Saturday, August 4, 2012

You are what you eat

The private sector added 185,000 jobs last month. Did you notice this doesn't match what you heard on the news? That's because they only give you the "net" non-farm jobs number, subtract 13,000 jobs from the public sector that the Red States killed (including another 7000 teachers), and 8,400 Utilities sector workers that are being locked out by their employers in labor disputes.

Romney says his one page plan will add 12 million jobs immediately, the plan is only one page because there is no plan.  He will however increase taxes for the bottom 95% while slashing his own. This is the conclusion of a non-partisan (it's really pretty conservative, just not crazy) research group. They said they gave him every benefit of the doubt, but his tax policy is supposed to be revenue neutral and with explicit cuts for the rich, that means everybody else goes up sharply. Romney used to love the work of these people (they are conservative), now he calls them names. Mittens says they didn't allow for the fabulous growth his plan will produce. When it's pointed out that his plan doesn't detail how that magic growth will happen, his response is that the boom will created by Congress filling in the blanks. Right, I'll order my magic underwear now.

The Center for American Progress says their analysis indicates Willard's plan would kill 365,000 jobs the first year, and the disaster would only get worse from there. Why would the rich hurt their country in such a dramatic fashion, surely they would go down with us? Well, no they haven't so far. The worse off the rest of us have become, the better they do. That's how feudalism works, get used to it.   

It's all about capturing the wealth. If you still have some, they want it, and they will have it. The bottom 60% own 2% of the wealth. The top 1/10 of one percent have 40% and climbing. Even those in the one percent aren't immune from losing to these top predators.

Consistent with Global Warming Theory, the drought in the US continues to get worse. Most crops are past the point where rain now would do any good. According to the USDA, half of US counties are in the disaster area. This is really hard on the corn crop. Ironically growing corn is a significant contributor to global warming. Growing Dent corn (it's a group of genetic traits marked by a dent in the end of each kernel) requires a tremendous amount of chemical inputs. Besides the increasingly nasty pesticides the corn has been genetically modified to tolerate (but humans haven't) the energy requirements to produce and apply the fertilizer needed is enormous.

Especially bad is the use of anhydrous ammonia, a synthetic nitrogen source. Vast amounts of natural gas are used in the process which produces in turn produces as a waste product vast amounts of nitrous oxide. Released into the air in manufacturing and as the fertilizer breaks down in the soil, N2O is 297 times as effective as a greenhouse gas as is CO2 by unit of measure. It's also persistent in the atmosphere, it doesn't go away. It also currently the biggest contributor to ozone depletion.   

Okay, back to the capturing of wealth, Dent corn has been instrumental in this process as well. You see it is easy to handle in huge volumes, stores for years at minimal cost, so they can control the supply. Huge transnational corporations have used it to have their way across the planet. They've successfully wiped out the small farmers in the US and Mexico this way, and they don't intend to stop there.

The stuff is totally void of any nutritional value, but don't despair, corn is the basis for the vitamin and supplement industry. Amazing what you can do in fermentation tank. Any Native American culture that got more than 40% of its food from corn, disappeared. We get 60% from corn. Say goodnight.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tea leaves

Jobless claims were up for last week, but the 4 week moving average continues to go down.

The people who read Federal Reserve minutes are claiming that the language has changed sufficiently to indicate that the Fed is poised to act in September. It seems there is a sort of central banker speak that they use to signal the lesser banks what they are about to do. That's so the peasants don't catch on. Like the Royals speaking in French instead of English. Personally, I think the only good way to predict what bankers are going to do in the future is to examine the entrails.

The right is incensed that the Fed might take some action in an election year. They don't mind that the Fed prints trillions of USD to bail out the Republican bankers. Apparently they'll let the banks go under in order to take down Obama. Not that the banks going under would hurt the super rich in the least. Rank and file Republicans don't get that they aren't in the too big to fail class.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You aren't supposed to notice

The Federal Reserve says no new stimulus after today's meeting. They could buy mortgage backed securities as well as reduce the amount they allow banks to deposit at the Fed with interest. Either of these things would boost the housing market. Home prices are already going up in all markets, but there still is a lot of inventory on the banks books, so that might improvement might evaporate if they decide to start dumping it. If the banks think the market will continue to improve they might not be in a rush to do that, but the Fed isn't going to help.

The corporate media is labeling Harry Reid's outing of Mitt's zero tax rate and vastly larger fortune as "wild speculation". Harry has a source from inside Bain that he knows personally, the news media would print material like this as fact. That is if they weren't on Romney's side, (not so much on Willard's side, as they are in the pockets of billionaires who think only peasants like you should pay taxes).

Mitt has been coy with reporters about the tax rate he pays and makes nervous assertions that he's been audited and complies with the law. Given his history, it's likely that Mitt's Swiss bank account was in fact a tax evasion scheme. If he had to take the IRS pardon they were giving Swiss bank account holders who came clean on dodging taxes it would explain everything. Just not paying any taxes probably wouldn't lose him any votes, his base is that stupid. Criminal behavior would go to another level, and this would be apparent if he showed his returns. The time period fits, otherwise you would think he would go back further with releasing his tax returns. One year is a joke and he knows it, but going back before that would get into the IRS amnesty period.

The NY Stock Exchange had to suspend trading after the robot traders ran amok and started killing all the humans. Okay, that was just wishful thinking, they merely revealed, with erratic trading, the fraud that's going on everyday. The machines are simply supposed to skim the market of trillions of dollars in a way that you won't notice.

August 1st is the deadline for insurance companies to refund excess premiums under Obamacare. This year it totals $1.1 billion that went out as checks to the policy holders, either individuals or company plans. If your employer got a refund, then you will get a letter informing you that the money must be distributed to you or applied to future premium reductions in some way. This is a result of insurance companies being required to pay 80% or 85% (depending on size of group) of the premiums providing actual healthcare. Instead of as little as half of it. Republicans really don't want you to notice this.

The big advantage isn't the refund but the increased healthcare provided. To cut costs the bureaucratic infrastructure designed to avoid providing coverage has to be eliminated. Unfortunately this probably won't be noticed. It will start to show up in improved outcomes and gradually move the US up from the bottom tier in world healthcare. Who knows, maybe it will be featured in the opening ceremony the next time the Olympic Games are held in the US. No, if it works nobody will ever notice, because the Republicans will continue to portray it as a dismal failure no matter what.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Heads, and empty heads

Iran is executing some crooked bankers. If we did that, it would be a growth industry. A more appropriate punishment would be to take everything away from them right down to their silk shorts and give them some clothes from the Thrift Store. Then make Walmart give them a job as a third shift shelf stock-er, but only guaranteed for a year, then they would be on their own, literally. As a condition of their stay of execution they could not work at any other kind of job or otherwise be receive money at above minimum wage . No government assistance of course, let them pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Ed DeMarco heads the Federal Housing Finance Agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie  The Treasury Dept is willing to pay 63 cents on the dollar to have loan balances reduced in order to refinance them at current rates low interest rates. This jackass refuses to implement the President's policy not because it will negatively impact his agency, it will save money by reducing defaults, but because he doesn't approve of it. Liberals (and sane people in general) are calling for his head on a plate. 

Turns out that Mittens has been avoiding telling the truth (nit pickers might call it lying). According to a source inside Bain, Romney went for ten years without paying any taxes, and he is worth much more than the 300 million that we know about. This information was conveyed to Harry Reid by somebody that he knows well. Reid being a Mormon wouldn't lie about another Mormon, that's one of the really big sins, although he can't swear to the veracity of his friend. The Romney campaign has responded with much screaming and rending of garments over the "insults", but do not deny a word of it. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hey Lech, how many solidarity workers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Willard can't even get prejudice right. Trying to show off to the forty rich Israelis (that turned out to stuff a million USD in his campaign pockets) on what an expert he is on the Palestinian economy, he couldn't even get the disparity right. "As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,". In fact it's $31,000 in Israel to $1500 per person in Palestine, as opposed to Lebanon next door that is $15,600 per person.  

Then he got right into the racism, "And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things," Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the "hand of providence." He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States. Was he comparing the "lazy" Palestinians to the "lazy" Mexicans or just highlighting the stereotype of Jews always being "good with money"?

Given that the Israeli Army routinely bulldozes huge swaths of Palestinian lands and building (when the aren't running a bombing campaign), it's a wonder that they have a GDP. Israel controls all the water being a desert, and they don't share. They starve Palestine of tax revenue to provide services, embargo any useful imports that produce a GDP, and on and on. But the Palestinians don't contribute to his campaign, and there is no rich Palestinian casino tycoon to launder hundreds of millions of Red Chinese money into Romney's super pac.

Mittens also got Polish folk hero ex-President Lech Walesa in Gdansk to wish him "good luck" on his campaign, Lech is getting up in years or maybe his English is not so good and he thought he was just being polite. The Solidarity Union that holds Walesa as a hero issued a statement, "Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of AFL-CIO (trade union in the US), which represents more than 12 million employees... that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees' rights," Lech dealt with people like Willard when the Soviets were still in charge, but that was long ago.