Is there such a thing as “uncritically thinking?” Erica Goldson
If At First You Don't Succeed: Vague stories (with few details) are being floated out of Washington, suggesting ways the Treasury might be able to undertake a massive re-financing of the entire US housing market and at the same time sweep Fannie and Freddie's losses under some convenient rug. What could possibly go wrong?
Cinderella: "Unusually uncertain" – Is Bernanke trying to fill Greenspan's shoes?
Briefly: Will state budget cuts blunt the recovery? How could they not, when they are going to have to lay off more and more workers in order to “balance” their budgets and cut all the spending they possibly can and some they probably shouldn't? And what recovery are you referring to?
Inquiring Minds: Obama says “the US combat role in Iraq will end this month.” The questions are (1) did the insurgents get the memo and (2) how is 'combat' defined these days?
Two Strikes: At $40,000 plus, the Volt isn't the answer to anything but the boredom of the rich. At $32,000 the Leaf isn't much better. Besides, they're not really electric powered, they're fossil fuel powered. Where did you think electricity comes from, the wall outlet?
New Excuse: First mass foreclosures were blamed on 'subprime' lending, then on toxic loans and misleading mortgages. Now, with foreclosures continuing to increase, they are being blamed on the millions of the “chronically unemployed” not being able to pay their bills. Just how important is the “cause” compared to the effects?
Pro Forma: Could The US Consumer Heroically Come Back And Save Everything? No.
Scary Stories: There's a couple in Alaska who were arrested for terrorist activities that consisted solely of doing research on the internet. Hmm, a click here, a click there... Which ties in with the continuing saga of you, the internet and your friendly government hackers/monitors.
Construction Zone: While China has been expanding its network of paved roads, the US cannot afford to maintain its highways, or even rebuild structurally unsound bridges. We cannot maintain – much less expand - our infrastructure because of our tenacious hold on the idea that minimum taxation is the way to heaven. Maybe so, but the road to hell will apparently remain unpaved.
Previews: Israel is deporting the children of migrant workers, even if they were born in Israel and have lived there their entire lives. They are “a threat” to Israel's Jewish identity. Probably sending them back to Arizona.
Upper Hand: Some Greek municipalities are refusing to pay even the interest due on their debts until their creditors reschedule their debts at lower interest rates. Wonder how that'll go over. Wonder how it'd go over if US cities or states thought they could get away with it. How much in debt do you have to be before it's the other guy's problem? Of course in the US the 'other guy' simply makes it the taxpayers' problem.
Bears in the Woods: Microsoft has repeatedly quashed attempts to render even a shred of privacy to Internet users, for fear it would harm their ability to sell targeted ads.
Garbage In Garbage Out: The locks on China's giganormous Three Gorges Dam are being plugged up with thousands of tons of garbage that has been washed into its watershed by torrential rains. The trash is so thick that people can walk on it.
Baby Steps: The new chair of the UN's climate talks wants nations to concentrate on “politically possible” steps toward halting global warming. That is to say, the object now will be to find even more reasons to do nothing until it is too late.