Reality has once again triumphed over hope.
Re - Surgence: A new assessment of the situation in Iraq claims there has been significant progress in security in the last few months. Especially in Basra and the Green Zone.
Stimulating: "Seventy percent of those who have received their 2007 income tax refund are using it to pay off credit cards and bills, the first time in 20 years that figure has topped 50 percent." Let's call it a surge and say it's working.
Supply the next item in the series: Robust growth, moderate growth, Goldilocks, slowdown, contained, downturn, no recession, mild recession, recession, severe recession.... And no, martial law is not the right answer.
Paranoia: Bush & Company are overthrowing the country one constitutional clause at a time. A newly disclosed Justice Department memo asserts the president has unlimited power to order torture of detainees. It also dismisses 4th Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure. And there is a previous, still-secret, 2001 memo that claims the “Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations." What "domestic military operations" ?
Grains' Gains: The US is so closely focused on the credit discombobulation that the more important food crisis in the developing world, as prices chase dwindling grain supplies, isn't noticed. It will be.
Moving Lips: The Administration claims terrorists finance their evil deeds by selling pirated software. To stop them, Bush&Co says, we need a new agency to investigate the theft of intellectual property, increase police powers, and impose draconian penalties for copying songs. They provide not a shred of evidence, but industry lobbyists have paid them to pass the bill. This has a familiar ring to it.
Flash!: Research suggests that menopause is nature's way of minimizing competition for reproductive resources between mom and her daughters.
Right Off! After the foreclosure process, the bank ends up with the house, right? Not if it doesn't take the steps to claim title to the property. And in some cities where real estate values have crashed and any meaningful resale is unlikely, banks are choosing not to take title to the property - that would make them responsible for taxes, upkeep, liable for injury and such, etc. etc. Disposable houses.
Honor: Army Colonel Ted Westhusing, a full professor of military ethics at West Point who volunteered to serve in Iraq, committed suicide there in 2005. He left behind a note claiming his superiors were conducting the Iraq war based on "corruption, human right abuses and lies." One of the two he named is our current commander in Iraq.
Voodoo Economics: John McCain's economic advisor Kevin Hassett is a 'supply sider'. He claims "The economy grows more vigorously when you lower tax rates. It is beyond the reach of economic science to explain precisely why that happens, but it does.” No it doesn't. How's the economy now, after 8 years of Bush's Big Cuts? McCain’s tax cut proposals would "cost more than $2 trillion in lost tax revenue over 10 years.”
Deep Freeze: Okay, so Goldman may or may not have helped Bear Stearns down the stairs, but it seems pretty certain that several hedge funds are spreading (false) rumors to create fears of a banking crisis in order to profit from short positions on the Icelandic krona and stock market. Its three largest banks and it's currency are being roundly buffeted and may soon collapse. Ben's reach doesn't extend that far.
Two for the Show : During the sudden unloading of gold and other commodities in the last week, oil and grains held. In neither can supply keep up with global demand. Export rates for both are falling as producing nations strive to serve their own markets first. Everybody wants more and more of less and less. Google "Export Land Model".