Friday, September 10, 2010

SAR #10253

The problem is not production, it's distribution.

Parts is Parts:  The Army is investigating charges that a group of at least five US soldiers murdered Afghan civilians and took body parts as souvenirs.

Numbers Game:  The good news is that initial unemployment claims dropped 27,000 last week to only 451,000.  The bad news is that the data from nine states were estimates because Labor Day interfered with the labor statistics.  The actual number will revised, probably upward.

Partly Sunny:   July's balance of trade declined to $42.8 billion, down about $7 billion.  $21 billion of that deficit went to pay for petroleum imports.

Loopholes:  Remember the buy-a-home bribery that allowed home buyers to take a tax credit? It worked so well that about half the 2 million folks who claimed the credit were not eligible and will have to pay it back. Watch Congress grant them an amnesty.

If/Then:  A Federal Court has ruled that banning gays and lesbians from military service violates their First Amendment civil rights.  The government immediately claimed that in this instance Federal Courts do not have jurisdiction over the matter nor authority to issue a nationwide injunction – even though they have that authority and jurisdiction in other areas.  Had the ruling been in support of the Don't Tell rule the question of competent authority would not have come up.

Put Down the Pills and Back Away:  Having nothing better to do, North Carolina's sheriffs want to be able to rummage through lists identifying every person who has ever had a prescription for pain relief or other “controlled substances.”  The presumption is that if you have to take drugs, you are by definition a druggie, a danger to society and quite possibly a liberal.  Unless you have a note from Rush.

Going Down:  Economists now forecast 2010's real GDP to increase only 2.7%, marked down 0.2% from last month and 0.6% from June.  [That's a 20% drop, overall.]  In the last month, expected GDP growth for 2011 was cut 10% to 2.5% for the year.  Subject to revision, your results may vary, do not attempt this at home.

All Aboard:  Wanting to make the morning commute more interesting, Philadelphia has decided to start randomly searching randomly selected rail passengers.  Ttaking the train to work instead of driving your car is seen as un-American and warrants suspicion.

Retelling Retail:  Consumer credit grew from $1.5 trillion in 2000 to $2.4 trillion today.  On top of that increase, the home became an ATM. These allowed American consumers – who haven't had a real raise in 35 years – to spend far more more than they earned – estimates are about 60% more, each year.  That party is over.  What are the retailers going to do with all the stores they built during the mad years?  How are they going to survive as consumer spending retreats by $800 billion a year?

Fractured Fairy Tales:  Place a few fruit flies in a bottle with a layer of honey at the bottom.  They will quickly multiply to an enormous number, and then, just as quickly, die off, poisoned by their wastes.   Or, add a few yeast cells to some grape juice, seal the bottle.  The yeast will happily consume the sugar and excrete alcohol.  When the alcohol reaches 12.5%, the yeast cells will drown in their own refuse.  Suicide programmed by nature.   Human beings, we are told, are different.

Perspective:  The headlines proclaim that “Obama Added More to National Debt in First 19 Months Than All Presidents from Washington Through Reagan Combined.”  Well yes and no.  This is in nominal, not inflation adjusted numbers.  It ignores the fact that the first $1.3 trillion of “Obama's” debt was inherited from Bush's budget, and that Bush's wars and tax cuts and were what drove the so-called Obama deficit.  Reagan tripled the debt ($700 billion to $2.1 trillion), GW doubled the national debt by adding $4 trillion to it.  Often where there's smoke there's obfuscation.

The Game Is Over and You Are Not A Winner:  If you didn't lose all your money in a McMansion mortgage and stuck the money in CDs, you'll be proud to know that that $500,000 you stuck away will give you nearly $7,500 to blow this year.  Before taxes and inflation.  Oh, that's your retirement?  Sorry.

Porn O'Graph:  Everything you know you're told is wrong.

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