We are not the citizenry the Founding Fathers had in mind.
Ups & Downs: That oil price shocks are among the major contributing causes to the slowdown in the business cycle, is backed up by empirical evidence dating back to the 1970s – no matter how often people claim $145 a barrel oil had nothing to do with the Great Whatever of recent memory.
Sharing, Redefined: For over a decade many states (here Wisconsin and Ohio raise their hands) have over-estimated the return on state pension funds which allowed the states to significantly – disastrously – underfund these obligations. Now, fingers scalded by reality, the states propose to make up for their mistakes by punishing their employees (through either lower benefits or much higher contributions, or both) and the taxpayers (through much lower social services and infrastructure maintenance).
Questioning the Question: “Will Japan Disaster Halt a US Nuclear Renaissance?” What US nuclear renaissance?
Another Victory: General Petraeus, the Hero of Iraq(tm), says he has been able to slow the Taliban's momentum in key areas, especially public relations, enough to permit US forces (as many as 2,000!) to escape Afghanistan on schedule, well ahead of the GOP primary season.
Explicate: "I think the fact is that NAFTA allowed us to build jobs in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, in competition with China. I mean, our big competitor is not Mexico. Our big competitor is China and India. And I’d rather have jobs close to the United States than have jobs overseas in places like China and India." Newt Gingrich, who helped Clinton pass NAFTA and is a long time advocate of globalization
and divorcing sick wives.
Spanish Civil War, Part II: Saudi troops and Bahrainian police shot over 200 protesters and killed several. The out-of-town tryouts for rebellion in Saudi Arabia are not going well, and the reviews from Libya are discouraging.
Democracy In Action: Wisconsin Republicans say that the Democratic state senators' return from the wilderness is not enough, so they may no longer vote on legislation. Winner takes all, the Republican version of democracy.
Memo: This is a reminder that higher oil prices are deflationary. Yes, the price of oil goes up, but that just kills any recovery in the market, driving wages down, which drives prices down – for there is less money to go around to the non-petroleum crowd.
Busy Day: After agreeing to let the government continue to function for three more weeks, the Republicans have scheduled a meeting for Wednesday at which they plan to resolve the budget issue by stripping public radio of all federal funding, because a conservative group released a disingenuously edited video smearing the news organization by taking comments out of context, etc. etc.
Headliner: “GOP Candidate: Deport Latino Farmworkers, Replace With Inner-City Blacks” [It's beginning to look like the Democrats secret weapon will be Republicans.]
Facts? What Facts? TN state senator Mae Beavers wants the state to require
ethnically challenged candidates for public office to produce a “long-form birth certificate”. Asked what that meant, Beavers admitted she had no idea, but said that Republicans in other states are doing it, so she thought it was a good idea, “you know how it is, you file your bill and, you know, you prepare before you go to committee."
Password? Sperm whales announce their individual presence with a distinctively timed 5-'click' patterns, seemingly announcing “I'm here!” which would suggest they, and their listeners, know who “I” is.