Thursday, September 17, 2015
“Strange things happen in the minds of critics.” Paul Krugman
Taking Notes: The US should pay close attention to the way Europe wrestles with their immigration problems, because our own are just getting started. Well, in the sense that we mostly created the problem it should be called “our refugee problem”, but it is taking place over there. Refugee camps are being planned for Italy and Greece (!). Germany, which has made to most accepting statements is threatening to cut funding to those EU states that do not accept their quota of refugees. At the same time, though, the European Court of Justice ruled that Germany can deny basic welfare payments to migrants - even if they've previously worked in the country.
Another Record: US household incomes are back to 1989 levels and 46.7 million Americans now live in poverty. They will not benefit from Bush's tax cuts, but will suffer from his planned cuts in the social safety nets.
At Least It Doesn't Cause Lung Cancer: Exxon's in-house scientists informed senior management that burning fossil fuels was the root cause of global warming – back in September, 1982.
Privateers: The Senate's version of the highway bill includes a quite little provision that requires the Treasury Department to privatize the collection of back taxes. Tax collection is the signature government activity, so of course the Rs want to privatize it.
Poked: Australia has decided that parents who do not vaccinate their children may not receive any government childcare benefits.
Success: The US has so far spent $150 million training Syrian rebels to carry on the fight against ISIS in Syria. The original plan was to train 5,400 a year. So far, of the 60 graduates of the program, only 4 or 5 survive and are still fighting in Syria. Only another 100 to 120 prospective fighters are still in training. D'ya think the program was outsourced to one of our glorious mercenary companies.
Revised Version: A Christian commentator claims that Bernie Sanders' anit-poverty plan is un-Christian because “the God of the Bible is not a socialist.” Well, maybe the god of the Old Testament wasn't, but that Jesus fellow in the New Testament was certainly a pinko.
Education: A 14-year old 9th grade student in Irving, TX, assembled a digital clock from IC chip components as a science project and took it to school. His science teacher was impressed. His English teacher thought it was a bomb. Four Irving cops arrived, arrested the student for terroristic activity and hauled him off to jail. Once it was determined that he had not built a bomb he was released and, because he was a Muslim he was suspended from school for three days. Learning that young Ahmed Mohamed had a few days off, President Obama called and invited him to the White House.
Compassion: Mike-the-Christian Huckabee says that the people we see on the nightly news streaming out of bombed-out Syrian cities and Syrian villages run by ISIS are not fleeing tyranny, they are “just looking for cable TV.”
Higher Education: Obama is getting beaten up for saying that college students should be made to listen to points of view that are new to them, that may not conform to their parents prejudices. That the point of an education is... well, to become educated.
Inflation Watch: The BLS reports August's CPI decreased 0.1% m/m, bringing the y/y increase (inflation) to 0.2%. So the Fed better act pretty quickly to kill inflation before it gets away from us.
Quote: “Trump isn’t a problem for Republicans; he’s a symptom of the problems Republicans have.”
Porn O'Graph: What goes up...
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 6:57 AM