The meter is running...
Play As You Go: Obama's $447 billion plan to kill Social Security (Yes, it was offset. But this further co-mingles SS funding with the general budget.) has two additional objectives: 1) to prop up the economy long enough to get himself re-elected, 2) to make Republicans explain why they are against tax cuts for the working class. If some people get put back to work, that'll be a bonus. Also a surprise.
Ready, Set, Euro: Betting has it that Greece will leave the euro, perhaps abruptly (“Greece is expected to run out of money within days.”). Beyond that, is there a queue of dominoes, waiting? The austerity the banks felt was lacking in Greece will soon be felt in a lot of places that are not expecting it.
This Week In Unemployment: New unemployment claims, at 414,000, made it 21 out of the last 22 weeks with over 400,000 newly unemployed. Another 78,000 workers exhausted their extended unemployment benefit qualification, bringing the number of former workers kicked to the curb in the last year to over 2 million.
Weak End: Remember, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are campaigning for the nomination, not for the presidency – don't confuse primary campaigning for what they'll say later on. And neither set of promises means anything once the voting's over.
Girl Trouble: La Niña, which "contributed" to last winter's record snowfall, the midwest's spring flooding and the drought smothering the southwest is returning for another season. More severe weather around the globe, heavy downpours and continuing drought are likely according to NOAA.
Such stuff as dreams are made of... All that will remain of the euro, and the unified Europe it promised, will be a distant, fading memory of a thing that never quite was. Other dreams may come - if so they will be smaller, meaner.
Friends Don't Let Friends...Washington, at Israel's instruction, is doing everything it can to prevent the formation of a Palestinian state – which includes a
threat promise of a UN veto to thwart international recognition that would make Israel's daily assaults on Palestinians acts of war.
Endangered Species: California's Governor Brown says that “not every human problem deserves a law.” Stuff like that could cost him his standing as a professional politician.
The Merry-Go-Round: Karl Marx saw capitalism as radically unstable with a inherent tendency to ever larger booms and busts, eventually destroying itself. He may not have been right, but recent events have done little to prove him wrong.
Land of the Free, Home of the... The 5% of Americans with the highest incomes account for 37% of consumer spending.
Silliness: Charles Krauthammer - in explaining why invading Afghanistan and Iraq, and attacking Yemen, Pakistan, and the US Constitution were reasoned, logical reactions to the destruction of the World Trade Towers - complains that once we invaded Iraq, “Al-Qaeda, uninvited, came out to fight us in Iraq.”