‘To govern’ and ‘to steal’ are not always synonyms.
Short Form: The eurozone is closer to complete disintegration with each passing day, as one or more debt 'restructurings' draws closer. It will be dominoes on an impressive scale as banks, governments, and nations tumble. Either the eurozone will unravel and trade and transit barriers will quickly arise or some as-yet unidentified miracle occurs. One or the other.
Heart's Desire: Sarah Palin claims her 'bus tour' is a private mater. Fine. So why doesn't the media take her at her word and stop reporting on her & her summer vacation?
Go Home! The Arab Spring is producing far more international travelers than neighboring countries are prepared to accept, with estimates as high as 700,000 for fleeing Libyans and 30,000 from Tunisia. An unknown number of Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey – enough so that Turkish generals are considering creation of a “safe zone” in Syria protected by Turkish troops.
Unintended Consequences: Germany's plan to shutter all of its nuclear power plants will result in adding 40 million tons of CO2 a year to the atmosphere as fossil fuels are burned to make up the difference. Nukes are a threat. CO2 is a promise.
From 'The Histories' : “You are a witness to history. …bear in mind that these big changes happen slowly and for the most part quietly with sudden bursts of change and release of energy, often over a period of years, until the pressure breaks into the public arena, and voila, a full blown crisis appears as if out of nowhere. And most swear that it could not have been foreseen or predicted. I am telling you, again, that it is happening now...”
Ask Not... A group of retired Japanese engineers and other professionals has volunteered to work in the Fukushima power plants – saying they and not the young should face the radiation dangers.
Adding It Up: The American middle class has become irrelevant. If you don’t make $200,000 a year, you don’t matter. Or so the advertising wizards say.
Beef Recovery? The world is united in reporting bad economic news. China is cooling as the government fights inflation. Europe is a mess and not getting better. In the US the GDP growth at 1.8% is below expectations, the housing market is still falling, unemployment is stuck at 9%, and consumers are not consuming – but paying more for food and fuel.
Question: What would be the US national debt if we did not (a) have the Bush tax cuts? (b) have the economic crash due to the GOP's campaign of deregulation and their adulation of the market economy? Or (c) the Bush wars? TARP and the stimulus are insignificant next to these.
Effective Austerity: The UK's austerity program has been quite effective in lowering nearly all economic measures. So austerity has been very effective, just not as advertised.
Off The Pace: Non-farm private employment increased by only 38,000 jobs in May – 80% fewer than anticipated. Employment in the service sector rose by 48,000,while employment in the goods-producing sector fell 10,000.
S-C Redux: In real terms, US housing prices are back to pre-2000 levels. A decade with no appreciation. Sometimes a house is just a home.
Diet Plan: Republicans say that feeding the hungry costs too much and endangers the tax cuts for the rich, thus the program must be cut.
First National Mattress:Bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach “We’re setting ourselves up for yet another one of these experiences where people wake up and they realize that they thought that they had wealth but it was all in some sort of funny land.” He suggests that cash under the mattress is not that bad an idea.