The economy needs customers, not necessarily people with jobs.
Mission Accomplished? What the hell was the mission? Yes, the last US units to be called ‘combat troops’ have trooped out of Iraq, after 7 years and trillion dollars. Did we keep the receipt? Can we get a refund? What 'noble cause' was served? And don't think it's over – the US State Department says “This is not the end of something. It's a transition to something different." Now how about that other one?
End of Summer Sale: Commercial real estate prices fell 4% in June and are now down 42% from their peak. The main drag was retail malls and shopping centers, which lost 11% of their value in the 2nd quarter. Good time to get in on the ground floor...
Budget Be Dammed: While sending 150,000 state workers home on 'furlough' because the state is broke, Arnold found enough money to send 224 National Guardsmen to the Mexico border
to keep unpaid nannies from escaping back to Mexico.
Teaching Point: Some states will not be eligible for federal money under the new stimulus bill because they didn't spend enough of their own money on education. South Carolina, for example, will not get $143 million it expected because it cut too much of its support for higher education even though it did increase K-12 spending. Would have thought those that couldn't afford to educate their kids would be in greater need, but it was undoubtedly a conservative clause inserted to make sure no one got a penny more than absolutely necessary.
Conform! Nearly a million US kids are misdiagnosed with ADHD simply because they they are mentally (and physically) younger than the other kids in their kindergarten class, are inattentive and cant sit still. Nothing a little Ritalin won't cure.
Numbers Before Noise: Initial unemployment claims came in at a nice round 500,000, the fourth increase in five weeks, but those continuing to receive benefits fell 13,000 to 4,500,000 (But that doesn't include the 5.6 million receiving extended unemployment insurance, paid for by the federal government.) Goldman expects unemployment to be back above 10% by mid-2011.
Obviously Misinformed: Scientists have mapped a 22-mile plume of oil droplets from BP’s rogue well in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, providing the strongest evidence yet of the fate of the crude that spewed into the sea for months.
From The Mountaintop: Just because privatizing Fannie and Freddie has turned out to be a disaster doesn't mean we shouldn't create a couple of thousand little F&Fs and let the government guarantee all their losses too. Maybe it'll take longer to lose the same amount of money. Maybe not.
Going, Going, Gone: By 2014 at the latest the US will fall behind China in manufacturing output. What America produce, anyway, besides aircraft, weapons and wars?
Tramps and Thieves: In France you can tell how tough the times are by who the government choses to imprison and exile. Having got rid of most of their Jews in the 1940's and being a bit unsure just what to do about their Muslims, President Sarkozy in his 'war on crime' has had to elect the Roma to the position of scapegoat one more time. So it's round them up, head 'em out. If, that is, he can find a place that will accept them.
Enlightened Citizenry: More than 24% of voters believe Obama is a Muslim and 61% oppose the mosque in lower NY, yet 52% say churches should stay out of politics. And we let these people vote.
Bar Bets: According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, only 30% of US houses are owned free and clear. About 52 million have mortgages. They Bureau does not track how many of them were underwater.
Porn O'Graph: Housing starts. And stops.