Optimism was once America's greatest export.
Surgeon General's Warning: If reading about Bush's fruitless desecration of the Constitution and Cheney's war crimes doesn't sicken you, then it is unlikely you'll sign my petition for appointment of a Special Prosecutor and televised Truth Commission hearings. Followed by trials.
Quoted: "Before you can cross the threshold in Washington to reach the select few who will actually get it done, you must first cross the palm of some outstretched hand." Bill Moyers.
First Team: Biden, Summers - even Obama's op-ed on the Post website Sunday - have been floating trial balloons about how bad things were and are. It's all preparation so that when Obama tells us America ain't going back to Happy Days, that we have reached the Global Limits To Growth and is truthful about the lowered living standards in America's future, the pitchforks don't come out right away.
Mission Creep: Having saved the big financial houses from their own stupidity, the administration now wants to 'help' small business borrow from banks at lower interest rates. Debt, we need more debt. But no more Thanksgiving turkeys or Christmas parties.
Takes One to Know One: JPMorgan warns that high frequency trading (as practiced by Goldman Sachs) is "a form of parasitic market making" perhaps you should listen. And run away, run away. How many more warnings about what a mug's game playing the stock market is before you learn it's just a set-up for Wall Street to rob your piggy bank?
Short Term Memory Loss: Used SUVs, trucks are back in demand as America forgets its lessons. So much for fuel efficiency and the intelligence of crowds.
Threats: The Fed says that the threatened Congressional audit would hurt the US's credit rating if it revealed to the world how porly the place is run. It also said, with a straight face, that such an audit would "undermine the efficacy of monetary policy." Efficacy - they actually used the word.
Howdy, Neighbors: Every day over 300,000 people are added to the 6.5 billion of us already here. Are you using that spare bedroom?
Signposts: We have speed limits on our roads to protect the many from the selfish, willful and arrogant. Yet we allow the few - mostly in finance and politics - with a pathological drive to acquire and devour beyond all reason to bankrupt and beggar the many in the name of a failed god called "Free Markets". Where's our Luther?
The Real State Of Real Estate: This is not the bottom. This is, if we are very, very lucky, along about the 5th inning and the game won't be over until late next year, after prices fall another 20%.
Too Small To Matter: CIT Group (no relation to Citi) is likely to fall into bankruptcy soon. As financier to thousands of small firms, it is not eligible for government assistance, so its markets will be quietly gobbled up by those too big to fail.
He Said He Said: Wells Fargo is foreclosing on a condo on which it holds both the first and second mortgages. Wells Fargo the first, as part of the foreclosure, is suing Wells Fargo the second in order to get clear title to the property. Clear?
Fine Print: Banks have started adding some fine print in short-sale agreements that make the home owner liable for the difference between the short sale price and the balance of the mortgage. Presto-changeo, the non-recourse mortgage transforms into a recoverable debt. If you can't get out of the overhang, why bother with the short-sale?
One Way or Another: Pay attention. If you are a young adult the politicians have plans for you. Specifically they plan on stealing the rest of the Social Security "trust fund" (never was such a thing) and have the parents move in with you when you get tired of paying the government to take care of them. What a deal.
Brief Books: To the classics of rather short books - Italian War Victories, Biography of Lady Godiva's Tailor - we can now add "The Future of Conservative Ideas".