Has modesty vanished from the world?
Apple Pie and... ConocoPhillips claims that repealing $21 billion in annual tax breaks for oil companies would be “un-American”, and threatened higher gasoline prices if the “incentives” were taken away.
Maybe Alan Jackson could write a song for them. And you thought Wall Street had balls.
Spin This: Syria is rounding up and detaining “activists” - lawyers, doctors, intellectuals and educated professionals
and anyone who can read and write. Ah, our ally against the terrorists.
Retreat:42 House Republican freshmen, having climbed down from the hot stove, want to “wipe the slate clean,” and “hit the reset button” and make us forget how eager they were just two weeks ago to kill Medicare, Medicaid and grandma. They blame the Democrats for letting the voters find out what the GOP was hiding behind their sanctimony. It's unclear why the GOP thought they could get away with it in the first place.
The Numbers: Unemployment claims dropped 44,000 to 434,000 last week, which is still nothing to write home about. The 4-week moving average increased slightly to 436,000. All marked up from the recent 399,000.
Gassed: Retail sales, with a lackluster 0.5% m/m increase, look even worse if you take out auto sales and gasoline purchases. Then they drop to 0.2%. The PPI grew by 0.3% once food and energy are excluded, 0.7% with them. Rising prices and rising sales all seem to be centered on the gasoline pumps.
Explanation, Please: I'm with Senator Franken, who wants to know why Apple and Google are collecting all that data and why people can't tell them to go to hell. While we're at it, can we opt out of the government's surveillance, too?
Just Add Water: The amount of water leaking from one of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors is much greater than previously thought, which suggests more severe damage to the reactor than previously acknowledged. TEPCO now says the damage could be described as a
partial meltdown complete meltdown of the core. So far they have pumped more than 10,000 tons of water into a containment vessel that can only hold 7,400 tons.
Picky, Picky: White House economic advisor Pinocchio Goolsbee claims that the US is certainly not in a jobless economic recovery. Possibly because the US is not in an economic recovery.
Be Prepared: Forty-four of the 48 Republican senators threaten to hold up the nomination of anyone selected to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, unless the agency's management structure is changed to render it totally ineffective.
Blood/Stone: The Irish government is going to tax pensions to raise money to create jobs so workers can earn money for their retirement.
Explicate: "I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be." Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul. “It means you believe in slavery." Wow. Don't tell the healthcare professionals in Europe, they haven't figured it out.
Parse This: The US Attorney General, claiming that gunning down an unarmed man in his bedroom was “not assassination”, said the Navy Seals “conducted themselves in a way that's consistent with American, [and] British values." Which is probably true and certainly scary.
Burn Before Reading: The Obama administration is claiming the right to censor and withhold unclassified materials, especially things that are marked “Top Un-Secret” or, more accurately “Embarrassing”.
Porn O'Graph: Ah, that explains everything...