Friday, October 30, 2009

Around and about... 

"Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your shower water!"
The people of Venezuela have been told to stop singing in the shower and to wash in three minutes as their country faces an energy crisis. The call has come from president Hugo Chavez, the Left-wing leader of the oil exporting South American nation...

"Some people sing in the shower, in the shower half an hour. No kids, three minutes is more than enough. I've counted, three minutes, and I don't stink," he said during a televised Cabinet meeting.

"If you are going to lie back, in the bath, with the soap and you turn on the what's it called, the Jacuzzi ... imagine that, what kind of communism is that? We're not in times of Jacuzzi," he said, to laughter from his ministers... [Daily Mail]
(... some mockingly holding their noses behind him.)

Maybe the only problem that nobody's blamed on global warming is mountains starting to rise up faster out of the ground. Ooops.

Save the planet, eat your dog. Recycle rabbits as fuel.

Are US newspapers in a death spiral? This looks worse than the effects of just a recession. The Wall Street Journal becomes the #1 circulation daily paper thanks to USA Today's circulation dropping 17%. Advancement by watching the others die.

How mandated health insurance may leave many people worse off. (By Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution).

The fiscal storm clouds continue to form in plain sight on the horizon, as nobody in D.C. cares...

The United States, which posted a record deficit in the last fiscal year, may lose its Aaa-rating if it does not reduce the gap to manageable levels in the next 3-4 years, Moody's Investors Service said on Thursday....

"The Aaa rating of the U.S. is not guaranteed," said Steven Hess, Moody's lead analyst for the United States said in an interview with Reuters Television. "So if they don't get the deficit down in the next 3-4 years to a sustainable level, then the rating will be in jeopardy." [CNBC]

We've already seen the S&P timetable for this. It looks (unsurprisingly) like the schedule may have been advanced a few years. If you think the recession-causing shock of mortgage-backed securities losing their AAA rating was bad, wait until you see what happens US Treasury bonds lose theirs.

Speaking of coming fiscal calamity, the Tax Foundation shows us how health care reform is planned to be financed. For instance, very happily, the Baucus plan will be fully 44% paid for by other spending cuts!...

We all believe that, right?