We cannot accurately describe, much less discuss, our problems.
Negotiations: Dozens of NATO oil tankers stalled near Islamabad on their way to troops in Afghanistan have gone up in flames – the second such incident since the border was shut to supply traffic. 'Militants' and the 'Pakistani Taliban' are being blamed, as it would not be helpful to suggest this is part of a negotiation for increased 'aid' to Pakistan.
Surprise Party: Tea Partiers think they're starring in a revolution, actually they are bit players in another remake of Money Talks. Yes, there may be a few 'victories' now that Dick Army and his wealthy friends have taken over the party. But the real prize is out of reach. Every important potential GOP 2012 presidential nominee is on Rupert Murdoch's payroll. And the golden rule still rules.
Better Late than Never: Ambac, which insured $16.7 billion Countrywide-originated MBS back in the good old days is now trying to get out of the contracts by claiming that 97% of the mortgages were made to borrowers with no or little ability to make the payments. Too bad Ambac didn't think to check on that before issuing the insurance.
What's In a Name? One of the companies sharing a $10 billion US embassy protection contract (because US Marines for some reason no longer do this) is International Development Solutions. But IDS is a shell company for Xe Services, which is the current nom de guerre for Blackwater – which is not eligible for such contracts. Privatization depends on
Holding: Schwarzenegger has ordered that possession of less than an ounce of marijuana be a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine – like a speeding ticket. The change was made because California cannot afford to prosecute minor crimes.
Pre-paid: The CIA, believing that the Pakistani government and military has been bought and paid for, has disregarded Pakistan's objections and doubled the number of drone attacks on targets in Pakistan. At least 120 people were killed (the dead are all 'suspected terrorists') in 21 US drone attacks in September. Since August 2008, US drones have killed at least 1,140 people in Pakistan, many at weddings.
Qualifications: Preparing their alibi for a possible letdown on election day, the GOP is now scrambling to pour even more money into their fight to control Congress, saying it is “more fluid than it seemed”. Republican strategists now feel that only half the 39 seats they needed to control the House are sure things. Paying for polls is like torturing prisoners – you hear what you want.
Previews: California is closing its budget gap by taking $12.4 billion out of the reach of the poor.
Essay Assignment: 500 words, using this prompt: “Much of America is in a nasty mood... Both political parties serve their rich campaign contributors while proclaiming that they defend the middle class. Neither party ever mentions the poor.” and “Racism and anti-immigrant sentiments are an important part of the ... reason why so many are willing to heed the propaganda against helping the poor.” Usual prizes.
Phantom: The Financial Accounting Standards Board's proposed rule that assets have to be valued based on what they are worth (mark-to-market) will be sacrificed on the altar of bank profits.
Lying Eyes: Obama has ordered sanctions against Iran for “human rights abuses”. You know, kidnapping, torture, the extra-judicial murder of citizens and other things the US does routinely. He says “The United States is strongly committed to the promotion of human rights around the world, human rights are a matter of moral and pragmatic necessity for the United States.” His actions say otherwise.
See USA First! The State Department, in cooperation with Disneyland, has warned Americans not to travel to Europe for fear of vague but bad things happening. Be aware that "terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests". Plus they talk funny. Better stay home, where it's easier for Homeland Security to watch you.
Friends in High Places: Seeing the words “consumer protection” in the net neutrality bill, Joe Barton, R-TX, immediately blocked the bill, on general GOP principles. The idea of preventing discrimination on the basis of wealth and ability to pay just doesn't fit with Boehner's Pledge to America's Wealthy. What’s the point of being rich if you can’t get richer?