Ignorance is voluntary.
Priorities: The US cannot afford to provide minimum benefits to millions of the unemployed (at a cost of $60 billion), but can give the top 2% of taxpayers $750 billion for Christmas. The Fed had enough money to bail out big European banks, but not enough to rebuild the US infrastructure. The US can continue to pay for unwinnable wars, but not for decent healthcare. And so it goes.
Tourist Trap: The National Park Service wants to add TSA type screening to visitors to the Washington National Monument To Fear. “Stand quietly while we check your underwear...”
Always the Last to Know: The White House insists that just because every major newspaper in the world has published something does not mean that it's not still Top Secret. “Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors.” The State Department has warned graduate students that if they have the intellectual curiosity to read WikiLeaks documents they will be deemed unfit for government service, where ignorance and docility are required attributes.
Twas Ever So: An FBI inserted an agent provocateur into a local mosque; he was reported to the FBI for trying to instigate a terrorist attack.
The Sun Also Rises: China has extended its grip on Venezuela's petroleum resources with six new agreements worth $40 billion, just the latest in a long string of major acquisitions of South American resources for the Chinese economic boom.
Crass Warfare: Over 80% of the retirement income for the bottom 40% of elderly Americans comes from Social Security, but for the top 20%, Social Security is only 18% of retirement income. So those who don't need it will deem it reasonable to take it away from those who do.
Sneaky: Senator Tom Harkin (D-Ethanol) says that he will tuck an extension of the expiring ethanol tax credit bill into the omnibus appropriations bill where it can get lost in the mix. The credits could not get approved on a stand-alone basis.
Taking the Plunge: The latest Case-Shiller data reports house prices falling at an 8.5% annual rate – which would amount to losing another trillion in housing equity over the year. Note: Houses in foreclosure and REO sell for 30% less than those next door. About 25% of housing sales involve such houses.
Now It Can Be Told: Federal Reserve made $9 trillion in short-term, essentially interest free, loans to 18 favored financial institutions.
Wired: Your friendly Federal agent tracks you through your credit card use, in 'real time' as they say on TV. And he doesn't bother with warrants, either. If you want to complain, just talk into your cell phone. Someone's listening.
Them That Can't Teach: The US military is training the Mexican military in drug interdiction techniques. Probably the same ones they are applying so well in Afghanistan.
Statistical Spin: Without an entirely new program of unemployment benefits, at least 11 million unemployed will drop off the rolls by December next year. Taking that many out of the 'unemployed' pool will certainly help the numbers.
Losing the War: The Irish 'rescue' did not lower their debt one cent, nor make their interest rates tolerable, but it will require them to send 10% of their national income to foreign banks and bondholders for a decade or two. It's not repayment, it's reparations.
Business As Usual: During the housing boom about 50% of mortgage loans to blacks and Latinos were high cost 'products' while only 11% of whites got stuck with the deceitful, designed-to-fail mortgages. When the collapse came, blacks and Latinos lost their homes at twice the rate whites did. Get used to it, there's more to come as the rich white folks take over completely.
Porn O'Graph: Love's Labor Lost