I'm not surprised often enough.
Charity: Over the weekend America's headlong rush to save wounded and maimed Haitian children came to a halt when Florida learned that none of them had health insurance. Charity may begin at home, it certainly ends there.
Whose Idea? Turns out the Russians and Chinese wanted to force the US to bail out Fannie and Freddie – which we did and are still doing. So, did we do because of them, or just for Goldman Sachs?
Hmm. The US is rushing to deploy new antimissile systems in four Persian Gulf countries and aboard ships off the Iranian coast to counter Iranian missiles, should Iran be so foolish as to continue in their delusion that they are an independent, sovereign nation.
Promises, Promises: Most of the nations responsible for most CO2 emissions met Sunday's deadline to issue promises to cut their emissions. If all the promises were kept, these theoretical cuts would not be sufficient to meet the goal of keeping global warming to less than 2ºC. None of the promises came with explanations as to how the cuts might be achieved, and all of them said that their promises were not legally binding – they're more like polite fictions.
Simple Sums: Next year I expect to earn $100,000, spend $170,000 and forge my granddaughter's name to the IOU. That's the effect of the deficit ($1.6 trillion) in Obama's $3.8 trillion budget. Here's a chart to contemplate.
The Big One: Orin Hatch says that if the Democrats insist on acting like they're in the majority, it could lead to “partisan hostility”, “heated animosities”, and “outright war”. To help further bipartisanship, the RNC will deny financial support to any GOP candidate who does not endorse the party platform.
Ah, Progress: When some entity uses the internet to cripple or destroy a country's electrical system, what is the appropriate response? Who do you bomb? Could the targeted country even get sufficient missiles and planes in the air?
Just So Stories: It's all right for Virginia school children to learn about the slaughter of Jews during WWII, but must be protected from finding out that half the people in town have vaginas and that unsaid unmentionables are involved (in some mysterious way) in having babies!
Happy Daze: Roubini sees home prices falling further, a commercial real estate collapse, continued job losses, one-third of industrial capacity idle, and $1.5 trillion in credit losses yet to be taken. The cost of current debt levels will restrain economic growth and continued financial accommodation will push deficits even higher, but withdrawing that accommodation would crush any nascent recovery. Whitney Tilson agrees.
Just So: The Swiss Justice minister says UBS may collapse if agreement is not soon reached with the US over the release of tax-cheat account holder information that the Swiss courts have ruled they cannot release. Damned if you do...
Good Question: Why does the US turn a blind eye to Israel's bulldozers? (a) It's their manifest destiny. (b) Because they're just acting preemptively. (c) What bulldozers? It is hard to argue that you are not a monster when you do monstrous things.
Tortured Logic: The Justice Department has ruled that the Bush Justice Department lawyers (mainly Professor John Yoo and Federal Appellate Judge Jay Bybee, lest we forget) who tortured the law, the Constitution and the English language into justifying torture, didn't do anything any other lawyer wouldn't have done, so it was okay.
How 1937: Spain, facing a collapsing housing bubble, a failing economy and massive unemployment is going to tighten government spending and raise taxes. ObviouslyKeynes wasn't Spanish.
Porn O'Graph: The home front.