Tuesday, November 10, 2015
A safe bet: nothing will happen that costs much money.
Preview: For the next couple of months there will be a blizzard of articles about global warming, how bad it is and how much worse it will become and how the nations of the world can work together to put a pony in every pot. Or something. CO2 concentrations, which were at about 150ppm before we started burning coal and oil, are now at 400ppm and headed higher, much higher. These greenhouse gases will remain in the atmosphere for centuries, there is only so much policymakers have the power to change about our use of fossil fuels. The laws of physics are non-negotiable, so don't expect us to stop at 4ºC, much less 2ºC, that's just not going to happen. So lots of bad things will.
Cheap Shot: Volkswagen is going to try to buy off US owners of their diesel cars with “a thousand dollar goodwill gesture.” Well, only $500 of that is actual money, the rest is vaporware, a lot like their emissions control.
Keys To The Kingdom: Under the TTP, investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) places investment tribunals above states, above democracies.” And “almost any change in financial regulations affecting future profits could be challenged in an extra-judicial ISD tribunal even if they were enacted in response to a crisis”. For example, polluters could sue the US for setting CO2 emission limits.
Good News/Bad News: The good news is that the Hungarian government has decided to abandon its plan to put spies in all newsrooms. The bad news is that they thought this was a good idea. The really, really bad news is that if any government wanted to put spies in the newsrooms they wouldn't talk about it.
Two For The Price Of One: A JPMorgan vice president has pled guilty to stealing $20 million “to gamble and trade with.” As though they were different things.
Free Ponies: Over 70% of Americans want the government to aggressively control healthcare prices, including drugs, medical devices, hospital costs and physician payments. They are in favor importing cheaper drugs from other countries and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. They also want to keep their doctor.
Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em: According to the Pentagon, the US now sees the Taliban as partners in the Afghan reconciliation process. When they're not seeing them in Doctors Without Borders hospitals that is.
Shifty: It is looking increasingly likely that inflation, wages and labor markets are undergoing a fundamental structural shift, with a lower cost goods, lower wages and part-time self-employment, nonexistent inflation and globalized capital and labor markets completely changing the way economies work. The Fed and its friends keep pretending to be in charge, but the last decade is pretty much proof that they are not. It is entirely possible that the long expected interest rate increase is the stepchild of theories that no longer describe the economy.
Dead Heat: The fires in Indonesia are tied with Human Greed for the title of greatest environmental disaster of the current century. Why don't we do something about them? Oh, right. Money.
Clause And Effect: Tom Cotton (R-AR) has identified the cause of the meth epidemic – along with heroin abuse and associated crime - sweeping the Bible Belt. It's Social Security disability benefits, which are an “alternative source of income to a good paying full-time job.” Full-time jobs in AR must pay a lot less in than they do in the rest of the country.
Claim: A headline the far-right will jump on claimed “A mere 7 percent of journalists identify as Republicans.” Implying, to the reality challenged GOP, that 93% are Democrats. Not so; only 28% identify as Dems, the rest are either independent or indifferent. The low number of Republicans is probably due to the habit journalists have of asking questions, a trait seldom found in Republicans.
Equal Rights: At 99 to 1 odds, The winner of an all-fillies race was a longshot which turned out to to be a male, not a female.
owner claims the horse is trangendered.
Porn O'Graph: Don't worry, we just owe it to ourselves.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:30 AM