Saturday, April 26, 2008

SAR #8118

If you think the oil situation is bad, wait.

Keeping score: Over half of Nigeria's oil production is shut due to strikes and militant attacks. Half of Great Britain's output is idled due to a strike. That's about 5% of all oil on the export market. If you remember gasoline at 32 cents a gallon, you're my age.

Piggy Bank: Standard & Poor do not view the need for a bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as "imminent". Such a rescue would cost taxpayers between about $1 trillion. You might start putting your loose change in a jar.

Medical Marvels: The oil-rich Middle East is too rich for its own good. Diabetes, once unheard of among the desert dwellers, is pandemic. A fifth of the UAE's native population suffers from diabetes, Saudi Arabia (16.7%), Bahrain (15.2%) and Kuwait (14.4%). The governments are encouraging their citizens to become mall walkers.

The Levelers: More than half of all Americans think that the rich are not taxed sufficiently, that taxing the rich to redistribute wealth in the USA is a good idea - more than felt that way back in 1939. And 68% feel that wealth is unfairly distributed in the US and should be more evenly distributed. Even 63% those making over $75,000 a year thought wealth should be more evenly distributed. Damned liberals.

The Rules Ruling: The IRS has ruled that the losses Fannie May and Freddie Mac and other holders of defaulted loans ranging from auto lenders to credit card issuers suffer can be written off against taxable income - not just applied to offset capital gains. Applying the losses retroactively against four previous tax years will allow them to get back taxes they've already paid. This is a $290 billion windfall. Making money by losing money, it's the American way.

Voting Wrongs Act: Republicans, in a desperate attempt to rig a third consecutive presidential election, have stymied efforts to institute paper voting trails that would make recount of actual votes possible. This insures that GOP-controlled electronic voting machines will elect yet another Republican against the wishes of everyone but the Supreme Court. One dollar, one vote.

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