One way or the other this, too, will be resolved.
Taps: Dr. Han Seung-Soo, former UN climate change envoy, says that it is too late to formulate an agreement to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol. Under Kyoto, CO2 emissions increased 40% and no nation has any intention of cutting their own carbon emissions now, so I'm unclear on the harm in failing to agree on yet another hollow promise.
One: China's crude imports tumbled 11.5 percent in June from a year earlier to their lowest in eight months. This is not good news.
Minute of Silence: Like the soldiers who get the Medal of Honor for (foolishly? bravely?unthinkingly?) throwing themselves on a grenade to save their companions, Bradley Manning deserves a medal for the service he provided to his fellow citizens. He is more deserving than many recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Addictions: Chocolate beat out oil in the battle for increased profits last year.
Done and Done: BP claims that the $4.5 billion that has been paid out to buy off the public following the Deepwater Horizon disaster is enough and it wants the remaining $16 billion back. Time is money and they don't want any more time to pass (which might allow additional losses and damages to the Gulf to surface) nor any more money to be paid out. Let's agree, but insist that the remaining $16 billion be held in escrow for 20 or 50 years.
Predicates: The Greek government's budget deficit has increased about a third as the economy slows down under the austerity cuts demanded by the IMF/EU/ECB. Certainly bankers could not have foreseen that cutting wages and hours and employment while raising taxes would either harm the economy nor lower government revenue.
The Public: Half of all Americans who get help from the federal government – including 40% of those on Medicare - say they do not use any government social programs.
Powerpoint: Newly minted Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta – fresh from the CIA – told troops in Baghdad that they were there because Al-Qaeda attacked the US on 9/11. His talk was greeted by (al-Qaeda?) rockets hitting the Green Zone.
Spontaneity: Angry pro-Assad mobs attacked the US and French embassies in Syria, protesting our condemnation of the killing of protesters by the government.
Sub Rosa: The National Security Agency has declassified “Cryptology: Instruction Book on the Art of Secret Writing” The 1809 spy instruction manual that popularized potato-starch secret ink.
Key Point: The 15 million or so Americans who have lost their jobs in the last 4 years and haven't been able to find a new one are lazy dolts whose job skills evaporated overnight. Right. Let's rephrase that: the economy isn’t fixing itself and no one in Washington gives a damn.
Understudy: Freshman Arizona state Senator Lori Klein whipped out uer raspberry-pink 380 Ruger, pointed it at a reporter's chest
and announced her intention to be Sara Palin's understudy.
Porn O'Graph: The non-participant economy.
A Trip Report:
My wife asked me – as I read through the Usual Sources – what had changed while we were away. Not much, I told her. After all, it is no longer about the plot – only the performances count.
In Europe, the Serious Bankers and Statesmen continue to pretend that giving another loan to a country that can't pay its current debts is a Good Idea, and that stealing the infrastructure and forcing the people out of work will somehow will cause the debtor government's economy to flourish. In the Eurozone time has run out and the game is nearly over except for the entertainment of watching the citizens tear down the goal posts.
In the US, Obama and the Docilecrats have agreed to gut Social Security in return for being allowed to take part in the next round of “Let's Pretend” - as though the US is any more likely to repay its debts than are Greece or Italy. The US cannot, without risking collapse, even cut back on the growth of the debt. This is all just music to watch icebergs by.
Some want to talk about resolving concerns about inflation, asset bubbles, soaring food and energy prices, as though there were solutions. Mother nature simply cannot provide the basic services (to use the Archdruid's term) necessary to increase food production in the face of drought, flood, and the depletion of basic resources – especially energy. Anything that does not stop global warming and get rid of a few billion people is not going to make much difference. The process of getting there will be fascinating. Relax and enjoy the show.