Risky mortgages threaten a squeeze. “The overall impact is muted, but some 500,000 homeowners are projected to face foreclosure.” My italics.
Bits of News:
A fifth state of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate, has been observed.
“Can the Democrats make gains in the heavily Republican South? A look at two Senate races, in Tennessee and Virginia.”
@$#&*% Ken Burns! PBS Scrubbing G.I. Mouths With Soap. War is hell. Broadcasting is worse?
Ironic, that in these times Hitler becomes a lucrative painter.
NY Times Editorial:
Rushing off a cliff. Post-9/11 laws are being applied to ‘domestic terrorists’, with widened definitions of same ... there’s no reason to believe this won’t have the same effect. If you can’t get an international terrorist, a local one will do. If you’re a fan of Edward Abbey, don’t walk outside with your portable drill. One never knows where semantics might take you in a court of law these days.
Related, CSM: How military service affects officials’ views on torture. Or, do unto others as you would be done unto.
NY Times World Business:
“Wind will remain competitive as long as the price of crude oil remains above $40 a barrel.”
SF New Mexican/AP:
The Saudis contemplate a Maginot Line ...
SF New Mexican:
“Impacts of Santa Fe’s minimum-wage law on jobs and earnings have been mixed, city councilors were told Wednesday, but the ordinance apparently hasn’t increased business costs significantly or hurt low-skilled workers.” UNM releases their study on the new living wage ordinance in SF. Does noone test the recipients of the higher wage, to find out how their lives have improved (or not)?
SF New Mexican:
LANL to reduce support positions. This will have a big effect on the local economy, I suspect. LANL is the best-paying and most consistent contractor in the area.
SF New Mexican:
City restricts aerosol sales. Snorting Dust-Off? I knew a crank who liked to hold the can upside down, freeze his fingers, and then drop them down the back of your shirt-neck ... just to get the reaction. Apparently abuse of household products is rampant among 12-17 year olds.
Paul Kennedy on ‘imperial overstretch.’ “It seems to me that Bush will leave it to his successor to pull out. The successor will then get the blame—he will be the weak one, the appeaser, the one who did not stay the course; the same course that was wrong headed and desperately unfair.” Via MeFi.
Project Orion: NASA’s Next Spaceship Takes Shape. Hmmm ... comfy lookin’ seats there. Look like a CSI gurney, around the legs. ‘Course, they’re largely being used in zero grav.
Is it really possible to tip a cow? $5 bucks, I’m on my way ...
Photokina photo gallery.
Oil slides down. “But OPEC needs to be careful not to get addicted to expensive oil. Demand tends to be relatively unresponsive to price changes over the short term, but in the longer run consumers adopt more fuel-efficient lifestyles, which can cause prices to collapse. This is what happened in the 1980s, leaving big holes in OPEC members’ budgets.” And it’s true, though I would amend that to ‘early ‘80’s’ ... Reagan eased things up, and the V6 and V8 made a comeback later in that decade. The small-car ethic seems to have taken hold, even though gas prices have eased. Noone believes in cheap oil anymore ... at least, not for the near future. And there’s now a pride in driving something smaller; poo-poo it if you will, I see some rich and affluent driving Chevy Aveos with self-satisfied smirks, commenting, “I save my Hummer for the weekends. This is easier to park.”
Even with miracles,
The text of the NIE assessment
disturbs for lack of depth. I hope the entire document is better than this; you could come up with an assessment like this from reading public news. It is certainly bad for the Administration, but worse news for us if this is the best our government can do. What is the description of a “jihadist”? From my basic understanding, these are mostly very young men, uneducated, unemployed, poor and rootless, who are cherries for the picking. Iraq’s population, if I recall the stat correctly, nearly half is under the age of 25? Work with our Middle Eastern allies, do something constructive about the Muslim youth issue, give them education and employment, you’ll largely cure ‘jihadism.’ In Iraq, restore infrastructure, and it will stabilize. Both of those are huge projects, no longer simple at this juncture. But if the only answer we have is bigger guns, we’ve lost.
Related: Economist, Iraq Forecast, “The coalition presence is increasingly irrelevant, as the struggle between these forces for control on the ground takes centre stage.”
NY Times Science:
Sounds like the Ivory Bill has become the UFO of ornithology.
Health Care Costs Rise Twice as Much as Inflation. And, a letter to the Editor from the President of the AMA, on Health Insurer Profits.