It is not morning in America; it is dusk on planet Earth.
Avalanche? Six US firms have defaulted on their bonds in the last 2 weeks - up from 17 for all of last year. S&P says defaults are happening twice as fast as in previous downturns, and approaching 200 companies bonds are trading at "distress levels."
Nuts and Bolts: The Congressional Budget Office figures that one third of the people to be 'rescued' by the well intentioned housing bill will eventually default, costing taxpayers $1.7 billion.
Dr. James Hansen: "If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385ppm to at most 350ppm." Step one: No new coal-fired power plants. Step two: Immediate shut down of existing coal-fired power plants. Not a ten year plan; this year. Now.
Slight Seeing: President Bush's vacation plan: 3 days in Israel, 3 days in Egypt, 3 hours in Riyadh.
Eitther/Or: Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell says the state is on the "brink of disaster" from skyrocketing energy bills. He's asking for $1 billion in clean energy programs and conservation efforts. What the state can do to come up with a billion dollars was unclear.
Holy Cow! The Bush folks have gone to a federal appeals court trying to stop meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease. Go ahead; you have 10 minutes to come up with an explanation that will pass the laugh test.
Decisions, Decisions: Marriott is "evaluating" whether it should join the other fools in planning to be part of a $5 billion boondoggle in Baghdad's Green Zone at the request of the US government
and Muqtada Sadar.
Taking Credit: US credit card debt is up 6.7% in 1Q2008 - that's an increase of $6,000 for every working American. One explanation: "...they have little intention of paying it off."
Take A Number: GlaxoSmithKline ignored the rising number of people who have suffered heart attacks after using one of its anti-AIDS medications. It waited three years before telling its stockholders, and is apparently still waiting for the right moment to tell its consumers.
Coming Events: Alt-A loans with piggyback second liens are defaulting at very high rates. Hybrid ARMs have the highest delinquency rate. "The Alt-A implosion will make the subprime implosion look like a bad earnings report."
Vox Populi: Congressman Kevin McCarthy's mail was 50 to 1 against Barney Frank's homeowner bailout plan. Pretty typical, but McCarthy is from California - where foreclosures are epidemic. And even there the folks don't want to see taxpayers paying to rescue the greedy, the criminal, and the terminally stupid. But citizens' voices have never much mattered much in Washington: the vote passed, along party lines.
Whopper: Burger King hired Diplomatic Tactical Services to spy on two non-violent farmworker organizations who want a fair wage for picking tomatoes. Burger King's VP used his daughter's alias to post questionble comments about the organizations on line. Asked about these actions, Burger King denied both. The Double Whopper.