"Science progresses in subtle degrees, half-truths and chance.” J. C. Horvath
Secret Killers: The government can kill, instantaneously, most of your electronic communications – cell phones and internet - but only for your own good. It says. Only in a mass emergency or terrorist attack. Of course emergencies and disasters are exactly when we need communications, but never mind – trust them, they know best.
Is QE Deflationary? Sure, sometimes. It depends. "But in macroeconomics other things are never equal."
Deflationary Force: Republicans are disappointed that research found that unemployment benefits do not discourage people from looking for work and that even generous benefits have “zero impact” on people's desire to find work.
It Can't Happen Here: Doctors in Greece have extended their strike through Dec. 13, over deeper job cuts the government has been ordered by international lenders to undertake. Millions of Greeks now have no access to medical treatment and three million more are set to lose it. One in every five Greek workers is currently unemployed, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent. Tens of thousands of families have no electricity, being unable to make the monthly 150 euro minimum payment. The average monthly wage – for those still employed – is 600 euros. Austerity for all! And on to France!
No Comment: "Pope Francis is cracking down on child abuse in the Vatican."
Dominoes: Tossing 3.6 million unemployed off the public dole will save the government a bunch of money, force even more onto food stamps (or would, if that program weren't also being cut), and will remove the stimulus that their spending was contributing to the economy. Ah, win-win. The poor get to suffer and the Republicans get to celebrate.
Little Shrimp: The population of Northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine isn't, anymore. It has officially collapsed. There will be no shrimping season in Maine in 2014. The annual shrimp survey in 2012 revealed the lowest number of adults ever recorded – and the 2013 survey found just 20% of that number. Worse, no juvenile shrimp have been found by the survey in the last three years. Northern shrimp live about five years. The current absence of juveniles suggests a complete collapse of the breeding stock. Why? In the last decade the waters of the Gulf of Maine has risen about 5ºF warmer than the 100 year average. The warmer water will not support the zooplankton that the shrimp feed on. No food, no shrimp. No little shrimp, no shrimp.
Where's Waldo? The NSA gathers records cell phone locations 5 billion times a day. Why?
Lard: We have grown resigned to the direct “here, take some more taxpayer money” government handouts to the banksters. We don't like it much, but we've grown used to it. But now we learn that we're subsidizing their employees. About 30% of the nation's bank tellers are paid so little that they draw one or more forms of public assistance – nearly $900 million a year. The nation's banks had over $141.3 billion in profits last year.
Shopping Season: The Labor Department reported initial unemployment claims are down 23,000 to 298,000. They added a bit of salt, explaining “that seasonal volatility has recently led the data to overstate the true voracity of labor market improvement.”
Game Plan: Prosecutors have decided not to charge a star Florida State quarterback in connection with a rape investigation, even though his DNA was found in semen collected after the assault took place. What part of 'star quarterback' or 'leading Heisman trophy candidate' didn't you understand?
Porn O'Graph: Double crossed.
The Parting Shot: