What do you do once you know?
Data from the Real Economy: While corporate profits continue to beat expectations, 24% of the unemployed have fallen into a lower social class – mainly the lowest. The middle class is shrinking and the lower class is growing (a 16% increase in The Poor since 2008). About 15 million are unemployed and 1 out of 3 who still have a job have had their hours reduced and/or pay cut. It takes, on average, 35 weeks to find a new job, and there are over 5 seekers for every job opening.
Take Home Assignment: Write an essay describing how the bounty of the sea would be affected if there were a 40% decline in the phytoplankton that form the base of the marine food chain. Use the present tense.
Factuality: About 60% of Pakistanis see the US as their enemy. The rest have no connection to SIS or the Army and don't go to weddings.
More of the Same: Senate Republicans have blocked a $30-billion plan to help small businesses through loans and tax cuts. Tax cuts, they maintain, can only go to the rich. Besides, they “have cast the small-business proposal as part of what they consider government overreach by the Obama administration.” Makes no sense to me, either.
Told You So: NOAA has announced that more than 300 climate scientists in 48 countries agree that the Earth has been growing warmer for more than 50 years, that the trend is continuing, that the last decade was the warmest on record, and the rate of warming is increasing. Yet we fail to act.
Dumb and Dumber: There are still a few banks out there, mostly in rural areas, that loan money to people they know and keep the loans on their books, happy to make a modest living while providing a needed service. Damned few. The last thing anyone wants to do these days is make a long term loan on an asset that is declining in value. A solution to this dilemma will earn you a Nobel.
Ghost Story: The
Bush White House wants to let the FBI (and other police and quasi police agencies who don't have access to NSA intercepts) access to customer records from Internet providers – without warrants and without troubling the courts.
Synonym: After Southwest tossed a standby passenger off a plane to make two seats available for a fat flier, it politely referred to the corpulent customer as “a passenger of size.”
On Balance : The GOP, which is in favor of redistributing wealth as long as it goes upward, claims that letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire would hurt the recovery because the rich would no longer lend or invest their money. Maybe so, but that would be a more persuasive argument if they were lending or investing now.
Update: In case you didn't know, “Muslims hate dogs and their women are forbidden to sing.” Except for recordings to be played incessantly on Middle-Eastern buses.
Commons Sense: Until there is an efficient, effective, and expensive penalty for casually tossing CO2 into the atmosphere and speeding global warming along, there is no incentive other than morality and good citizenship to encourage companies to cut back on their emissions. Quarterly earnings reports do not have line items for 'morality' and 'good citizenship.'
Sleazy is as Sleazy Does: Reports claim BP is using famous faces and two front groups - America's WETLAND Foundation and Women of the Storm, to try to convince US taxpayers that they, and not those actually responsible, should pay the costs of the Gulf Coast cleanup.
Porn O'Graph: Sales, sort of, of new houses.