We are impervious to inconvenient data.
Hiding the Body: Mortgage lenders, seeking to end harassment by their victims, are asking court permission to destroy 22,100 boxes of original loan documents/mortgages and loan agreements. This would make the MERS system the only record of who may (or may not) own a particular house. But they'll provide affidavits that testify to the accuracy of the (proprietary) computer's version of reality. Seems a little early to destroy the evidence.
Popular Movements: Watching the Republican lock-step empty-headed attack on the health care act makes it hard to remember that it is nearly exactly the health care plan the conservatives championed 15 years ago. To follow the GOP's gyrations requires passing into another dimension, one unsullied by logic and consistency. That's okay, ignorance is strength. Why tamper with a winning formula?
Bated Breath: Two Italian scientists claim to have succeeded in creating a sustained cold-fusion reaction. Not only does it produce power, it produces copper as a byproduct. Hoax or alchemy, the anxious world awaits further developments. Caveat: The actual 'working' of the reactor was not disclosed because it is an “industry secret.”
Cowards: For no discernible reason except an ingrained inferiority complex and a complete lack of balls, Senate Democrats have abandoned the idea of majority rule in favor of letting the minority party dictate legislative action again this term.
In This Corner: The GOP has chosen Paul Ryan (R-WI) to give the party's reply to President Obama's State of the Union address. Ryan, author of the “Roadmap for America's Future”, would privatize Social Security, abolish Medicare, push the federal debt past 100% of GDP and raise taxes on 90% of taxpayers while lowering taxes on the rich.
On Your Mark, Get Ready... FEMA has published a request for bids to supply “pre-packaged commercial meals to support readiness capability for immediate distribution to disaster survivors... in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System.”
Significant? The Fed has decided that it can move the bad assets it bought from Wall Street from its balance sheet to the Treasury, magically erasing substantial losses. Accountants have a strange sense of humor.
Mirable Dictu! Paul Krugman is surprised that Obama's version of American competitiveness concentrates on corporate interests and not the country's.
The Big Dippers: The US consumer, faced with lower wages and fewer hours, has turned to the piggy bank to support spending – drawing $311 billion from savings and investment accounts in the last 2 years. This is the first time in 57 years there has been a net negative quarterly withdrawal. Previously Americans added an average of 12% of disposable income to their holdings; now they are reducing their holdings by 1.4% of their disposable income. That's a net 13.4% of their seed corn that's disappearing into current consumption instead of being put aside for future needs.
Same Old Same Old: Not getting the praises they expected for playing charades with the health care act, the Republicans are turning to that all time favorite,
allowing fetuses to carry concealed weapons. banning the use of federal funds for abortions.
My Way of the Highway: The Congressional Budget Office - the closest thing American politics has to an umpire - refuses to consistently please either party. And the Republicans are getting sick and tired of this impartiality, so they've will try to abolish the agency.
Cliff Notes: Dr. Jim Hansen & friends claim that the much praised goal of limiting global warming to only “2°C and CO2 to 450 ppm are prescriptions for disaster.” No “significant cushion remains between today's climate and dangerous warming.” Modest increases in warming will trigger strong feedbacks that will cause the rapid deglaciation and the disintegration of ice sheets. The note that “the rate of sea level rise will depend on the doubling time for ice sheet mass loss” which appears to be 10 years or less, which in turn implies a multi-meter sea level rise this century.”