The future, like the past, will be Darwinian.
Negotiations: Now you see it, now you don't. The US alleges that China has halted the export of rare earth materials to the US (and earlier to Japan). China says this is not true. This could quickly escalate into a lively trade war or be a short-lived tiff, just China making a point. Stay tuned.
We've Come Undone: Anyone who believes the foreclosure crisis can be contained is deluded. The real issue is trust in the government's ability to govern. The available evidence suggests control has passed from the government to a very small section of the governed. The financial princes are no longer constrained by even the appearance of legality. Mama, it's too late.
The Divine Right Of Kings: It has taken over 200 years, but the Executive has within its grasp the reins of absolute power, the very same our founding fathers were rebelling against. The Supreme Court seems prepared to grant then Attorney General Ashcroft absolute immunity from prosecution no mater how manifestly illegal and egregiously repugnant to the rule of law his actions were. A marvelous precedent. The only good new is that Bush&Company are not in power. The bad news is that their descendents well might soon be.
'Nuf Said: Drug Companies Pay 17,000 U.S. Doctors to Market Drugs to Other Doctors
Insulation: Conservatives are shocked to discover that there has been fraud and waste in federal weatherization projects that were part of the stimulus spending. This, they claim, is proof of government waste. Actually, it is proof of capitalists doing what they do best – getting as much profit as they can from as little effort and cost as possible. It is a failure of government regulation of the marketplace, not of government.
Silliest Headline Award: “Will the Federal Reserve Cause a Civil War?” No. The civil war that the Fed is
supposed to be fighting has long since been won by the 1%ers. The main victims of the Fed's QE2 – the old, the poor, the unemployed, the great unwashed – have long since been gelded.
Do Tell: Military recruiters have been instructed to accept gay applicants. The new recruits can be dishonorably discharged after the new bunch restores order.
The Perfect Storm: “An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top; a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy; and a public becoming increasingly angry and cynical about a government that’s raising its taxes, reducing its services, and unable to get it back to work. We’re losing our democracy to a different system. It’s called plutocracy.”
A Chill in the Air: Applications for new mortgages fell 6.7% last week and refinancing applications decreased 11.2%.
The New Math: The NY Fed says there are at least 3 million excess vacant housing units and until we sell enough houses to eliminate that number (and the new foreclosures added daily) up will be just a word on a packing crate.
Decline and Fall: The final bits and pieces of the once great British Empire are being swept up and put in the dustbin as the new government finds the cupboard bare and flings the country into the latest reincarnation of the Shock Doctrine, where fiscal crises are seized on to take funding from the many for the benefit of the few. Pension ages will increase, government jobs cut, welfare programs gutted, police budgets sharply reduced. But no mention of higher taxation on the rich to go along with the suffering heaped on the masses . The state will be destroyed in the pretense of saving the state. Bondholders will be paid on schedule.
Been There, Done That: Fourteen states are seeking ways to deny citizenship to the children of immigrants. Even this Supreme Court is not about to let individual states start whittling off parts of the Constitution. That's their job and they are getting pretty good at it.
Asked & Answered: Will Americans follow Europeans into the streets with mass protests when draconian austerity measures are imposed? No. And what makes you think the US is going to impose any austerity measures?