Anyone who thinks it can't get worse hasn't much imagination.
Extrapolate: Lloyds has written off 54% of its £26.7bn portfolio of its Irish loans – including expected 90% losses on commercial real estate. Roll that out and it translates into huge write-offs for banks across the Continent and in the US. Carry it forward to Greece, Portugal, Spain, Belgium...
Data Point: 64% of America's jobless have been out of work since before Christmas 2009.
Bond holders versus the populace: Remember that social unrest isn't supposed to happen in the Western world anymore. But as banks continue to shift their losses onto the populace, perhaps the winter of our discontent is at hand.
Rehabilitation: “I don’t think Obama is abandoning his principles for political advantage; these are his principles.”
Wonderland: Now the Pentagon has banned reporters for Stars and Stripes from reading the WikiLeaks cables. First it was grad students that were told not to read 'em, then employees at State, then the troops, then even scientists at the South Pole, while the Air Force has forbidden access to the websites of newspapers that have published WikiLeaks material. This bunch can’t even do censorship right.
Not in My Neighborhood: If you want to cut Medicaid, not extend it, tell me what you suggest we do instead. Nothing? Good luck with that.
Big Wow: The headline reads “Financial Interests Dictate Sovereign Policy.” [The title now reads “Greed is Not Good”, which also strikes me as not an earth shattering revelation.] I didn't think I needed to read the article itself, but the bit about “starving the slaves” seemed pretty good. I rather think they are burning down the barn to warm the horses...
Before Sunset: In Washington, where it still seems to be September 30th, the House of Representatives voted on Friday to extend last year's budget for three days. Three days. A new budget was due Oct. 1, but the GOP just said no. That's because the Republicans want to wait until they control the House and can begin their pruning of wasteful spending on health care, the elderly, education, the EPA and the rest of those socialist programs.
Obviously: The Party of No's is more of a nightmare, not a DREAM.
Just Wondering... If the UK can “block all porn” on the internet, why is the US letting the proletariat access to WikiLeaks?
Clean Sweep: The votes are in and it was not even close – the Republican's win Lie of the Year for depicting the health care reform act as being “a government takeover of health care.” Which it was not. It was the government forcing citizens to give their money to the insurance industry, which continues to control health care in the United States. But the Republicans “didn't let facts get in the way..”
Stuffing: Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, Americans manage to throw out 25% more trash than normal, not counting the stuff they get from their mothers-in-law.
Oily Math: Crude oil production peaked at 73 mbd in 2005 (EIA). Next year we'll use 88.8 mbd (IEA). Is Santa going to bring the extra 15 mbd? Nah, it's just that not all oil is oil. There's crude, condensate, natural gas liquids, that stuff they mine in Canada, ethanol and some 2.2 mbd that just magically appears at refineries.
Whether Report: Vice President Biden pledges that all US troops would be out of Afghanistan by 2014, "come hell or high water." Looks like rain to me.
Yesterday: Federal funding for the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) program has ended, leaving the states with 15% less money fund the main lifeline for families and workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. No room at the Inn, indeed.
Exercise for Extra Credit: Gather 10 friends.
Do you know which one has been unemployed for over a year?
Of the remaining 9, which one is trying to support a family with a part time job?
Of the remaining 8, which one is on food stamps?
Of the remaining 7, which one lost their home?
Of the remaining 6, do you know which one has no health insurance?
Of the remaining 5, which 3 voted Republican?
Why do you think they are your friends?