Big Rock Candy Mountain: The US plans to borrow $3 trillion this year, the governments of the rest of the wold are looking for $2 trillion. Where's all the money going to come from? Better yet, with everyone wanting more and more, won't the price go up? As in interest rates?
Oxymorons: Sustainable Development. Perpetual Growth. War for Peace.
Sisyphus: The GOP - bereft of any particular relevance in the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor - will use the hearings to promote the idea that their discredited conservative philosophy is actually the view of mainstream America. Which is is not.
Up, She Said: "It's a trading call," Meridith Whitnety said. Banks, in her view, could see a 15% short term gain. And the market went up, up, up. She also said, "then you flatline, then I think you have another leg down." Selective hearing. They didn't heara the part about unemployment reaching 15% either.
Doomsday: Doesn't Goldman's computerized micro-timing automatic trade system destroy any notion of investing based on values other than greed and exploitation? Long term investing is holding a position more than 12 seconds.
Energy = Economy: As Japan's factories slow, electricity consumption falls. Down 5.6% so far this year, much like their GDP. Cuts down on CO2 emissions.
Restoration: Can you imagine someone 50 years from now bragging about restoring his McMansion to its original particle board floors and sheetrock walls? Maybe less than 50 years if Lennar built it.
Tin Foil Hats: Maybe it won't stop the aliens from reading your mind, but a couple of wraps of tin foil will keep NSA from finding you through your ID card. And don't worry about them using power sockets to read what you type on your computer: (1) they can read it on line and (2) all the snooping has turned out to be useless anyway.
Technical Terms: Shiller say that house prices are coming down very slowly (!), there is nearly a year's inventory on the market, and both banks and private sellers are holding houses off the market hoping for better days. Housing is "still in an abysmal situation" and will languish for many years. That's what he said, "abysmal" and "languish".
Science for the Thinking Imparired: Researchers have discovered that swine flu kills the obese more than the skinny. Wow! If you are so fat you get out of breath getting up from the recliner, chances are any illness that burdens the lungs is going to be hard on you.
Haul Duty: Detroit's public schools are headed for bankruptcy. Not only will vendors go unpaid, and bondholders, but teachers will have to take draconian pay cuts. After the schools close and the kids are set free, parents and the community will begin to appreciate how underpaid the teachers were.
Coda: The terrible future predicted for the earth if we continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere is unavoidable as long as stories end with "the bill died in the Senate under intense opposition from the manufacturing, coal and transportation industries."
Measure for Measure: We watch the GDP as though it told us something worth knowing. It doesn't. GDP is a measure of economic activity. If you get cancer, spend $165,000 in a losing battle and die, it is good for the GDP. Rebuilding after Katrina, had Bush done so, would have been simply replacing something that got destroyed, not improving anything. But it would have helped the GDP. If we legalized the drug trade, wow, what a boost to GDP. GDP measures activity, it doesn't make value judgments.
Dry Me a River: Lima used to get its water from glacier-fed rivers. But global warming has melted the glaciers to the point where Lima now has water shortages for many months of the year. No workable solutions have been proposed other than mass migration.