Priests and politicians promise a better tomorrow.
Exceptionalism: A Barron's poll of fund managers found that 85% of them are ahead of the S&P 500 professionally, and 73% are beating it in their personal investing. And all their children above average.
Happy Motoring: GM pulled ahead of Ford in the race to the bottom, with sales down 45% - 34% for cars, 51% for trucks. Ford managed to be down only 30% from the previous October. Toyota's sales were down 22%. Industry analysts say that the bottom has not been reached.
How McCain Could Win: Since the 2004 election the GOP has managed to purge more than 10,000,000 voters from the rolls. Nearly all of the challenged voters were poor and thought to be leaning Democratic.
Vocabulary: No explanation is required for this term, but its very appearance was an attention getter: "the newly poor."
Gasoline Profits: US oil companies paid and collected more taxes ($146.8 billion) in 2006 - the last year for which the data is available - than they made in profits ($131.5 billion). Uncle Sam & the States make more off a gallon of gasoline than Exxon does.
Systemic Poison: Two wrongs are going to make this mess worse. Both parties think the government can fix the economy by stabilizing the price of houses. Dummies: Houses cost too much. Citizens cannot afford them. Until the average house is within reach of the average paycheck, the economic outlook will be below average.
Etiquette: Pakistan has told General Petraeus to stop sending cruise missiles and drone launched weapons into Pakistani territory, and to shut the door behind him.
De-pensions: Business groups are besieging Congress, seeking "pension relief" in the form of permission to underfund their pension programs and then lie about them by "smoothing out" the value of the plans over several years, before abandoning them on the steps of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Numbers on a Page: In October, US manufacturing contracted at the fastest pace in 26 years. The current economic slump is forecast to be deeper than the 2001 and 1991 recessions.
The Torch Passes: As the US is forced to borrow more trillions overseas, the point may well come when it will not be permitted to finance its increasing debt in dollars. At that point the dollar won't be The Dollar anymore. Nor the US the leader of much.
Laundry : AIG has gone through $146 billion in taxpayer gifts - and it sill looks like a goner. Would have been cheaper to let it go in the first place. But Bernanke and Paulson could not, for it would have shown that the US financial system is insolvent. It is, but we're pretending otherwise. Click your heels.
Christmas Spirit: The nine largest US banks, recipients of $125 billion in handouts, will be paing about $40 billion in compensation and bonuses. Put it this way: thirty cents out of every dollar given to these banks will be given to the people who ran the economy into the ground.
Amazing Desert: By 2050, the Amazon will lose half its trees and begin turning from a jungle to a much drier environment.
Modesty: The government can't be expected to bail out everyone. For example, the 46 million Americans without healthcare are beyond help, the million plus who've been evicted from their homes were just greedy, the nearly 40 million living below the poverty line simply don't want to hold a job. These and others are not important enough to save. Makes me want to vote "None of the Above".