Corruption is surprisingly resilient.
Er, Not so Fast: Amid yesterday's delirium over the ADP December jobs numbers, you may have missed the special caution put out by the economic advisory firm that helps compile the data: “There are reasons to be suspicious of this figure.”
Keeping Atheists out of Foxholes: The Army is running an “experimental”
religious mental-health program that is designed to identify soldiers who are not “spiritually fit” to kill people and blow things up. The program, designed by the same guy who designed the Bush torture program, has been run 800,000 times during this “experiment.”
Bathwater: Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claims the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because people who put their babies in trash cans are not engaged in interstate commerce. The Republicans need more like Steve.
Out of Sight, Out of Mines: One-third of Australia's coal output has been halted by the Queensland flooding. China will turn elsewhere to buy replacement tonnage, driving up the price of energy around the world - and down the street from your house.
Contempt by Congress: If I understand the plan, the House GOP is going to pass a budget of some sort, only to refuse to raise the debt ceiling. Bizarre. This means they could (and will, because for all the big talk they are not going to cut much from the budget) tell the Treasury to spend money it does not have and cannot borrow. And they think we're dumb enough to applaud.
A Cross To Bear: California's Blue Shield wants to hike its rates 59% - because of fast-rising healthcare costs. The cost that has increased the fastest is, of course, is the cost of insurance.
Good Idea: The FDIC is preparing to sue over 100 former executives of failed banks for “gross or simple negligence” in an attempt to recover $2.5 billion in payments the FDIC made cleaning up and closing down the institutions they supervised. Now if we could work the criminal negligence idea in and jail them. And apply the same concept elsewhere.
Echo: The US is sending 1,400 more Marines to Afghanistan because the previous surge forced the insurgents to spread out from their traditional strongholds into once peaceful areas in the north and west. We’re supposed to believe this is a sign the surge worked.
Worse Than Suspected: The single study that gave rise to the long-disproven claim that something (mercury) in vaccines caused autism was retracted by The Lancet last year and the head researcher barred from medical practice. Now the British Medical Journal has “unearthed clear evidence of falsification” in the research. Not one of the 12 cases cited in the original study accurately reflected the children's official medical records. It is time to put this canard away and to stop endangering our children by not vaccinating them.
The Pause that Refuses: The GOP took a break from posturing about cutting spending and reading the Constitution to deprive the 600,000 mostly black residents of the District of Columbia from representation in Congress.
Eppur si muove: In defending religion from the charge that it is a scam, Bill O'Reilly's trump card was this “I'll tell you why [religion's] not a scam, in my opinion: tide goes in, tide goes out. You can't explain that.”
Porn O'Graph: Because of this the land mourns...