Monday, April 20, 2015

SAR #15110

Not only are things are no longer what they seem, they never were.

An Offer They Can't Refuse: International corporations have told Congress that they must let Obama unilaterally select partner countries for a trade pact, determine an agreement’s contents through the negotiations, sign and commit the US to the pact before Congress gets to read the treaty. Once dictated, signed and in force, Congress has 90 days in which to say “okay”, but can only say “okay” – no additions, deletions nor amendments permitted . Or else. Along with giving corporations the right to override nearly any law - local state or national - that stood in the way of even a penny in profits. Zoning, the environment, health and safety, and free speech would all have to bow to Mammon.

Modesty: President Obama says that the fastest growing markets are in Asia and, thus the US not only must have the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but must also dictate the terms for the global economy and not leave things up to an upstart Chinese bank the Chinese Investment Bank AIIB. 
Assumes Facts Not In Evidence: “Why would consumers spend less as the economy picks up steam?”

Brownback Mountain: In 2012, Kansas, under Republican Governor Sam Brownback, adopted a “pro-growth tax policy” endorsed by Art Laffer of the Laffable Curve Theory, that was promised to act “like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.” Well, he was right about the shot to the heart part, but not the adrenaline. Corporate and individual taxes were cut by about a billion dollars a year and the sate now ranks as the third worst economic performer in the nation. 
Take a Memo: US troops from the 173rd Airborn Division have arrived in Ukraine for public relations training exercises.

Paper Chase: Michigan has sold 9,000 acres of land on the Upper Peninsula to a Canadian firm that wants to mine it for limestone, never mind that the land falls within the 11,000 acres the 1836 Treaty of Washington, as confirmed by the 2007 Inland Consent Decree, ceded to various American Indian tribess. You know how this is going to turn out, you've seen the movie.

Essay Question: Could industrial civilization reboot without fossil fuels? No. It was a one-per-customer thing.

Safety Measured: A federal judge has ruled that the General Motors that made all those millions of cars with faulty ignition switches disappeared when GM underwent bankruptcy and was resuscitated by a few tens of billions of US taxpayer money. And this new, post-bailout, post-bankruptcy GM does not owe the millions of people with defective cars a penny. Nada. Is that all we get for the money?

Asked And Answered: “Should economists rule?” No, because “there is no evidence that the economy is self-correcting ,” no matter how many times the efficient market is invoked.

Common Denominator: Does the 30% unemployment rate among young men throughout the Arab countries explain the high levels of social unrest and radicalization? You betcha.

What Could Go Wrong? Norway has given a mining operation permission to dump millions of tons of mine tailings into a fjord that is part of the spawning grounds for cod and salmon. Environmentalists, if not the fish, are outraged.

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