Maybe one plus one doesn't always equal two, but it's a good place to start.
One Size Fits All: US State Department Press Release: “We continue to monitor the situation and are very concerned about recent events in ______. We call for restraint on both sides. We urge President/Prime Minister/King ______ to facilitate dialogue and provide concrete steps towards a peaceful resolution.”
Knock: Mubarak was through at the exact moment he said he would fire his cabinet and form a new one. The US could should have dropped Mubarak at that very moment. It was a win-win situation. The US would have won immense credit in the souks and bazaars while actually promoting democracy in place of of the dictatorships it has supported for so long. The opportunity was lost and will not soon return.
Short Version: ‘Former Director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center Says That American Policy in the Middle East is Failing Because the U.S. Doesn’t Believe in Democracy’
Quoted: “If George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and John Adams etc. were alive today, I do not think their first concern would be restoring access to Facebook.”
To Be Announced: A District judge in Florida has ruled that the individual mandate included in the health care reform act overstepped the Constitutional bounds of the commerce clause and because the mandate is not serverable from the entire Act, the Act is declared void.” The Supreme Court will eventually step into this void.
Question: What should we call mortgage-backed securities that are not backed by mortgages?
Takeaway: “I came [to Davos] somewhat pessimistic ,” said Simon Johnson of MIT's Sloan School of Management, adding “I am now terrified. There is an incipient sovereign crisis here mixed in with the bank crisis.”
Stamina: Each Olympic gold medal costs the winner's country $55 million. A losing proposition even at $1350 an ounce.
Gag Me: Donald Rumsfeld is to receive a 'Defender of the Constitution' award, suitable for framing, from the Conservative Political Action Conference. The award previously went to Rush Limbaugh.
Evolving Story: Republicans in Oklahoma are hoping to mandate that science teachers in the state lie to students about evolution – and call their effort the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act”. Usual prize for anyone who can explain how gagging teachers and compelling them to mislead students qualifies as either Academic Freedom or Scientific Education.
Asked & Answered: Was the Financial Crisis Avoidable? The answer is simple: as in any crime, follow the money.
Fox/Henhouse: Senator Inhofe (Troglodyte-OK), the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” proposes that the Environmental Protection Agency be explicitly prohibited from protecting the environment and that the entire Federal government be strictly prohibited from regulating carbon emissions by any industry that has ever donated to Inhofe's electoral campaigns.
Factoid: Government data shows that 11% of US houses – 18.4 million - are empty.
Peter/Paul: BP shareholders want the company to sell off assets in order to raise cash to pay dividends. Okay. But what will the company do to pay dividends once the assets are all gone? BP has reported a loss of $4.9bn for 2010, its first annual loss since 1992.
Damn It: Brazil's environmental agency has approved clearing nearly a square mile of Amazon forest so that work can begin on the $12 billion Belo Monte hydroelectric dam. It will also permit more forest to be cleared for construction roads. The dam will be 3.7 miles wide and will flood 190 square miles of pristine Amazon forest. What possible harm could it do?
Porn O'Graph: The bear went over the mountain...