Monday, May 24, 2010

SAR #10144

Act Two is trickier.

Because It's Secret:  BP refuses to obey an EPA order to stop using Corexit 9500 and switch to less-toxic dispersants because... well, they can't say why, because it's a proprietary business secret.

Accidents Happen:  At a Congressional hearing into the deaths of 29 miners at its Upper Big Branch mine, Massey Energy's CEO said the deaths were caused by interference from federal regulators.  He did not address any of the 515 safety violations the mine had been tagged with by these regulators in the previous year.

Inertia: The upper layer of the world's ocean has been steadily warming since the early 1990's.  The ocean warms very slowly and because of its size stores an immense amount of heat.  Once warm it will act as a giant reservoir and radiator of heat.  The denial crowd will have trouble explaining this one away.

Canned Canard: It used to be thought that there was no such thing as bad publicity...  Then along came Rand Paul.

Where's Waldo? A Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in DC has ruled that habeas corpus does not extend to those at Bagram prison in Afghanistan, even if they were scooped up off the street in London or Rome or New York and rendered there illegally.  Once in a combat zone the ordinary rules do not apply – no matter how the prisoner ends up there.

Walking the Walk: Much to the dismay of Wall Street, 40% of mortgage holders say they would seriously consider walking away from an underwater mortgage.  Pack a bag.

Clip & Save: Out of the goodness of their hearts and a firm grasp on the profit motive, Saudi Arabia and its friends plan to invest large amounts of money in expanding their production capacity in order to “support market stability.”  Don't blame them if the price goes up, they're doing the best they can.

Inquiring Minds:  What do we do after we stop pretending that our way of living can be made “sustainable”?

Cold Day in Hell:  The commentariat are busy wondering if the newly passed financial rules will prevent the next crisis.  No.  The bill is full of loopholes and gaps that the banksters inserted just so they can get around whatever regulations come along.  Why should they let Washington spoil their party now?

On The Dole:  More than 30 states have exhausted their own funds and have turned to the federal government for funding unemployment benefits – some $38 billion in 'borrowing' so far.  More, lots more, to come. And payback, as they say, will be a bitch.

Ain't Gonna Study Poor No More:  Rep. Alan Grayson has introduced a bill designed to emphasize the obscene amounts of taxpayer money being wasted by the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He's willing to let the boys play with the $549 billion already budgeted for the ongoing carnage, but wants to prevent them from getting another $159 billion.  He calls it the "War Is Making You Poor Act".

The Ten Percenters:  One out of ten US banks is on the FDIC's list of “problem banks.”


Rumor said...

As usual, I'm ever grateful you take the time to put together your daily briefs, but I'm starting to wonder if it needs a type of "daily antitode" similar to what Yves does over at Naked Capitalism. Because, man, it's either that or I'm going to have to start taking stiff drinks at 10 in the morning.

Rumor said...

P.S. Let's pretend I can spell the word antidote properly?

I blame the stiff drink.

kwark said...

I second Rumor's commendation! After looking at the mountain of problems we face, it makes it hard to focus on the molehill that's the crisis de jour at work.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

kwark / Rumor:
Sorry to be late responding - I was out having a life, hard as that may be to imagine.

My first thought is to add a recommended wine or drink of the day. "Today's news goes best with a 12 year old Islay..." And some of my best days started with a good drink at 10 in the morning.

I'll take it all under advisement and we'll see, we'll see.


Rumor said...

Your sinister plan to make me an alcoholic has merit!

TomOfTheNorth said...

While a 'recommended drink' has merit, given the number & scale of the issues we conftont, you might want to hold off on an outright exclusion of narcotics....

Re: Inertia, the Northern Hemisphere summer is warmer on average than the Southern (I don't recall exactly but it's a few degrees). This is attributable to there being considerably more land mass in the North than in the South. Land heats (and cools) more quickly than Ocean.

But Ocean does heat (and cool), albeit much more slowly. Add to this the anomalistic year - the elliptical orbit the Earth takes around the Sun. The Earth is actually several million miles closer to the Sun in December. It will be several hundred years before this proximity will occur during the Northern hemisphere summer.

Therefore, as the southern oceans heat, their rate of temp rise should increase (relative to the Northern Hemi) due to greater solar gain during their summer.

While eventually all oceans worldwide will heat-up if these trends continue, I would envision huge near-term (< 10 years)implications in the South for loss of polar ice, disruption of typical weather patterns, increases in extreme weather, etc due to an accelerating process that is already underway.