The smaller the differences the more they matter.
Lights, Camera, Inaction: Take the week off, there will be no action on raising the debt ceiling until the 11th hour. For now the GOP leadership has agreed to give the
dogs a bone faithful a chance to cast votes in favor of $100 billion in budget cuts, a permanent cap on federal spending, and a constitution amendment requiring that the federal budget be balanced every year. These bills will not pass the Senate, and no President – of any flavor – would sign them if they did. Once the diversion is over, the debt ceiling will be increased.
Suits: The Supremes have ruled that executives of a firm are not liable for the lies told by the companies they run. Company's are people, remember. But you can't sue a company for lying – that would be a restraint on trade. Where's Joseph Heller when you need him?
Marginal Errors: Banks hold abut $3 trillion in non-securitized mortgages on their books, 20% of which are at at least 30 days delinquent or in some stage of foreclosure. The 'cure rate' past 60 days is essentially zero. After expenses, lenders take about a 60% loss on foreclosed mortgages. That would come to about $360 billion in losses. And will.
Batting Order: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, and now Somalia where the CIA has built a fort and set up a torture workshop – since the protests in Syria and the citizens' revolt in Egypt have made the use of their dungeons problematic.
The Way We
Were Are: It wasn't just the housing bubble that burst, the consumer bubble has deflated, too. Businesses are not hiring because customers are not buying. They are not buying cars (sales down 28% from the 2001 pace – and that was a recession). They are not buying houses (sales are back to their lowest levels since the current crisis began). And that means they are not buying new stoves, ovens, furniture... They are not buying and their confidence levels are far below 2001's. But then, they don't have jobs, so what do you expect.
The Tide: When sea levels rise to match the levels reached during the last Interglacial Period, large parts of the US along the Gulf of Mexico will be under water, including half of Florida. Maybe not this century, but a meter here, two meters there adds up.
Just So: "Elizabeth Warren apparently is just too good, too smart, and too able to arouse the just concerns of millions of American families about the need to put the law-and-order wood to the corporate criminals, defrauders and reckless speculators with the savings and pensions of millions of Americans." So Richard Cordray gets the nod. Doesn't matter, The GOP isn't going to let anyone lead the CFPB.
Pockets Change: Proof that it is the oil companies and not the speculators that are driving up the price of petroleum is supposedly to be found in Chevron's $360 million in trading profits this year. Please, Chevron's first-quarter 2011 profits were $6.2 billion from the oil business, not from speculation.
Under the Big Top: While the clowns are running around in the center ring doing their rubber chicken act with the debt and deficits, and the equipment crew is getting ready for the twin global warming/fossil fuel crisis, no one has noticed that the closing act – food and water shortages - is in the wings, getting ready to go on.
Down the Drain: It's a good thing the USSR was a paper tiger all those years and NATO wasn't obliged to demonstrate that the acronym stood for Not Able To Operate. Libya should mark the end of that charade – four months of bombing at will, unimpeded arms supply to the rebels and unknown & unacknowledged special forces boots on the ground have led to the same convincing quagmire that pervades Iraq and Afghanistan. What did we ever spend all that money for? Why do we keep doing it?
Porn O'Graph: It's not just the water.