Markets are built on confidence; they're confidence games.
Me, Too: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says he's "A little bit worried" about the value of all of his country's US Treasury holdings.
American Heros: Obama's Veterans Administration is considering a plan to require that veterans buy private insurance to cover treatment by VA physicians and Hospitals of service-related injuries. It is unclear who will pay for the wound they just inflicted on themselves.
Whistlin' past the graveyard: Citibank and Bank of America report that the diet's working, and Obama says "it's not as bad as we think." Don't pay any attention to the fat lady standing over there, waiting.
Stimulus Scams: Texas Gov. Rick Perry rejected $555 million in aid to the unemployed because it would discourage folks from seeking full time employment. Note that only 20% of unemployed Texans are eligible to collect unemployment benefits from the tightfisted state. SC Gov. Mark Sanford, who also rejected federal unemployment funding, has been accused of putting his own political future ahead of the state's most vulnerable citizens. Imagine that. And just what political future do these folks have?
Fortune Cookie: China's exports dropped 25% YoY - instead of the expected 5%. How do they expect to sop up all the new US Treasury debt at that rate?
Read It and Weep: Yet another poll shows that American adults have little knowledge or understanding of science.
Schedule: At least 40 shops and several cars were damaged in Friday's riots in Athens. Last week a home-made explosive device went off outside a Citibank branch in Athens. Since last December street violence has become a regular part of Greek life.
Wish I Knew: Helen Thomas asks, "What are US Goals in Afghanistan?"
Present At The Creation: In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a volcano named Nyiragongo is spewing forth a unique lava, unlike any other in the world. Its composition is identical to that found in ancient asteroids, which suggests the lava is coming from a plume reaching into the molten rock at the center of the earth. This may be the beginning of an upwelling that will lead to new large-scale geological formations in the region, much like the Yellowstone region of the US.
Ready or Not: America is not prepared for climate change; 41% believe the dangers are exaggerated - they tend to be Republicans. And in the Senate.
Let Them Eat Cake: The US needs to borrow $2 or maybe $3 trillion in the next year - four times more than normal. Great Britain needs a truckload, as do other developed countries. How many emerging markets and underdeveloped countries are going to be left holding an empty bowl? What happens to their citizens, their societies?
Motivation: Boys learn math when it is explained in terms of sex. With girls, emphasizing the design factors in clothing and shoes helps get the concepts across. It's all about making education relevant to the students' interests.
America First: Republicans in Congress want to reauthorize those parts of the Patriot Act that permit "roving" wiretaps, snooping on the books you read, and the expanded surveillance of random citizens. It's part of the GOP's ongoing effort "to protect our citizens from those who’d want to harm us.” Folks like Madoff, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Paulson, Bernanke, Bush...
Scene, Not Herd: Public display of disaffection.