Saturday, May 28, 2011

SAR #11148

Fear is an infectious disease.

Redundancy: The just passed National Defense Authorization Act authorizes worldwide war against terrorism, terrorists and states we don't like very much, while depriving non-US 'suspects' of criminal trials – all without requiring the President show any specific harm or threat posed to the US. Business as usual.

The Reign In Spain: Two weeks of mostly peaceful protests throughout Spain over unemployment and economic austerity turned violent in Barcelona as riot police fired rubber bullets and clubbed protesters.

Open House: Pending house sales were down 11.6% in April, m/m, and 26.8% y/y. Some recovery.

Take Note: Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he will vote against increasing the federal debt limit unless Medicare cuts are included as part of the legislation. It will be interesting to see if he follows through.

Memorial Day: This is an appropriate weekend for reflecting on the point of all the wars, all the deaths. Was it just for the benefit of the few?

New Boss Same As The Old Boss... Here's a reminder – there are still huge protests being held in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in Egypt against the torture of protesters by the army.

Pot & Kettle Brigade: Paul Ryan and the Republicans claim that the Democrats pointing out that the Republicans want to kill Medicare is “trying to scare seniors to win an election”, which is precisely what the GOP did in 2010 with exactly the same topic. Ryan predicted that come 2012 ““the American people are going to know they’ve been lied to.” We already do.

Think Again: The United States has been sentenced to serve at least four more years under martial law the Patriot Act. If you think that's bad, you ought to see what the government thinks it authorizes the agents of the empire to do.

Big Trouble: The British government's austerity plan is not working. Things are quickly getting worse, not better. The economy depends mainly on public spending, the expansion of private debt, and retail sales – all of which the austerity plans severely handicap. The only apparent solution is “restructuring” - and the bankers are not about to let the government default on their loans. If you can think of a way out of this mess, jot it on a postcard and send it to 10 Downing street.

Big Bad Wolf: Why are Republicans so scared of Elizabeth Warren? Because she might stand up for the customers, not the banks.

Real (Estate) Bargains? In the first quarter of 2011, nearly 700,000 houses joined the 1.9 million US houses in some stage of foreclosure. Such houses sell for about 27% less than their already seriously marked down neighbors. Foreclosures and short sales made up 40% of all 1Q sales.

Why? The House has approved a $690 billion defense budget. Plus more for our various wars.

Trade Secrets: Not only did TEPCO fail to acknowledge that three of its reactor cores had melted down within hours of the tsunami, it has been reluctant to acknowledge that 100,000 tons of radioactive water has already leaked out of the reactors and that much more is expected to trickle into the ground by the end of the year – despite promises to keep it from entering the soil. Also, TEPCO & Japanese regulators last updated the public as to how much radiation had leaked from the plant more than a month ago.

Repeat After Me: Vermont has taken the first step in implementing a state-wide single payer universal health care system. Stand back – the wrath of God will be unleashed on the heathens. Or at least the wrath of Glen Beck.

If I Had A Hammer... The GOP is certainly conservative when it comes to solving the nation's problems. They have but one set of ideas and they apply them whenever possible: Cut taxes. Eliminate government regulation and oversight. Abolish class action lawsuits and limit personal injury awards to $17.46. Privatize social security and let the insurance companies run Medicare.

Porn O'Graph: Picture (1,000 words for the cognitively impaired).

No comments: