“If you truly had a democracy and did what the people wanted, you'd go wrong every time.” Dean Acheson
Digest This: While we get ready to spend over $700 billion on 'defense', an indefensible 1 in 8 Americans (and 1 and 5 children) will end up getting emergency food help from soup kitchens and food pantries.
Neo-imperialism: India has joined the fray with China in a scramble to gather up Africa's energy resources. Strange how wrong it seems when they do it.
Myth Takes: Deficit hawks warn we cannot afford basic healthcare for all, but we must keep feeding the Defense/Intelligence/Homeland Security establishment – the one that hasn't been able to keep us safe and cannot win a war. Which has harmed more US citizens: health insurers, Saddam's WMD or the Taliban?
Putting A Fork In It: Without an increase in consumer spending any hope for economic recovery is lost. That's the reason there is no reality to the 'recovery' – no consumers. Great chart.
Merger & Acquisition News: Even before the Supreme Corp freed corporations, trade associations and unions to participate fully in the electoral process, they were doing pretty good in the buy-a-politician department. The US Chamber of Commerce, for example, has already surpassed the RNC and DNC, together, in spending on elections.
Not Necessarily the News: It's now official, it will be 'all but impossible' to arrive at any agreement on addressing global warming this year. Or next year. Or any year with a politician in it.
Energy/Income: The relationship between income and energy is obvious - the more energy per capita, the higher per capita income is. But absent cheap and plentiful energy, the economy becomes a zero-sum game, with repression at home and aggression abroad as the norm. Cutting back on cheap and abundant energy limits growth, and that will lead to a world where one group can gain only at the expense of others. It does not matter whether the cut-back is due to peak oil or to limiting CO2 emissions to avoid climate change, the result will be the same.
Choice of Words: The developed world, particularly France and the US, should not be offering 'aid' to Haiti but making reparations for well over a century of depredations against the Haitian people.
...Not As I Do: While working to rid the world of nuclear weapons, the US will spend $7 billion to maintain and improve its nuclear weapons.
Motivation: Georgia - the nation, not the state - has volunteered to provide the US with a logistics hub and a conduit for military supplies headed for Afghanistan. This would prove helpful if Pakistan were to fail as a supply route . Or if Russia should get interested in Georgia again. Whichever comes first.
Up Before Down: Historically, large build-ups inventory are followed by a sudden slowing of production, as the inventories just sit there, waiting for customers. Buckle up.
Fill In the Blanks: When your ownership in a publicly listed company passes 5%, you must file a 13-G with the SEC. Monday, Blackrock filed 1,800 such documents. (a) The only company in on the NYSE that Blackrock does not hold at least 5% of is ________ . (b) The current value of 5% of the stock of 1,800 NYSE/NASDAQ companies is $_______ . (Rounded to the nearest billion.)
Beats Bombing: China, which already has two oil deals with Iraq, has forgiven 80% of Iraq's Saddam-era debts. If it doesn't get the oil, the money won't matter anyway.
Wave Goodbye: Nearly 10% of FHA borrowers are at least 3 payments behind – which is a prelude to eventual default and foreclosure. Taxpayers will cover the losses.
Porn O'Graph; Rooms to rent, fifty percents...