We used to call it murder, not 'targeted killing'.
Nickel and Dime: The President has called for a $50 billion long-term public works program dedicated to the four R's – roads, rails, runways and re-election. Two things: The Republicans are not going to let it pass. And back in the 1930's Roosevelt's New Deal cost about $50 billion, which was a lot of money then. And it wasn't enough.
Missing Accomplice: After seven years of US occupation following the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraq essentially has no infrastructure, little electricity and less sewerage and potable water. Six months after a nation-wide election there is still no legitimate government. Oh, and tens, if not hundreds, of billions of reconstruction funds are missing. Shocked. Awesome.
Chocolates? According to French-speaking politicians in Belgium, the Walloons and their Dutch speaking Flemish partners are going to get divorced. It's been about 180 years since they were united in a British/French-backed shotgun wedding. It's all about the money, of course.
Lies, Damned Lies & Headlines: “Finally, People Are Calling For A REAL Housing-Market Fix: Letting Prices Fall” Who are these “people”? And the story is mendacious, too, claiming that letting house prices fall “doesn't punish savers, investors, renters, and (future) house buyers.” Maybe not, but it certainly will crucify home owners and mortgage holders, force even more underwater houses onto the market, and destroy even more house-based equity. Not to mention the immense bailout the taxpayers will have to give Fannie and Freddie. Trading ownership of existing houses does nothing to revive the economy, it simply puts new suckers on the hook for houses with falling prices. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.
There's an Echo In Here: “It’s all downhill from here.” Paul Krugman
Noted: Saudi Aramco has raised its official selling prices for all grades of crude oil to all customers, beginning in October. Demand? Supply?
Dead On Arrival: Obama's proposed $200 billion two-year tax cut allowing businesses to write off 100% of new investment in plant and equipment may please the Republicans, but why would manufacturers facing years of slack demand (because their customers have no jobs and thus no money) build even more over-capacity? Yes, it's a chicken/egg question. This one's an egg.
Bees' Needs: Research in the Rocky Mountains has documented a near 50% decline in pollination levels. Some of the “missing” pollination comes from the previously documented decline in bees, but much of it seems to be due to a climate-driven mismatch between the times when flowers open and when bees emerge from hibernation.
You Are There: The only thing that saved us the last time around was World War II. This time I say we go for the deficit spending without the casualties.
Switcheroo: While the West has been watching Russia maneuver over natural gas supplies to Europe, they are ready – after a decade of negotiation and two years of construction – to start delivering gas to China. Who needs an army if you can “project influence” through a pipeline?
Smoking Mirrors: US climate negotiator Todd Stern says that even though the US has been unable to pass legislation reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the US will meet its target of a 17% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020. He did not explainhow this would happen. I guess the recession is going to drag on.
Observed: “America is no longer a land of equality, and it is largely because our democratic system no longer promotes the welfare of the greatest possible number.” Somehow we've come to regularly support policies that are good for the rich and very bad for the rest of us. “What de Tocqueville underestimated was the power of money in modern politics.”