in for? About $380 for the average American household over the next year. A dollar a day. Spend it all in one place.
Unintentional Humor: US Senate, on the heels of releasing the Torture Report, passed a bill sanctioning Venezuela over its alleged “state-sponsored violence.” A bit further south, a Brazilian commission issued a report on murder and torture by the US backed military dictatorship (1964-85) including information on the US training their interrogators in torture techniques.
Moving Along: Congress (very quietly) has passed a bill that "grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American” through “the acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of Americans’ communications without a court order or subpoena.
You Dumb Bitch: Baltimore cops used a Taser on a (black) woman while she recorded them arresting a man. Severely protecting.
Resume: The CIA tortures people, lies to Congress, misleads Presidents, and tries to overthrow countries by using hip-hp music. How much money do we let these incompetents spend every year? Wouldn't we be better off if we jailed them all and spent the money on healthcare?
Lest We Forget: Bodies of more than 100 Ebola victims continue to pile up every day in Sierra Leone. Oops, Ebola? Didn't we defeat that last month?
Proctoclysis: Clip out this FAQ on Rectal Rehydration. Post it on the fridge.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 6:01 AM