Everything seemed so easy for so long...
Ready, Set, Restart: Sales of existing houses fell 16% in November (m/m/), showing how much the market depends on Federal support and bribery. Whatever recovery there is in housing will collapse as federal programs are ended. So they won't be.
The Iceman Waffles: Citing massive public opposition, Iceland's president vetoed the parliament's 33/30 vote to assume responsibility for the massive debts of the failed Icesave bank. Wonder if the US public will ever gather enough backbone to put a stop to the US bail-out of Wall Street.
Wording: Reports claim that “among the targets” the CIA gave a team of Blackwater assassins was an alleged al-Qaeda financier in Hamburg. “Among the targets” is an interesting turn of phrase.
Answered: To illustrate the US commitment to global climate change, construction of the Prairie State Energy Campus coal-fired power plant continues. Its 700 foot smokestack will belch 10 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year for decades, where it will remain to warm the planet for centuries.
Either/Or: Was the whole escapade that ended up with the burnt BVD's in Detroit the result of incompetence or conspiracy? And whose incompetence, whose conspiracy? 'All of the above' may be the right answer.
Carry On: In December, US customers bought cars at an 11.1 million a year rate, up 7.75% from December 08. Sales grew at Ford, Honda, and Toyota, while Chrysler and GM lost customers. Total sales for 2009 were 10.4 million units, down from 2008's 13.2 million. But while buying those 10 million units, Americans sent 14 million to the compactor – leaving the US with only 246 million light vehicles.
Danger! Danger! Senate Republicans are determined to prevent the government from protecting customers from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and the rest of the Whiplashes. They claim it would be as bad as the (generally gelded) EPA.
Deflating the Deflationists: Despite all the assurances from the government that there is no inflation, since October 2007: Sugar up 11.8%. Cereals and bakery goods up 11.5%. Cooking oils up 11.6%. Food and beverage up an average 5.6%. Educational books and supplies up 14.9%. Medical care up an average 6.7%. Hospital services up 14.0%. How are things on your block?
Wording: “Pemex Output May Rise” - or so the headline said. As if producing 2.55 mbd instead of 2.50 mbd is worth writing home about.
Denial R Us: Scientists claim that volcanic rocks off the coast from NJ to Maine might make ideal reservoirs to sequester carbon dioxide. How are they going to get the CO2 out there? How long before it would leak, kill thousands and end up in the atmosphere? Why aren't they working on 4th generation nuclear plants?
Democracy In-Action: For nearly a year a single individual has been able to keep the nation from filling the rather important post of head of the Transportation Security Administration. Why should one person – elected from one of the smaller states – be able to control the fate of the nation in such a way? Majority vote, right? What's wrong with this picture?
Delivery? Nestle has paid $3.7 billion to buy Kraft pizza. Hold the anchovies.
God's Work: Richard Land, the Southern Baptist's ethics guru, says that "The Biblical worldview sees Earth and its systems as robust, self-regulating, and self-correcting, not immune to harm but durable." and he is certain that in God's eyes, “Man comes first. Not animals. Not the planet."
Question: If the electricity comes from coal, what good are electric vehicles?
Hurdles: The GOP thought it had raised the bar high enough in 2005 to prevent most bankruptcies by the poor and middle class. And for a while it worked to force those without highly paid lawyers to keep paying debts pretty much forever. But now foreclosures and job losses have so impoverished Americans that they are qualifying for more bankruptcies - up 32% in 2009. And Chapter 7 bankruptcies, which erase debts – cardinal sin to bankers and Republicans – are up 42% y/y.
Porn O'Graph: Brother have you Saved?