Monday, May 23, 2011

SAR #11143

Democracy is not supposed to be a spectator sport.

Garage Sale: The EU and IMF may, just may, give Greece a new aid package, but only if Greece sells of some $70 billion in public assets – to the Usual Suspects. Everything must go: railroads, water and sewage systems, public electric companies, Olympic stadia, any number of Greek isles, in whole or part. Plus airplanes, an airport, the lottery and a casino. This will “restart” the economy – apparently by letting foreigners charge more for water, phones, the postal service and electricity while they build mansions on their newly acquired islands.

Slow News Day: Newly released documents from Wikileaks show that Gulf Arab states have been providing $100 million a year to jihadist networks in Pakistan. Only $100 million?

It's A The Gas: The high price of gasoline is changing the driving and shopping habits of Americans. Sales of gasoline dropped 1% by volume in March over a year ago, while retail sales retail sales are falling because of the need to feed the car.

Facts in a Certain Order: Two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one-third, obese. The US spends more per capita ($4,550) on healthcare than any other developed nation. US healthcare costs are skyrocketing. The chair will now entertain motions.

When You're Right, You're Half Right: Fox News President Roger Ailes thinks Sarah Palin ‘is an idiot’. Maybe so, Roger, but a pretty sly one.

Point to Ponder: China, which has traditionally been unable to meet electricity demands in the summer months, has already begun rationing electricity in some provinces due to soaring coal prices. It is hard to pretend to be a modern industrial nation when you can't keep the lights on (eg. Pakistan).

Definitions: Newt claims that his $500,000 no-interest account at Tiffany's was “a standard, no-interest account.” Please list the outstanding balance on your standard no-interest accounts.

Elixir: There is now a $700 blood test that reveals how long you will live, by measuring the length of the “telomeres” at the end of your chromosomes. Insurance companies, corporations, and potential spouses have an avid interest in this information and will seek to use it to your disadvantage. But there are lots of ways to lengthen the telomeres – starting with exercise and vitamins. Just like the doctor said.

Complete the Blank: The Maine state Representative who pulled a gun on a photographer is a ______________ . (No, 'idiot' is not the answer I was looking for.)

Down On The Farm: Iowa farmers are supporting a bill that would make letting people know how their food is grown – and slaughtered – a crime. Seems fair, since a lot of people think that the things that happen to our food before it becomes our food are crimes.

Gyrations: Initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped 29,000 last week, continuing the recent zig-zag around a less than cheerful trend in the 400 - 440,000 range. Chaos theory, anyone?

In the Middle: In the last decade, median US incomes fell 5,261 in real dollars. No wonder Americans have nearly $800 billion in credit debt – there is no way we could have survived the last decade without promising the banks all the income our kids we will make in the next decade.


Anonymous said...

Facts in a Certain Order:

My motion is that CK is being a tad disingenuous with this one.
Correlation is not necessarily causation.


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Aw, y'think so? I was hoping for a comment somehow connecting obesity to the cost of healthcare and some suggestions for cost-savings that would include individual responsibility... And while I've no data at hand, I suspect there is a definite causal relationship between being obese and healthcare costs.


Unknown said...

Cutting obesity won't solve health care costs... but it certainly won't hurt to stop shoving double whoppers down our throats.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

What I had in mind (and wanted someone else to bring up) is the possibility that the US could (more readily) afford a decent single payer healthcare system if there were a way of excluding the obese from the system. If you choose to be fat - and it is mostly a choice - then we would chose not to offer to spend our money on your obesity related or complicated diseases. Think how much better off we and the healthcare system would be with some sort of incentive to strongly encourage people to take care of themselves....