Blocking out reality is becoming more and more attractive.
Snow Job: Unemployment fell to 9.0% in January – mainly because people left the work force in droves, not because anyone found a job. The number of actually employed people dropped by more than 1.5 million. The economy added only 36,000 jobs – if it could add 246,000 a month for then next six years then we'd be back to where we were before the Great Readjustment began. Almost 15 million Americans are unemployed, another 9 million are working part time for economic reasons, and about 4 million more have left the labor force since the start of the recession Of those unemployed, 6.4 million have been unemployed for six months or more.
Exit, $tage Right: Mubarak & family are worth upwards of $70 billion – that's $2 billion a year for being America's friend for the last 30 years. This makes Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his family look like pikers.
Speculating: Saudi Arabia is always portrayed as being able to save the day with 3, 4, 5 million barrels a day of excess capacity. Really? Maybe they've got the pumps and pipelines and other stuff to handle that much more, but their record suggests they haven't got the oil to pump. Saudi output peaked in 2005 at 9.1 mbd and it's been downhill ever since, falling to an average of 7.4 mbd in 2010. Current production is running nearly 15% below two years ago, while the price flirts with $100 a barrel. What, they don't want to make billions in profit?
Room to Rent: A superbowl party pad in Dallas is renting for $56,000 a night, 5 night minimum. No pets. Fitzgerald was right, the rich are are different...
Essay Contest: Explain the phrase: 'US plan: Replace Mubarak with torture-linked 'CIA point man' . 1000 words or less, usual prizes.
Ahem: As we pointed out earlier, the Republican "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" was bad enough when it defined away rape. But it was truly draconian when it tried to “stop all private insurance companies from covering abortion services .” These are the folks who want to get government out of your life... apparently to make room for them.
Page Two: The United States continues to hunt for a second group believed to be involved in the planning and preparation for the 9/11 attacks. Apparently we haven't heard the rest of the story.
Red Herring: 'Structural unemployment' explains unemployment by saying the workers are not skilled enough. Yet if every open job in the country were filled, 80% of the unemployed would still be unemployed. Let 'structural unemployment' never pass your lips again – it blames the victims and apologizes for the overlords decimating America in the chase for profits.
People Unclear on the Concept: The SEC has warned that financial fraud will increase if the GOP cuts its budget. Right. So?
Yes They Can: Refer those who claim that Congress cannot force you to buy health insurance under threat of a fine to Jacobson v. Massachusetts, a 1905 case where the Supreme Court upheld a Massachusetts law requiring citizens to get a smallpox vaccine or pay a $5 fine.
Food For Peace: We bribe farmers $3 billion a year to grow more corn for livestock and cars than for humans. Same for soy – 90% of those soybeans become animal feed and most of the soybean oil goes to waistlines. Yet the American empire is collapsing because people cannot afford basic foods.
Porn O'Graph: Con-U-Copia, Saudi oil production version.