Are we a little less sophisticated than we think?
Recovery: Food stamps now feed 1 in 7 Americans. In some states it's one in five while the 400 richest Americans still receive 10% of the country's entire income and pay little if any taxes.
Equality – More or Less: Portugal’s bailout terms are ‘severe’ despite PM Socrates's claim that he had won concessions. The terms are said to include hikes in sales, property and health service taxes, cutting unemployment benefits to 18 months from three years, and cuts to state pensions. Privatization of TAP Air Portugal, ANA airport management company, the national postal system and the national electric distribution network are mandatory. Investments in public works, such as a high-speed rail, are to be postponed. Hasn't worked in Greece, won't here, but it does let the banks and bondholders loot the economy. Shock Doctrine, chapter and verse.
What She Said: “This [the GOP’s No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act] is about whether we should use the tax code as a moral club to impose the religious views of a few members of Congress on the entire nation.”
Asked & Answered: Why are yields are down, across the board, on the staples: Corn, Rice, Wheat, Soybeans? The FAO reports a rapid slowdown in productivity growth as application of more and more fertilizer returns ever smaller gains. There's probably a message here.
Positively: Various not wholly innocent bystanders insist that torture was valuable in bin Laden's assassination. Many of those making this claim are those ultimately responsible for the Bush administration torture that did not lead to bin Laden's hideout – the ones who are afraid of prosecution for crimes against humanity.
Rose By Another Name: The
possibly well-intentioned Republicans will demand mandatory cuts in Social Security and Medicare as the price for increasing the debt ceiling. Of course, being Republicans, they won't say that's what they are doing. Instead they will insist on a “mandatory global spending cap” which will include Social Security, Medicare and every other social support program - food stamps, unemployment benefits, public health services and the rest. It'll have a patriotic name to sugarcoat the destruction of the country in order to give even more tax breaks to millionaires.
Over There: Results from the austerity and privatization laboratory – aka Great Britain – continue to get worse, and worse. But the GOP won't let little things like the facts dim their enthusiasm for making the same mistakes here.
Drumroll: In a rare display of corporate humor, Blackwater, mercenary supplier to the world, has appointed John Ashcroft its new Ethics Chief. Yes, that John Ashcroft.
Baby Steps: The South Carolina Supreme Court, in the name of judicial efficiency, has halted all pending foreclosure hearings and ordered a mandatory foreclosure intervention program. South Carolina is a judicial foreclosure state, so each individual foreclosure is a separate legal case that must go completely through the court system. And there are simply too many foreclosures for the courts to handle them, thus the judges want the parties to work something out – in every case – or face a hostile judge in court.
Porn O'Graph: Click and weep.