The Neighbors: Politicians who confidently point to “entitlement reform” are making the same mistake that has been made, disastrously, in the UK, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain. Plus they still think we don't know that “reform” means cut beyond all recognition.
Just So: “Saudi Arabia Did Not Make Up For Libyan Oil Production.” $108 a barrel wasn't worth the effort?
Imagine All The People...How nervous are the Saudis? To the west, Libya is in flames. To the south, Yemen. And Oman. Just offshore is Bahrain. Syria and Jordan are restive, Iraq's a basket case and Iran wishes them ill. Their only friend is Israel. And the US Navy.
Hope, Prayer: Double-digit increases in corporate earning are not enough to lead corporations to hire more people. Driving current workers harder works just fine.
Because they Can: It would be a rather trivial undertaking for the US government to put an end to banks standing outside every store demanding protection money from both the merchant and the customer and the robbery-by-fee on every debit card transaction. There is no reason that credit and debit verification on a national basis could not be accomplished in seconds for fractions of a cent per transaction through a single, not-for-profit agency. Electronic money is where we are headed, so why not save the economy billions of dollars a year that the banks now skim off? Oh, right. Banks.
One Less Worry: After Fukushima, worries about running out of uranium for our power plants have diminished greatly, and running out seems a mixed blessing.
An Enemy of the People: Rand Paul, another of those crammed into the Republican presidential clown car, says e has the right to
piss in the middle of the street cause as much global warming as he wants, that it would be “consistent with a free society...”
Details, Details: I sit here watching tornadoes track across the great American mid-west, wondering how all the Republicans out there in Oklahoma and Arkansas and the rest feel about the GOP's promise to stop wasting taxpayer money on weather satellites.
Being Number One: The US prison population is 760 out of every 100,000. Next worst rate is South Africa at 329/100,000. The OECD averages 140/100,000. There's an area we could cut spending in.
Data Banking: A family of four needs $67,920 a year to be “economically stable” - by which the authors mean “getting by: no cable TV, no Internet. Too bad the median family only makes $47,127.
Just Wondering: Why is little Timmy Geithner running around telling everyone the sky isn't falling, the sky won't fall, and the US can most certainly repay its debt? Who asked? And by the way, we need to raise the debt ceiling again.
What, Me Worry? Apparently US police forces are bombarding internet providers with “requests” for private electronic communications information. Quite why this should trouble anyone is beyond me; NSA has been scooping it all up for years.
Cows In The Meadow:Republican voters are more likely than Democrats to oppose any cuts in Medicare. They’re also in favor of small government and low taxes. And magic.
Not Necessarily News: Today we celebrate Freedom for Financial Felons, for so far no Wall Street miscreants has even indicted, much less strung up for crimes against the people. Truly, “America is a 'Failed State' with a "Dual Justice System, one for ordinary people and one for those with enormous wealth and power.” But it always has been, so what's the fuss?
Instructions: BP – playing the role of the sheriff in Cat Ballou - has told Alaska that until the state lowers its tax on oil production, it will not increase oil production.
On Fishing: The Republicans want to increase offshore oil drilling, believing that such drilling will either solve our energy problems or at least get them votes. The problem isn't the drilling. The problem is finding the oil and getting it ashore. My nephew likes to grab his pole and some worms and go 'catching'. Doesn't care much for just fishing.
Wording: “Food price hikes could push millions to poverty.” Could? Global food prices are up 36% over a year ago.
Full Faith & Credit: At a basic level, the requirement for food and energy becomes inelastic - if you don't eat or drink, you die and if you cannot get to work, you eventually die. But the free market, in all its supposed benevolent wisdom, doesn't care whether masses of people die, and there is not much a central government can do beyond a minimum threshold.
Porn O'Graph: Steep decline ahead, use lower gears.