Myths do not die, they transform.
Sub-Division: The housing industry, financially stressed because it is unable to sell its products for outrageous prices, wants the government to continue handing out $8,000 bribes to entice people into debt slavery, even as house prices are about to drop another 11% in the next 9 months. Areas that have seen the most foreclosures so far will see the steepest drop in prices. The IRS is investigating move than 100,000 cases of fraud under the old program.
Spade, Spade: Wall Street says that if the US passes reform legislation, they'll be forced to move overseas. I say “Goodbye.” I think the rule should be that banks take deposits, make loans, keeps everything on the books and can have access to the FDIC, FED and Treasury programs. Anything else is not a bank, it's a gambling parlor and should be tightly regulated, with no access to taxpayer money, ever. Dream on.
Wired: The CIA's investment arm – why does the CIA have an investment arm? Recycling drug profits? - is backing Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring “social media.” Social media is the internet, blogs, tweets and such. Why didn't they just ask NSA for this stuff?
Dieoff, Part II: Pine bark beetles, with extended life cycles thanks to longer warm seasons, have been decimating pine forests in the Rockies and Pacific Northwest for so long now that we accept it as normal. Farther south, parasitical insects have been attacking aspen trees, resulting in massive aspen die-offs from Arizona north to Idaho. Remember, it's parasite damage; it's got nothing to do with global warming.
Take the Money and Run: Qatar is selling it's $2 billion investment in Barclays, following Abu Dhabi which sold off part of its stake for a $2.5 billion profit this summer. Petroleum geology wasn't the only thing they studied in college.
Citations: The following headlines are offered for your consideration: “U.S. Deficit Rises to $1.4 Trillion; Biggest Since ’45.” And on the same page: “Bailout Helps Revive Banks, And Bonuses.” And a quote: “We’ve spent the last few decades shoveling money at the rich like there was no tomorrow. We abandoned the poor, put an economic stranglehold on the middle class and all but bankrupted the federal government.” And ending with “The Rich Have Stolen the Economy.”
Lying Eyes: Despite football in the snow in New England last weekend, global warming is still with us. The combined global land/ocean surface temperature in September was the 2nd warmest September on record since 1880.
Consider the Sources: There are so many threats to federal officials these days that the Secret Service may have to stop investigating financial crimes. Wall Street's blackmailing of the administration should fall into one of the two categories.
Choir Practice: Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University and author of Limits of Power, which you should have already read, has a considered dismissal of America's Afghan adventure in a recent Commonweal, which you should go read now.