Second Law of Thermodynamics: Things get steadily worse.
Without Comment: “Joe Biden: Mubarak's no dictator, shouldn't step down...”
Kill Switch: Egypt, in an Internet first, shut down the internet within the country, exercising the same power Obama wants, and for the same reason. Syria, too, has shut down all international internet services. Jordanians have hit the streets lobbying for certain changes in their governance, as have the Albanians. International politicians (and bankers) are afraid the unreasonable thirst for freedom may spread with rising food costs.
Shhh, Don't Scare the Children: CNBC anchor implies US must support dictators to keep cheap oil flowing.
Really Gross: The US GDP for 4Q2010 increase at an annualized rate of 3.2%. Private inventories fell 3.70%, while personal consumption increased 4.4%. The US economy is slowly reviving and at this rate will get back to normal employment levels in 8 or 9 years.
Good Question: “Why Is Warren Buffett Keeping $34 Billion In Cash?” It's the economy, Stupid.
Test Tube: As a microcosm of GOP/Tea Party effects on government, NY's Nassau County is instructive. Voters in the rich county thought the Tea Party's promise of smaller government and lower taxes was just the thing, so they elected Edward Mangano to do the deed. He promptly slashed taxes, but found the community really didn't want services slashed. The county even had to borrow money to pay tax refunds This week the state stepped in and appointed some adults to try to straighten out the mess caused when reality refuses to read the memo.
Drill, Baby, Drill: Exxon has drilled an oil well a record 7.13 miles horizontally. One reason oil's not $12 a barrel any more.
Stepping on Cracks: There's a GOP meme running around that is getting play as though it were true – the one about Social Security needing immediate life saving surgery. Cuts now to avoid cuts later, they say. The AP, for example, ran this bit: “Sick and getting sicker, Social Security will run at a deficit this year and keep on running in the red until its trust funds are drained by about 2037”. This is disingenuous at best. We planned for this back in Reagen's day. And after 2037 it will not be “drained”. With absolutely no changes to the program, SS will continue to pay out at least 78% of the benefits scheduled, which are higher than today's benefits. Remember the bit about repeating big lies until they're accepted? Go Team!
Clip & Save: French President Sarkozy: France, Germany “will never let the euro fail”.
Going With the Floe: The water flowing between Greenland and Norway has warmed 3.5ºF in the last century and is now 2.5ºF warmer than during the Medieval Warm Period (900 – 1300 CE), which affected the climate in Northern Europe and northern North America.
Easy Come, Easy Go: Most experts agree that the rapid rise in the world's population was facilitated (allowed? made possible?) by the rapid increase in oil production. It will work that way in reverse, too.
Goodthink: Republicans think statutory rape isn't really rape, and under their guidelines a 13 year-old impregnated by her father would not be eligible for Medicaid assistance. Also, no money from a tax-exempt health savings account could be used for such an abortion. Payments made out of pocket for such an operation would not be tax-deductible and if your health insurance would pay for it, then the cost of that health insurance is not deductible. This idea, much like the putative 13-year old, doesn't stand a chance. But it does tell you what Republican priorities are.
'Nuff Said: “Unemployment Rate To Remain Above 9 Percent Through 2011, Will Remain Above 'Natural Rate' Until 2016: CBO”
Da Dah Don Dah: The FBI, in an attempt to educate the public, has made mass raids across the US, targeting those who may have taken part in the “Operation Payback" cyber-attacks in defense of WikiLeaks. The bureau said suspects, if charged, could face up to 10 years in prison. Goodness knows how long they could be disappeared before they are actually brought to trial.
Porn O'Graph: Real GDP growth, sort of, (or not down isn't up).