Not all sociopaths wield knives.
One Step Over The Line: Serious People assure us that the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling are so dire that – in the end, after the posturing – the ceiling will be raised. Maybe a little, maybe a bit more, but at least enough to avert disaster. Nonsense. Such pabulum ignores the essential insanity of modern GOP extremism. Watch their faces – they act as thought the crash of the economy will be as entertaining as those savored by NASCAR fans.
Sixth Sense: Assad's security forces killed only six of the half million protesters that took the streets in Syria on Friday. They'll do better tomorrow.
Dream On: A seriously misinterpreted survey asked “"How important a part of the American dream is owning a home?” to which 89% said it was important. And they are right, the American Dream is defined as owning your own home. That does not mean the folks who correctly identified this fact felt that way themselves or felt that that particular American Dream was pertinent any more. Americans have abandoned home ownership – having lost their life savings along the way, learned a lesson about the validity of the American Dream, and driven up rental prices by 6.7% in the last year.
All In Favor Say 'Me, Too' : So far this year 19 different polls have shown that Americans strongly support higher taxes to reduce the budget deficit and to narrow income inequality.
Ignorance is not bliss: Scientists have come to understand that the public does not understand the warnings they have been giving for 20 years, because the public does not appreciate the refined and constrained discussion in scientific journals. So now they are trying to make it a little clearer: The link between the ongoing outbreak of extreme weather events and global warming “can no longer be ignored. We have changed the climate enough so that there’s more moisture and more heat in the atmosphere driving stronger storms and heavier rainfall.” They expect to be attacked by the professional skeptics and those paid to deny the obvious.
And In This Corner: While all eyes are on Athens, one in every five Portuguese companies is delinquent on its bank loans, and 14.2% of Portuguese families are behind on their loans (personal and mortgage).
Chain Of Fooling: For some reason, Social Security benefit cuts seem to be part of the debt ceiling negotiations, although Social Security has no impact on the debt, being wholly funded by dedicated taxes. The slight of hand that is being discussed is changing the calculation of benefit increases from changes in the CPI to changes in a “chained CPI”, which is a very stealthy benefit cut that would cause seniors tens of thousands of dollars during their retirement years. The big thing to watch is the the midnight rush to passage, when a huge unread document will get passed with no one knowing what they are voting on until the stock market soars the next day.
Record Keeping: One way of measuring the economy's recovery is to note that 44.647 million Americans were drawing food stamps last month, another new high. The average monthly benefit per household dropped to $282.38 a month, a new low.