Feeling richer does not actually make you richer.
Get a Job, Yada Yada: Republicans in the House are blocking renewal of unemployment benefits in order to get an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and force those freeloaders getting $310 a week to see the light and go beg for a job at the Grab and Run. Oh, right. They're not hiring.
Weekly Lotto Numbers: Initial unemployment claims = 439,000, a slight increase from last week and nowhere near being good. The unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent, while 151,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month. In that the economy needs about 120,000 new jobs each month to keep up with population growth, not much headway is being made.
The Unexamined Life: The world-wide bailout-based economy continues as stock markets rally, commodities rebound and bondholders smile in anticipation of the EU/IMF rescue of Irish Banks and their European bondholders. Who's going to pay for all this? Who cares?
The Grand Tour: Does the grand European experiment with the euro and the European Community end with a slow motion bank run in Ireland? Let us hope not if only because such an outcome would be unimaginably disastrous. The cost to the Europe for propping up Ireland, Portugal, Greece, and Spain is miniscule compared to the costs of dissolving the EU.
Amateur Hour: Ben Bernanke, trying out a new routine for his stand-up comedy act, now claims that the $600 billion QEII purchases of Treasury Bonds from private banks will create a million jobs.
Through the Mirror: Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Warren Buffett for his lifetime achievement of amassing more money than it would take to rebuild Haiti.
Asked and Answered: Will the examination of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) be a whitewash? Yes, of course.
American Family Values: Reacting to Sergeant Salvatore Giunta's receipt of the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of American soldiers, Bryan Fischer, director of the American Family Association, claimed “We have feminized the Medal of Honor. So the question is: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?”
X-Rays and Pat Downs: Far more public anger has been elicited by the TSA pat downs that was ever expressed over US torture of Muslims. Depends on whose privates are being pummeled.
Heavy Lifting: Despite all their noise, do not expect the GOP to vote for deficit reduction. The name of the game is to dodge the blame. No matter that the GOP beats the drum for austerity, the object is to get the Democrats to pass the measure. Cutting popular programs and raising taxes – no matter how necessary - will never be greeted with cheers by the voters.
Sideshow: Portugal's chief spy resigned after the government's austerity budget cut 7 of the Defense Strategic Intelligence Service's 11 foreign offices. If the US cut the CIA’s budget by 60% would the world be better off?
Pipe Dreams: Folks are jumping on IEA's admission that peak oil was reached in 2006 as an excuse to spread a lot of misinformation about how turning tar sands into oil will save the day. Nonsense. They claim that Canadian oil sands provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia. True, but in 2008 Saudi Arabia produced about 8.5 mbd and Alberta only about 1.3 mbd. It’s the world market that counts. In the US, the Bakken formation's production grew from 100 kbd to 300kbd in only ten years! That's about how much oil drips onto the parking lot at Cowboy Stadium on any given Sunday. Some claim Alberta has 180 billion barrels of oil hidden in their tar sands. Maybe so, but that's only a six year supply for the world and they can't get it out that fast. The hope is to produce 5 mbd from tar sands by 2030 – that'll meet about 5% of the world’s demand. Sorry about running on, but I get pretty tired of being told that shale oil and tar sands are going to save industrialized civilization. They are not. As far as I can tell, nothing is.
Nightstand: Wendell Potter's 'Deadly Spin' explains in detail how health insurers spend a large part of the public's premiums on profits, propaganda and politicians.
Porn O'Graph: Why is the market going higher as more people cash out of stocks?