If you believe this is over,
you don't remember the picture of the earth from space.
Piggy Bank Nation: Now that China is “showing reduced willingness” to buy US debt, it is every citizen' s responsibility to smash the kid's piggy bank and finance his own debt. How cutting off one end of the sheet (future income) and tacking it on the other (debt spending) makes the sheet bigger is still a mystery. More likely, a self-hoisting petard.
Enter the Chorus: This time around you should not be caught unawares. There's trouble brewing and it's being announced. Starting with the death of the Consumer. In which the portion of GDP that is consumer discretionary spending is indiscreet. An 'X' Shaped Recovery – in which the middle class is Xed out. Double Down in which Roubini worries that the central bankers will kill the recovery through fear of inflation, or kill the recovery with inflation. Six, Count'em Six reasons to expect another bear market. Consumers 'probably' are cutting back. A report from the retailers.
Death in Washington: Zombies that won't go away: Reaganomics, supply side anything, efficient and/or free markets, Republicans, oil wars, Rush, Newt and McCain.
Early Days: The current odds from the CDC: About 150 million Americans will get swine flu. 1.8 million will be hospitalized. 90,000 will die (that's three times normal, but we'll also have a 'normal' flu going around.)
Medium of Exchange: I took my 7 year old daughter to the Megamart today. We got two bags of stuff from China and a bag of food from various hungry third world countries. To pay for the goods, I signed a note obligating her to work for the store for a total of 27 hours during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of March, 2027 – earliest dates she had open. We've been looking at a new plasma TV home entertainment center, but will have to put that off until she goes through puberty and can indenture her potential children.
Asked and Answered: Did Professor John Yoo commit a clear act of professional misconduct while in the service of the Bush administration? Yes.
No Crabs: Alaskan villages are slipping into the waves, Alaskan polar bears are slipping into extinction, and Alaskan fishing waters are becoming acidified by absorbing CO2 – and doing so much faster than tropical seas. Fish and crabs were not designed to thrive in acidic waters.
Plausible Denial? If the CIA hires some fellas to chop down a tree, but Congress doesn't hear about it, is it unconstitutional? How much secrecy can a democracy tolerate?
Homework: The middle class – which provides the bulk of consumer spending in the US – has debts that exceed 200% of their disposable income. Try to figure out how much they can pay down their debts over the next two or three years and what they are going to give up to do so.
Strike One: Forget all you think you know about Larry Flynt, and go read his call for a national strike: “Let's set a date. No one goes to work. No one buys anything. And if that isn't effective -- if the politicians ignore us -- we do it again. And again. And again.”
Algebra: Income Inequality + Financialization + Globalization = Destruction of the Middle Class
Damn : During its first two years, Medicare Part D exceeded expations and delivered extended drug coverage to most seniors while saving them money. Think how well it would do if they got rid of the GOP money-saving 'doughnut hole' and let the program negotiate prices with Big Pharma. Don't you just hate it when Big Government does good?
Sobering Up: Five myths you should know about if you are going to pretend to know about health care.
Porn O'Graph: Line the three bears up and yell 'Go!'