Friday, January 22, 2010

SAR #10022

Is despair the only reasonable response?

Proud Mary:  It's not rocket science. Corporations are citizens, citizens are permitted to buy politicians, thus corporations are permitted to buy as many as they can – and that's most of 'em.  The Supremes have spoken, the Constitution (in the redacted, secret portion) intended for corruption to be rampant, and so the money will keep on rolling in.

Prognosis:  The nation's largest health care insurer's profits were up 30% in 2009.  These folks are as tone deaf as Goldman Sachs.

Unemployment Weakly Claims:  Do not adjust your set, the BLS has done it for you:  Seasonally Adjusted (SA) initial claims, 482,000 up 36,000.  Non-SA 650,728.  Over 2 years unemployed:  SA 4.4 million, Non-SA 5.2 million.  The total acknowledged unemployed, NSA, 10,660,000.

Godot:  It was not a GOP victory but rather part of a wave of disgust at all politicians that is rolling over the country, aimed at anyone in power.  The public is mad as hell. It does not run on party lines, nor is it focused on health care, unemployment, or any other single issue the politicians keep avoiding.  It is dissatisfaction, the same dissatisfaction that brought Obama to power.  The people want action, not just words.  The country is desperately in need of leadership and all Obama has given them is a big smile as he dissolves like the Cheshire cat.  Why is it that Brown wins with 52% of the vote and the Democrats can't pass a bill in the Senate with 59% of the votes?  Bush was able to govern with a 51/49 majority – where's the beef?

Barbershop:  The take-away from this week's bank earnings reports is this: Consumer credit is shrinking by 5-7% a year. Just a little off the top.

Budgeting Rescue:  It must be comforting to our pilots and soldiers to know that if they are captured or kidnapped, one of eight highly trained, highly paid ex-Special Operations guys will come to their rescue. But be patient, for these guys are part-timers working for Blackbird Technologies, which will be paid $11.3 million a year for this service and for “non-attributable internet research.”

Multiple Choice:  Why is the Fed desperate to keep Maiden Lane III's details secret?  (a) They don't want the public to know how much the banks got away with.  (b) They don't want the public to know how much the Fed let the banks get away with.  (c) both a & b.

De Rerum Natura:  Things grow, die, decay and become food for the next generation.  That's nature.  Farming removes the things that grow from the land and replaces them with nutrients and fertilizers trucked in as the trucks haul away the land's productivity.  (And now they want to put the leftovers in our cars!)  This can go on just as long as the inputs – the fuel, the fertilizer, the nutrients – can be made or mined and hauled around the world and dumped on the land – and will not last long if essentials, like phosphorus, become scarce.  And we're running out of phosphorus.

Unexpected Turbulence:  In 2009, passenger revenue dropped 18% for the major US airlines – worst ever.  Underwear sniffing dogs had nothing to do with it.

Earplugs:  There's another 'independent commission” on its way to the microphones.  This one is on deficit reduction and is no more intended to do anything than the banking reform commission.  Expect a lot a blather about Social Security and entitlements and taxes and recipes for apple pie.  Yawn.

There's a Sign Up Ahead:  In the US, the Dems get the dubious privilege of increasing the debt limit another $1.9 trillion – gotta pay the bills even if the tax revenue isn't there.  The states are mostly forced to both raise taxes and cut services as tax revenue fall.  Ditto in most OECD countries.  No one wants to admit what most of us know:  The party is over.  Our high consumption, high energy way of life is headed into the Twilight Zone – so let's all look the other way and pretend.

Porn O'Graph: Reversion to the mean ($500 billion) , or meaner ($300 billion).


Anonymous said...

Is despair the only reasonable response?

The only rational responses to the environmental crisis are genocide or suicide

Mark Derricott said...

Despair has wrapped its tentacles around me.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 7:56
There must be some middle ground between complacency and genocide :)

Anonymous said...

RE: Godot:

Where's the beef? It never existed in "The One". We are a captured country in the hands of a corrupt Political/Corporate cabal. I think they called it fascism back in the day and our fathers and grandfathers left lots of friends on European and Asian shores to stop it. Guess we're going to have to cut the head off again, only this time at home.


Anonymous said...

I agree; Obama is a weakling. He's all talk and hasn't exhibited a lick of leadership. And now everyone knows it.

As a result, the congressional democrats are abandoning ship. What a mess!

Anonymous said...


Torture us with hope and change
we love our Leader

Anonymous said...

Earplugs: ... and recipes for apple pie. Yawn.

But surely there will be some MOM too!

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

And the LOL award goes to Anony 2:16

Anonymous said...

Proud Mary:

The 5 justices simply said Congress can’t regulate political speech. It doesn’t say anything about whether or not corporations are people, real or imaginary.

I’m not sure where you got this crazy idea (maybe the actual words of the Constitution had something to do with it), but this decision simply recognizes the limits on the power of Congress and says nothing about the rights of corporations.

Anonymous said...

Keep on posting such articles. I love to read blogs like this. BTW add some pics :)

kwark said...

Congress can't regulate political speech but "the market" can, and does. Money talks, not people. That's what is so fundamentally wrong with the SC's decision. I suspect there are some founding fathers spinning in their graves.

Anonymous said...

Are the health insurers tone deaf?

Or perhaps they just have no particular reason to care?

again, just like the bankers.

They know who's really governing.